Gartner says market for mini-notebooks will explode by 2012

IT research and advisory giant Gartner predicts that worldwide shipments for mini-notebooks will reach 5.2 million units in 2008 and even 8 million units one year later. The company is expecting that by 2012 about 50 million of these PCs will be shipped (on a global level).

Gartner says their findings are based on the fact that mini-notebooks are distinctive in factors such as size, weight, price and (sufficient) functionality.  Acoording to the company, buyers will include beginners, business people as well as experienced users who need a second or third computer.

Gartner also says they initially don’t expect cannibalization effects between conventional notebooks and their ultra-mobile counterparts because of significant performance gaps. The situation could change, however, in 2010 and 2011, when advanced mini-notebooks could start to enter the low-end laptop market segment.

Gartner defines mini-notebooks as “simple” mobile PCs with a screen size of 5 to 10 inches, shipped with a full version of Windows XP or Linux.