Canalys today announced the launch of its Netbook Analysis service, designed to provide close monitoring of activity in this fast-growing PC category with a particular emphasis on tracking how mobile operators are developing as a channel for sales of portable PCs, the models that are being promoted and the subsidies being applied. Delivering tactical information on the latest partnerships and deals, and strategic market intelligence on longer-term volume and channel trends, the service will prove invaluable to the vendors and service providers for whom it has been specifically designed.
“The netbook has rapidly become one of the most exciting PC market categories,” said Canalys senior analyst Alastair Edwards. “The first Linux-based Asus Eee PC may have ignited interest among a particular group of consumers, but with 5 million netbooks shipping in EMEA in the second half of 2008 alone, the market has expanded greatly and the category has already become critical to many of the major global PC vendors, who are seeing growth slow in other parts of their business.”
The web-centric usage proposition of these small, inexpensive portable computers has not just attracted PC vendors and their customers, but also Internet giants such as Google, and mobile operators who see the netbook as a vehicle to sign users up to lucrative mobile broadband service contracts and greatly expand their customer relationships. “With its functionality and mobility sitting somewhere between a full-size notebook and a high-end phone, the netbook category is also drawing attention from smart phone market leaders, bringing mobile operating systems, for example Symbian and Android, into play alongside the existing Windows and Linux models, raising challenges for companies like Microsoft and Intel and creating opportunities for others, such as Qualcomm and TI,” commented Tim Coulling, Canalys research analyst.
“Mobile operators and other service providers are becoming more and more important as a channel for portable PC sales, changing the established framework of the routes to market for PC vendors and bringing new business models and up-front device subsidies into the mix,” Edwards added. “While most offers have been focused on consumers to date, potential volume sales to SMBs and other enterprises also cannot be ignored.”
With Canalys’ proven record for market-leading tracking and analysis, both in channels, smart phones and other mobile devices, Netbook Analysis must be viewed as an essential source of market intelligence for product managers, and those involved in strategic planning, who need to monitor and better understand this emerging channel for mobile PCs as well as this evolving product category.
Within the service, Canalys (canalys.com) analysts track and publish detailed information on the netbook and notebook mobile broadband deals, whether using integrated 3G or bundled with USB dongles, being promoted by the leading mobile operators. These offers are monitored on a daily basis to provide clients with dynamically updated intelligence on which operators are working with which brands in the different countries, and the models, specifications, tariffs and subsidies that comprise each deal. The service also provides overall volume forecasts and quarterly market sizing and vendor shares for netbook and notebook shipments through both established and emerging channels, regular written analysis and presentations, and unlimited analyst enquiry on the topic.