Netbook boom to end as economy recovers?

May 2, 2009 at 2:00 pm

iSuppliNetbooks have grown at an explosive pace since they were introduced to the market back in the middle of 2007. It has been one of the few segments in the computer world that continues to show strong growth in light of a global recession. A big part of a netbooks attraction has been its low cost and, whilst not as powerful as laptops, many find that they can do most day-to-day tasks on these diminutive devices.

However, according to iSuppli, growth in netbooks will inevitably decline as economic conditions improve. iSuppli forecasts that global shipment growth will be 39.6 percent in 2010, eventually falling to 13.1 percent by 2013. Despite the fall-off, these are still impressive numbers and it’s hard to see the big netbook vendors losing sleep over this. These estimates follow shipment growth of 2,424 percent in 2008 and forecast 2009 growth of 68.5 percent.

People are not buying netbooks because they are truly desirable platforms, but rather because as low-cost PCs, they offer a good mix of features at an acceptable price point,” said Matthew Wilkins, principal analyst, compute platforms, for iSuppli. I’m not sure I agree with this. The likes of Asus with its Seashell 1008HA and Samsung with its N310 netbook are trying to change this perception on desirability and that will only continue in the future.

Also, as technology gets better, netbook performance can only increase. Higher-resolution screens, better HD video support, and 3D graphics are just three areas where I see netbook technology improving in coming years. More than anything, people will end up substituting notebook/laptop purchases as netbooks get better. Obviously, this is as long as the balance between price and performance is maintained.

Via Electronista.


One Response to “Netbook boom to end as economy recovers?”

  1. asdf said:
    May 2nd, 2009 8:54 PM

    This is another paid study [1] to try to convince business not to adopt netbooks, since netbooks provide less margins for manufactorers — specially Intel and Microsoft.

    People will keep buying sub-$300 computers, because they are cheap and solve their problems. No need to load a $499 Office suite in that. Just use OpenOffice.

    (And we are about to see the rise of Linux/ARM netbooks, which will be much cheaper, and will boost longer battery times.)

    [1] About those “independent” studies, you must remember the “What Price Cool?” / “Apple tax” paper, an “independent study” published by Microsoft and criticized by everyone:,2817,2345199,00.asp

    Moral: don’t trust “independent analysts”. They are not independent, and will “demonstrate” whatever they are paid for.