The decline of the netbook is a well documented one. Since the rise in popularity of the tablet PC, netbook sales have fallen off a cliff. The year 2010 marked a high point for netbooks and ever since then sales have been plummeting at an alarming rate. This hasn’t gone unnoticed as analysts, IHS iSuppli, predict that shipments of netbooks will be zero by 2015. According to their statistics in 2010 netbooks sold an impressive 32 million units yet this year, 2013, we will see 3.97 million – around 15% of 2010’s figure. What’s more, by 2014 shipments will be down to just 250,000 then by 2015 they will have vanished.
This is quite a sad development for the once popular netbook but the way the market is going doesn’t leave much room for them. Mainstream laptops seem to make up the majority of the 13″-17.9″ market, Ultrabooks are rising in the 11″-15.6″ market and everything smaller than that is now more or less exclusively occupied by tablets. It may seem a strange connection but the growing power and functionality of modern smartphones is probably also in part to blame for the decline of the netbook – very often people would get a netbook because they didn’t quite need a laptop but didn’t quite have the power or functionality required on their phone. Now tablets and smartphones fill that in between market.
Even though innovation in the tablet market has stagnated you can still pick up at decent netbook for €200 these days if you do some hunting around. In most cases they provide much better value for money than most tablets, Ultrabooks or laptops. Despite this fact, they still look set to die out so the advice is grab one while you can and expect netbooks to have drawn their last breath by 2015.
What are your thoughts on these gloomy netbook predictions?