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Gartner: netbooks to keep losing share as tablets arrive

updated 10:50 am EDT, Tue August 31, 2010

Gartner sees users dropping netbooks in droves

Netbook market share is likely to keep falling over the next few years due in part to tablets, Gartner found today. It noted that the tiny portables not only lost market share in the first two quarters of 2010 but predicted that the category was on a long slide that would drop it to just 10 percent by the end of 2014. Analyst Raphael Vasquez explained that many were simply buying them as cheap notebooks and no longer have interest now that a full-size notebook doesn't cost much more.

"The recent decline in [netbooks]' share of the mobile PC market reflects a general realization among buyers that [netbooks] are less-than-perfect substitutes for standard low-end laptops," he said.

Researchers didn't give a large amount of credit to the iPad hurting netbook sales as its $499 minimum price has partly put it out of contention, but they acknowledged that cost was likely one of the only factors keeping Apple's tablet from having a deeper impact. Gartner has declined to count tablets with mobile operating systems as full computers, but a cheaper iPad and clone tablets should have a deeper effect over time.

Whether nor not the impact is as soft as interpreted has been called into doubt, since ASUS has reportedly been accounting for the iPad factor in lowering its Eee PC shipments at a time when sales are supposed to be reaching their peak.

In computers as a whole, the group dropped its estimate for growth in the second half of the year down about two percent to 15.3 percent as renewed doubts about the American and European economies might curb spending. Intel's warning of low computer sales was a sign that at least home PC buyers were reluctant to buy in. The analysts didn't expect as much of a slump as last year, in part because computers were more essential but also because corporate buyers now have virtually no choice but to buy.

by MacNN Staff



  1. iphonerulez

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Steve Jobs was trying to tell them that

    quite a while ago that the user experience of netbooks was sub-par. The only reason people bought netbooks were because they were so damn cheap and they didn't realize they were getting shorted even at that low price. Netbooks were never meant to be notebook replacements. They were really meant to be computers for third-world countries that were filled with indigent masses. Every component on a netbook had substandard specs.

    I'm only happy that the shift to tablets is going to suck the air out of Windows OEM licenses by the millions even though netbooks used the lowest Windows licenses possible. I'm not sure how Microsoft is going to convince users to ante up for Windows 7 Ultimate versions and I don't think it'll be likely to happen.

    I know something is starting to go bad for Microsoft with analysts cranking down Intel revenue estimates.

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Re: Steve jobs

    Netbooks were never meant to be notebook replacements.

    And most people who bought them were not considering them to be notebook replacements. They were being bought by people who wanted something small and light and could do some basic tasks (like email, web, office-like stuff). You know, so when you're on the road you're not hauling around pounds of your laptop with all your other c***.

    They were being bought for they were the best answer to the problem.

    Only a small minority of people were getting them as a primary computer, mainly because, in this economy, they couldn't (or didn't want to) afford something more expensive.

  1. aardman

    Joined: Dec 1969


    comment title

    "No way in h*** a supersized iPod Touch is going to replace a netbook" (or words to that effect) I read so many people post. I've learned long ago not to second guess Steve Jobs. I just put my money in his company and thank him everyday for cushioning the blows of the Bush-Greenspan recession.

  1. Jonathan-Tanya

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Experience "sub-par"

    And I wonder what the end-user experience is with 'NOTHING"

    I'm sick of this 'let them eat cake' attitude. People buy netbooks, because it's the best choice for them. Plain and simple - whether it solves some unique portability issue, or its all they could afford.

    Many people have hackintoshed a netbook to run Mac OS X, the experience is just fine.
    I really like the small form factor, because its more portable.

    Studies show that laptops really aren't solving the problem of portability - they get carried around the house, from room to room. But they don't usually get taken all over the place.

    Sure some business people do carry them, some students do carry them to class - but for the most part, they simply aren't carried around like a cellphone.

    That's why we appreciate so much the computing abilities of the iPhone.
    Because we need a portable computer that is actually there, when we need it :)

    But, I think a 7" tablet - would at least pass the purse test. I'm still not sure how men are going to carry them around, unless they start carrying purses too. I know I didn't carry my iPad around, after the first few days, it became just like my laptops - homebound.

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