PC notebook market turned upside down

A fundamental change in buying patterns means that while Western Europe and North America and Japan are going tablet crazy, there’s still a lot of growth for notebook vendors.

Displaysearch said in a market research report that its quarterly mobile shipment report showed that emerging markets will take over mature market shipments for notebooks.  

But sales of tablets in mature markets best  sales of notebooks in emerging markets. What a conundrum!

The report shows that in 2011 shipments of mobile PCs will increase 27 percent, compared to 2010 – accounting for 276.9 million units.  Tablet PCs will grow 213 percent, compared to 2010, accounting for 188 million units. Tablets, said Displaysearch will grow 213 percent.

Netbooks – mininotebooks – will continue to lose market share.  Microsoft Windows 8 will boost shipments of both notebooks and tablet PCs.

First time buyers in the emerging markets want the better functionality that notebooks accord them.  Meanwhile, in mature markets, people will stick with their notebooks but buy tablets as extra gizmos, presumably because they are bright and shiny things and are always instant-on.

But Ultrabooks, just announced, and as pioneered by Intel, are also instant on, mostly. Although they will cost a few hundred bucks more than, for example, an Apple iPad they are a different kettle of fish. Amazon Fire may change the picture as they come on sale.