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Report: Netbook Sales Jumped 160 Percent In Q3

According to new research, the netbook category grew 160 percent during the third quarter, in another sign of the growing popularity of the segment.

a new report

Some analysts have suggested that netbooks' small screen size and limited processing power could limit their appeal, but advances in feature sets and the overall economic malaise have kept demand high.

The DisplaySearch figures are in line with Acer CEO and President Gianfranco Lanci's early November prediction that Acer will account for about half of the global market for netbooks in 2009, which is being carved out on the strength of its popular Aspire One model.

Meanwhile, Asustek -- the Taiwanese firm that essentially created the netbook category with its 2007 launch of the Eee PC -- had 30.3 percent of the netbook market in Q3, but lost a "significant share" of the netbook segment during the quarter, DisplaySearch noted in the report.

DisplaySearch predicts the netbook market will grow from 1 million units in 2007 to more than 14 million units by the end of 2008, with netbooks accounting for roughly 16 percent of the overall notebook PC market by 2011.

Apple is the only notebook PC maker that has yet to bring a netbook to market, although some would argue that the MacBook Air bears some similarities to others in the category. Apple CEO Steve Jobs has said that Apple is looking into the netbook trend, but believes much of the netbooks' functionality is already included in the iPhone.

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