50 networks now sell netbooks


More than 50 mobile operators globally are selling netbooks, since the devices launched 18 months ago.

The uptake by mobile networks has forced computer manufacturers to lower their operating costs in order to make a profit, a report by Canalys found.

Around 13.5 million netbooks have been sold in the first half of 2009, with networks taking up more HP netbooks than other brands.

Canalys claimed in the PC market, only netbooks are experiencing growth this year.

Canalys research analyst Tim Coulling said: “Our latest research reveals that, in August, across Europe, the four PC vendors with the most telco deals were Samsung, Asus, HP and Acer.

“The real surprise has been how quickly the Korean vendors have moved to leverage their mobile phone businesses, selling netbooks to telcos – LG’s netbooks have become prominent in the major countries too.

“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 as a group they have signed fewer than 10 operators.”

Networks are playing a “pivotal” role in marketing the netbooks and those manufacturers who are not currently partnering with networks are losing out on coverage, Canalys said.

Canalys senior analyst Daryl Chiam said: “We observed more than double the number of netbook deals in telcos in August as we did in June.

“The local vendors are moving fast in their home countries, so Asus and Acer lead in Taiwan, Samsung and LG have the deals in Korea, while Lenovo, Haier and Tsinghua Tongfang are active in China. Sony, Toshiba and Sharp have all arranged deals in Japan.”