In spite of their higher prices, netbooks are currently outselling Apple's iPhone lineup by a significant margin, according to a comparison from jkOnTheRun. The report expands on both new DisplaySearch netbook figures and elaborates on recent Gartner smartphone figures to reveal that the combined netbook market shipped about 5.7 million computers versus an estimate 4.7 million iPhones that ultimately reached users' hands in the same period. Apple is believed to have kept just over 2 million iPhones for inventory.
The performance is considered all the more significant given the lead time the iPhone has had to establish its figures. The iPhone launched in June of 2007 and thus preceded the first ASUS Eee PC, considered the pioneer of netbooks, by four months. Such statistics point to the netbook market as a whole growing at a significantly faster rate. Individually, the companies that produce netbooks are more split and are led by Acer with 38.3 percent followed by ASUS at 30.3 percent.
The news hurts claims by Apple chief Steve Jobs that netbooks are an untested category that doesn't necessarily merit involvement. At present, he has so far mainly suggested the iPhone as a rough parallel to netbooks as it fills many of the same e-mail and web roles as the larger devices.
Sales figures in recent months have reflected the trend, with netbooks overtaking Apple and maintaining a general lead in Amazon's top ten notebook sales.