GfK has said that netbooks and heavy discounting have caused the average selling price of mobile PCs to collapse over the past 12 months, falling by 20 per cent.
Analyst Iliana Tolia said that the weakened economy has pushed consumers towards cheap netbooks. Heightened promotional activity by retailers had also had a significant impact on the value of the market.
"Despite the increase in unit sales of laptops, value has now worryingly gone into red," commented Tolia. "It is obvious that price is a key decision factor for the consumer these days and retailers are now targeting low price points in an effort to stimulate sales.
"With price points around the £200 mark, the netbook is now becoming the most affordable portable computer, covering most of the average PC user's day-to-day needs."
To read GfK's full analysis of the impact the recession is having on sales across the IT market, click here.