Taiwan’s Market Intelligence Center projects that more than 8 million low cost ultraportable laptops will ship this year — that’s a pretty impressive number for a market segment that didn’t even exist this time last year. The report suggests that number could more than double next year, with 18 million units shipping.
The year over year growth makes sense because this is a new market and we’re seeing new companies enter practically every day. But at some point, I have to wonder if the market will be saturated. While the idea of a cheap laptop is appealing, not everybody needs a laptop with a 10 inch display or smaller and a slow CPU. So while we can certainly expect to see a lot of growth in this area over the next few years, at some point most of the people who want a cheap ultraportable laptop are already going to have one, right?
Of course, then there are the early adopters who will buy a netbook, keep it for 3-6 months and then sell it on eBay to pick up the next big thing. Not that I’ve ever done this, of course.