back to article Netbook sales set to soar - or not

Netbook sales will continue to be strong for the foreseeable future - the only question is how strong. Between 25 and 30 million of the little fellows will be sold this year, but according to a report Monday by the Taiwanese tech-news site DigiTimes, "some netbook players" are forecasting that 2010 will remain flat, with a like …

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Anonymous Coward

Of Course

Of course sales of cheaper smaller notebooks(aka netbooks) will grow and sales of more "feature-full" notebooks will decline as a result.

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Flame

Who is snapping netbooks

The netbooks are snapped by all those corporate employees who supposedly do not need them and used for work purposes.

I had enough lugging around a useless 4kg desktop equivalent this year and bought a netbook which I use predominantly for work purposes. Paid for it out of my pocket because IT would have never approved it. I also know quite a few people who did the same.

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SCC naming

"And Microsoft has renamed them "low cost small notebook PCs" - despite our help in sorting out the telltale markings of a netbook."

I'd like to remind you it was this website who called them Small Cheap Computers (excellent name) for a long time, before everyone seemed to agree on the most harmless and most meaningless of all names on the table. Microsoft once again may have adopted and bastardised :)

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Go

@AC 03:45

Yes, netbooks will sell over laptops, but primarily in the home market. Business will stick with 'proper' machines - a netbook is not something you'd want to do one eight hour day on, let alone five days, think of the health and safety aspects vis a vis workstation assessments, and when you factor in the cost of getting a machine with good build quality that will do at least three years of heavy keyboard work, you're back to the small Laptop territory with a decent screen size and the likes of Dell and HP.

In general I expect laptop sales to grow and desktops to shrink - games will be played on dedicated hardward sitting under the TV, so the reason for having a big beige box in the corner of the room disappears rapidly. Go into PC World these days and they have already made the shift - a relatively small number of desktop machines, mainly specialist gaming rigs, and a huge number of netbooks and laptops.

In our house we have two desktops and two laptops, I see the desktops disappearing and being replaced with laptops as and when they break.

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Re: Of Course

Especially as the boundaries get blurred, with even 12" models now considered netbooks by the marketeers keen to capitalise on the concept. When netbooks first arrived, the distinction was clear, but now anyone can claim victory for their market sector: the boundary can be changed depending on who's axe-grinding at the time.

(Me = real netbook user: original Acer Aspire One, SSD, Linux, none of this later is-it-isn't-it nonsense!)

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Anonymous Coward

@ Gulfie

[quote]Yes, netbooks will sell over laptops, but primarily in the home market. Business will stick with 'proper' machines - a netbook is not something you'd want to do one eight hour day on, let alone five days, think of the health and safety aspects vis a vis workstation assessments,[/quote]

What about a docking station or just a USB keyboard and mouse + LCD monitor. Plug in and use in comfort all day then unplug a nice small item to carry home.

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Other issues

Traveling folks snapped up a lot of these little gems quick, but for general business, you have a major roadblock: lack of a business class OS option...

This also applies to most college students as bringing a machine on a major university campus oftem means joining a domain and supporting college-required software packages or security apps. A lot of colleges have custom machine images, some refuse to support all but a very select list of machines. Very few let you be a local admin of any machine, yours or not, connected to the campus network.

Given the performance, these are also not commonly primary machines, but secondary specific-purpose machines. (presentations, traveling web access, etc). Most users will have a primary PC in addition to a netbook, so it;s not logical to expect a significant drop in more powerful system sales (though a shift from laptops back to cheaper desktops may occour for the primary machine role).

They're all but useless for school age children (especially those old enough to want to play any games at all other tham minesweeper). Most also can not handle any HD content, and are underpowered or underfeatured as media players, home theater extenders, for streaming HD content from Netflix/hulu, etc.

I think this is more of a fad, combined with a small need for businesses to have cheap light portables for presentations and sales, and that once the market is saturated (it was a previously unfilled nich, thus it;s experienced rapid uptake), and once home users get burned and learn that netbooks are NOT notezBooks in smaller form, the market will stabilize flat, if not decline.

This is also short lived as Windows 7 is going to tax these machines significantly, and supporting them going forward in business, combined with increased user requirements for video, higher res photo support, and 3D on the internet, the performance requirements of these machines will remove the cost margins compared to real notebooks, and then we'll be back to where we were 5 years ago where 10" and smaller machines actually cost more than 13" and larger machines due to the cost of miniturization while maintaining performance.

This is a market segment doomed to die, 2-3 years tops likely.

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Thumb Up

Netbook / EEE plus point!

I use my EEE 24/7 for work - mobile monitoring of back end services for an ISP, once familiar with the size, typing can be faster and easier to type with one hand, even stretching over multiple key combinations whilst having other hand free for monkeying around with pint in other! : )

Running GnewSense on asus 900 & well happy!

: )

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