Over 215 million portable units will be sold in 2010, a leap of 26 percent compared to last year.

So says market research company Displaysearch, which predicts that revenues from this sale will amount to $117 billion.

It's predicating these dramatic figures from the putative success of the Apple iPad and other slate machines. Slates, or tablet machines, will claw some share from clamshell netbook PCs. The majority of tablet volumes will ship into North America and Western European markets, the company thinks.

In the second half of this year, there will be a recovery of spending in the business to business market, and emerging markets will also account for increases in sales.

Displaysearch thinks that revenue growth will be strongest in the mini-notebook and slate market category, because more expensive products will be introduced. It does acknowledge that average selling prices for netbooks have eroded and will continue to erode.

John Jacobs, who runs Displaysearch's notebook market research, said that tablets from other brands will result in average selling prices higher than netbooks.

"The low ASPs of mini-notes have been a concern to component suppliers, OEMs/ODMs, brands and retailers, due to the thinner margins and lower revenue generation of the devices. Slates - especially those that will be able to mimic Apple's content library, model of content delivery, and their very successful app store," said Jacobs.

Here are some figures from Displaysearch - for notebook PCs and mini-notebook revenues, in $ billions.

 

Category
2008
2009
% change
2010 forecast
2010 y/y change
Netbook/Slate
$6.65
$11.56
73.8%
$13.36
15.6%
Notebook
$110.44
$98.26
-6.2%
$103.51
5.3%
All portables
$117.9
$109.82
-11%
$116.89
6.4%