Netbooks (small form-factor, lower-priced, less powerful laptops) took a beating in the second quarter.
When the folks at market researcher ABI Research tallied the numbers, they found media tablet shipments in the second quarter reached 13.6 million units, compared to just 7.3 million for netbooks.
In Q1, netbooks were ahead with 8.4 million units compared to 6.4 million for media tablets.
ABI Research’s group director for mobile devices Jeff Orr says:
This is a trend that we do not expect will reverse. As they are different segments, this is not a direct replacement behavior, but a changing of leadership for the most interesting device type.
Apple’s iPad 2 was, of course, the key driver for media tablet interest among consumers.
Some 68% of the media tablet shipments in 2Q11 were iPads.
According to Orr, media tablets are perceived to be easy to use, compared to the keyboard and mouse interface of a netbook. Babyboomers and older people who have avoided PCs because they are difficult to use see in media tablets an opportunity to re-engage with Internet access.
In 2011, 32 million netbooks and 60 million media tablets are expected to ship worldwide.
Netbooks still hold interest in under-served countries where PC penetration in homes are low and broadband service is not widely available.
ABI Research sees media tablet catering primarily to the early-adopter consumers of U.S., Western Europe, Japan and South Korea.