SAN FRANCISCO, Nov. 9 (Xinhua) -- The introduction of tablet devices such as Apple's iPad this year has dealt a blow to the sales of netbooks or mini notebook computers, but it is too early to declare the death of netbooks as some analysts have predicted, research firm IDC said on Tuesday.
A new IDC report showed that a viable market will continue to drive growth of netbooks in the coming years though at a slower pace.
IDC projected that worldwide netbook shipments will reach 37.8 million units in 2010, up 10.3 percent from 2009.
Over the next four years, the compound annual growth rate for the worldwide netbook market is expected to be at 4.3 percent, according to the IDC report.
"IDC does not expect media tablets to bring about the death of mini notebooks, although there's no question that the focus of attention has shifted to these newer devices," Bob O'Donnell, a program vice president of clients and displays at IDC, said in a statement.
"The arrival of media tablets has done little to diminish the demand for mini notebooks in the educational market, particularly in developing countries where large government initiatives are gaining steam in the post-recession economy," he added.
IDC saw Latin America, Central and Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa as the strongest potential markets for netbooks, with annual growth rate in these regions expected to stay near or above 20 percent from 2009 to 2014 as many governments follow through on large educational initiatives to bring netbooks into the classroom.
The market for netbooks in the United States will experience growth in the low single digits while the Western European market will decline by 11 percent during the upcoming five-year period, IDC predicted.
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