$100 Notebook Not Expected Soon

The $100 notebook computer will remain a dream for at least three years, and fixating on hitting the $100 price point could distract computer makers from focusing on issues facing the mini-notebook market that they actually can resolve in the meantime, Gartner said.

"The economic benefits of IT literacy in emerging markets are currently driving the push for the $100 PC but there are many open questions that remain," said Annette Jump, research director at Gartner, Stamford, Conn., in a statement.

"These include determining the relevant hardware specifications, power availability, availability and cost of Internet connection, as well as providing adequate finance and payment options for emerging markets where funds may well be extremely limited."

While initially targeted towards the education market, the low-cost mini-notebooks have stayed well above $100 and are likely to remain so for at least the next two to three years, Gartner said. Prices could come down by 10 to 15 percent in that time, Jump said, but manufacturing, packaging and software costs will likely stay steady.

Sponsored post

According to the report, education users in emerging markets like Africa and South America are using mini-notebooks, but planning, technical support, training and content development are still concerns.

In the business market, mini-notebooks would be better positioned as a "window into the Internet" rather than as a computing device, Gartner said. Mini-notebooks are expected to grow in popularity, across geographies and markets.

"We expect to see increased product innovation in the PC market during the next few years," Jump said.