April 7, 2009 at 9:45 am
Netbook LCD unit sales are expected to hit close to 50 million units per year by 2012 according to market research firm iSuppli. Shipments are expected to quadruple from the 13.1 million units shipped in 2008 to 47.4 million units shipped in 2012. The forecast numbers are for netbook PCs that use TFT-LCD displays in the size range of 7- to 12-inches. Revenue for 7-inch to 10-inch displays will climb from $625.2 million in 2008 to $2.1 billion in 2012. 2009 revenues are expected to break through the $1 billion barrier.
“The rapid expansion of the netbook market represents an attractive opportunity for small/medium display suppliers that are seeing slowing growth in other segments,” said Vinita Jakhanwal, principal analyst, small/medium displays, for iSuppli. “The rise of the netbook segment, along with the advent of the digital photo frame area, has opened up the development of medium-sized displays in the range of 7 to 10 inches.”
The rise of the netbook display segment allows TFT-LCD makers to utilize third- fifth-generation fabs for production, iSuppli said. These fabs, previously employed for larger sized display production, are now fully depreciated, allowing LCD makers to produce netbook displays at a low cost.
The netbook sector is one of the few areas of electronics still showing promising growth amidst the economic downturn. Worldwide unit shipments of netbooks soared by more than 2000 percent in 2008 and are expected to rise by 68.5 percent in 2009, according to iSuppli.