June 23, 2009 at 2:28 pm
A new survey out from the NPD Group suggests that only 60 percent of consumers, who had bought a netbook instead of a notebook, believed that it would have exactly the same functionality as notebooks. As a result, 42 percent of this group of people were dissatisfied with their purchase. This compares to a 30 percent dissatisfaction rate for those who knew they were buying a netbook from the start.
Worse still, among one of the main netbook demographics (18 to 24 year olds), 65 percent expected better performance, whilst only 27 percent thought that it outperformed their expectations. Another interesting point, is that despite being netbooks marketed as portable devices, 60 percent of buyers said that they never took the netbook outside of the home.
This latter point doesn’t surprise me too much. The availability of wireless hotspots is patchy at best and can be quite pricey to use. Until we start to see netbooks that have integrated 3G modules and reasonably priced data access, I wouldn’t expect that number to change materially. Also, many people purchase a netbook for their kids or as a secondary device to surf the web. NPD’s Netbooks II: A Closer Look report was conducted with a survey of 600 adults from NPD’s online panel who were identified as netbook owners.