Telecoms companies are having a major impact on the growing netbook market, according to a new report from Canalys.
The analyst firm's Netbooks Reshape the PC Industry report (PDF) found that over 50 deals have been inked between netbook manufacturers and telecoms firms, helping the market to grow faster than any other PC segment. The result is that established original equipment manufacturers are being left behind.
"Suddenly, Samsung is a force to be reckoned with in the PC industry. It already has deals with more than half of the telcos currently selling netbooks, " said Tim Coulling, Canalys research analyst.
"Meanwhile, traditional notebook category leaders, including Lenovo, Fujitsu, Sony and Toshiba, have been slow to recognise how quickly the market is changing around them, and have signed fewer than 10 operators as a group."
Telecoms companies are also driving sales in a way that PC manufacturers seldom do, using major advertising campaigns and leveraging existing mobile phone user bases.
This is helping to justify investments in mobile broadband, and netbook manufacturers are driving data revenues far beyond the levels reached by smartphones.
The report also concludes that netbooks are not cannibalising the laptop market, since most buyers use them as a portable additional computer rather than as their sole machine.
A survey of over 3,000 European buyers found that netbooks are three times as likely as notebooks to be used in cafés, public parks or trains, and that 45 per cent of owners take their netbooks on holiday.
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