Worldwide subnotebook shipments are on a pace to reach 5.2 million units in 2008, and 8 million units in 2009, according to market-research firm Gartner, Inc.
The market is expected continue its strong growth, and there could be as many as 50 million subnotebooks shipped in 2012.
“The demand for mini-notebooks will be driven by several factors: by their small form factor and small screen, their light weight, their price, their ease of use and their basic, but sufficient, PC functionality,” said Annette Jump, research director at Gartner.
These devices started out primarily as low-cost PCs for students, but in recent months have expanded their appeal to consumers in general, with only a few being bought by businesses.
“Considering the majority of mini-notebooks will be sold to consumers, PC vendors will need to pay increasing attention to the design and ease of use of mini-notebooks,” said Jump.
More information is available on Gartner’s website.