Netbooks may be one of the fastest growing segments of the PC industry, but that growth is either slowing down or hitting one heck of a speedbump. DisplaySearch reports that while netbook shipments were up 556% during the first quarter of 2009 from a year earlier, they were down 26% from the previous quarter.

Now, this may be a meaningless statistic. After all, Q4 2008 included the holiday season, so it’s hardly surprising that netbook sales would have been strong. And this time a year ago, there were still very few players in the netbook space, which meant there wasn’t a very wide variety of netbooks for consumers to choose from. After being inundated with new models every few weeks for the past half year, it’s likely that a lot of people who were likely to pick up a mini-laptop have had an opportunity to do so.

But that doesn’t mean the netbook industry is doomed. Amost 1 in 5 laptops shipped during the first quarter were netbooks. And PC makers are continuing to push out new models with new features and lower price tags. And in another year or two, a lot of those people who bought first generation netbooks in 2008 are going to be looking to trade up. I know a lot of readers of this site have already done so.

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