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Interest in netbooks seen trailing off in 2010

updated 04:00 pm EDT, Fri May 1, 2009

iSuppli on Netbook Cooloff

Despite currently strong interest, the netbook industry is likely to cool off sharply in as little as a year, an iSuppli estimate said today. The research predicts that netbook shipments are likely to surge 68.5 percent in 2009 versus the year earlier but that this growth rate will be cut almost in half to 39.6 percent in 2010 and by two thirds to 13.1 percent in 2013. The growth will still be relatively strong as each figure builds on the earlier year's numbers, according to principal PC analyst Matthew Wilkins, but shows the rapid expansion of 2008 quickly tapering off.

He also advises PC builders to resist countering any drops in growth by creating particularly high-end netbooks that compete on features over cost. With many netbooks now just $100 away from low-end conventional notebooks, the concern exists that more expensive models would risk overlap and see low-end notebooks cannibalize sales in the process.

The estimates fly against some of the expectations of PC makers, which have continued to expand their netbook lines due to demand. Companies centering heavily on netbooks, such as Acer and ASUS, have profited heavily from the platform but are also believed by market share researchers to be artificially propping up PCs by selling many low-cost netbooks. Traditional semiconductor and computer companies have had their margins hurt as they make little money from each individual system.

by MacNN Staff





  1. Constable Odo

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Nice to hear that

    people will finally be coming back to their senses. Netbooks are for third-world countries, not the U.S. Eventually, netbooks would grow and grow in size until they became the normal notebook family. But using Atom processors, they would have been underpowered. R.I.P. netbooks. We never really needed ya.

  1. Bobfozz

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Apple's Research

    Seems to imply they knew what they were doing by holding back on this segment of low profit. Some of these companies are going to "expand" themselves out of business. Hoopla does not necessarily mean dollars.

  1. LEStudios

    Joined: Dec 1969


    No Netbook Virus!

    I really hated the Netbook idea, it was like a bootleg notebook or better yet it was like a virus! It looks like a notebook it's cheaper and actually useless. I've done more with my 16GB iPhone then I would with any netbook.

  1. Peter Bonte

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Apple's netbook

    Netbooks with a cramped keyboard have a limited use and sales will slow down but a Apple touch/tablet with the iTunes ecosystem around it would create a whole new market bigger than the current netbooks.

  1. Undo Redo

    Joined: Dec 1969


    They're awesome.

    Netbooks are great. I'll never buy a full-sized laptop again. For what I don't do on my netbook, I use a desktop with a really big screen.

    This article says growth will slow from its current phenomenal pace. It doesn't say netbooks will die. Netbooks are way too useful and way to popular, as far as I can tell, to fade away.

  1. Peter Bonte

    Joined: Dec 1969


    re:They're awesome.

    The main feature's are size and price, thats the reason for there popularity. When '14 laptops go down in price to $250 or less they will lose that advantage, size would then be the main feature putting them in direct competition with the Touch/iPhone and a probable future tablet iPod. Netbooks have a limited lifespan IMHO, iPods and cheap laptops are likely to dominate that market.

  1. MacnnChester

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Why the hate?

    The "I hate netbooks" geeks are just dumb. Why are you so repulsed by a simple market segment that is obviously significant. Just as Undo says, there are plenty of people who live on a desktop, but would like to have a mobile 10" laptop to run around with, not photoshop the Sistine Chapel. That is a great idea, especially in a future of high speed connections to cloud computing and always on home computers.

    Netbooks are a great idea for some people. Stop ranting on your own prejudices.

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