Visitors to BETT this year will have noted the strong presence of IT brands on the show floor. ABI Research projects nearly fifteen million computing devices will be shipped into the education market in 2013. Netbooks are expected to take a large share (nearly 6 million), but the popularity of tablets and the availability of cheaper laptops, with far better performance capabilities and lower price points, will start to rout the netbook’s appeal.
Earlier this month, Acer and Asus announced the production halt of netbooks in 2013, following a number of other hardware computing OEMs that include Dell, HP, and Samsung. Global annual netbook shipments are predicted to decline by over 50% in 2013 from last year. ABI senior analyst Josh Flood said: “Although the education sector is now, and going to be, one of the netbook’s main markets, we are also seeing media tablet / hybrid tablets beginning to emerge and surpass netbooks. Ultimately, the netbook’s market share in education will diminish and media tablets will become the dominant computing device.”