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Trends Drive Global Rise of the Notebook PC

Growing availability to low cost, high-speed and often wireless Internet service appears to be propelling laptop and notebook sales around the world, helping close the so-called "digital divide" between technology�s haves and have-nots, say researchers from Ipsos Insight in their annual 'The Face of The Web' study of global Internet trends.

Global notebook PC ownership grew a healthy eight percentage points in 2005, while desktop PC ownership growth stagnated around the world for the first time. At the end of 2005, 34 percent of households globally owned a notebook or tablet PC compared with 20 percent in 2003. Meanwhile, global desktop PC ownership remained unchanged between 2004 and 2005 at 60 percent.

Given the surge in ownership, it is becoming increasingly clear that notebook PCs will become a driving 'change agent' in consumers� PC usage and Internet behavior, particularly in more developed global markets with greater access to Wi-Fi based wireless networks within the home and in public places.

Many consumers around the world already own a desktop PC and are now acquiring their first notebook PCs, which are built to handle a whole new generation of applications, devices and content. The technologies that support mobile notebook usage are poised for very strong growth in the future as consumers begin to learn how to utilize these new wireless platforms along with their existing desktops.

Despite the sharp rise in notebook PC ownership, Internet access from outside the home remains a niche activity globally, as the home continues to be Internet Users preeminent point of access -- of people who used the Internet in the past 30 days, nearly nine in 10 access the Internet from their homes, outpacing the workplace (50 percent) by an almost two-to-one margin, and nearly 10 times the prevalence of typical wireless destinations such as bars or caf�s.

However, nearly twice as many Internet users claimed to have accessed the Internet from a bar, caf�, restaurant or airport in 2005 (9 percent) vs. 2004 (5 percent), hinting that the growing expectation for 'anytime, anywhere' access may soon become a reality for Internet users around the world.

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