Netbook Market May Have Already Peaked

HardOCP News

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C|Net, citing figures from market researcher IDC, seems to think that netbooks may have already peaked. I’ll skip the “peaked already” and “that’s what she said” jokes.

The figures from market researcher IDC show a decline in Atom processor shipments as a percentage of Intel mobile processors--a sharp reversal of previous trends that had the Atom chip, quarter by quarter, taking a larger percentage of mobile chip shipments.
 

Ritorix

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"recent comments from Intel itself back this up."

Every time Intel opens its mouth it says netbooks arent a big deal. They dont want to sell Atoms instead of i7s.
 

Ualdayan

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Everyone wants an iPad instead? :p

Speaking of the iPad, the iPad's processor is nowhere near the power of the Atom, yet everything you do just seems smoother/less jerky or filled with interruptions on the iPad than it does on your typical (or at least the Eee pc) netbook.

I agree with the comments on the news site though - netbooks haven't really improved in quite awhile, the models now have Atom processors that aren't really that much better than the ones from years ago, they have roughly the same screen size, screen quality hasn't improved (you don't see OLED), HDs are stagnant in size (around 160GB for a netbook). If the netbook form factor interests you then you probably already have one, and with no upgrades available why would you buy a replacement?
 

Sly

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Netbooks haven't really changed much from the original design. Same processor, same resolutions, same formfactor. There's really no compelling reason to get another one.

The only way they'll sell more is if they get a faster processor and a good onboard 3D, but that'll probably be best used for CULV.

IMO, the netbook has already peaked on the release of the S10-3T. The next step is to put the tech into tablets.
 

TechLarry

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Yep. It's almost like Intel is 'injecting' these stories trying to create a vacuum around Netbooks.

I think NetBooks are a great value, personally.

"recent comments from Intel itself back this up."

Every time Intel opens its mouth it says netbooks arent a big deal. They dont want to sell Atoms instead of i7s.
 

Menelmarar

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Speaking of the iPad, the iPad's processor is nowhere near the power of the Atom, yet everything you do just seems smoother/less jerky or filled with interruptions on the iPad than it does on your typical (or at least the Eee pc) netbook.

I agree with the comments on the news site though - netbooks haven't really improved in quite awhile, the models now have Atom processors that aren't really that much better than the ones from years ago, they have roughly the same screen size, screen quality hasn't improved (you don't see OLED), HDs are stagnant in size (around 160GB for a netbook). If the netbook form factor interests you then you probably already have one, and with no upgrades available why would you buy a replacement?
iPad is a proprietary platform, all coded specifically for it. It's simliar to how a gaming console with significantly inferior components can keep up or trounce PC's in some games/generations. Specifically matched hardware and software.

The Atom is standard x86 architecture, running a desktop OS and all the bloat that goes along with said platform. You also gain the benefit of a huge software base that is compatible due to it being x86 and running a full blown desktop OS.
 

SamuraiInBlack

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Netbooks would be a great value if their hardware selection started getting a bit better over time instead of staying the same. Everytime I look at it I see the same general specs. I'm not saying we should have i7's in them now, I'm just saying it would be nice to see us making progress in that area like we seem to do in every other aspect of computer hardware. Even seeing a dedicated gpu that isn't intel graphics, even low level would be nice.
 

yagisencho

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By the time they made a netbook with a dual-core proc, the price on ultra-portable laptops with real dual-core CPUs had already dropped lower than that of the netbook. So I bought the laptop. The only downside is battery life, but the battery life on dual-core netbooks isn't that much better.

Now the only niche I can see a netbook playing in my life is as an introductory PC for my kids.
 

ekuest

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i love my eeepc, but i would never buy another netbook. i have one already. whats to gain from getting another one? i got this thing with an extended warranty because i knew i'd be keeping it for a while. its been about 14 months now, and in that time on my desktop ive gone pentium D>E6600>Q6600>E8400>i5 650>i5 750>i7 860>i7 920. i have a bad upgrade itch. the only reason i would get rid of my netbook is if i needed some actual power on the go (i dont) or if i decided to get a tablet or slate if a decent one catches my eye.
 

HOCP4ME

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Speaking of the iPad, the iPad's processor is nowhere near the power of the Atom, yet everything you do just seems smoother/less jerky or filled with interruptions on the iPad than it does on your typical (or at least the Eee pc) netbook.

I've always wondered about this myself. Why is it that Apple are still the only ones who can manage to make a touch GUI that feels smooth? Do they have a patent on smooth scrolling or something?
 

GushpinBob

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I've always wondered about this myself. Why is it that Apple are still the only ones who can manage to make a touch GUI that feels smooth? Do they have a patent on smooth scrolling or something?

Look at it this way. As a software developer, how many hardware manufacturers do they have to deal with as opposed to Microsoft.
 

DriZzLe

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Yeah, everyone who wanted a netbook pretty much already have one. No need to buy a second/new one.
Tablets will be the next big fad. I mean, they already are(iPad)
 

BigBeef

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I see netbooks competing with smart phones in the future...smart phones are becoming more capable by the month, and are more interactive (touch) and can process a task faster (assuming good connection and you have a good smart phone). A netbook is only useful on the road if you have an internet connection. In the middle of nowhere during a road trip, you don't without an air card, but your phone does. It's just not a fully functional operating system, but they can do email and web browsing, and most people buy a netbook for email and web browsing.
 

adri1456

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There's a limit on what you can stuff into a clamshell with a 10-11" screen and still have it between $2-400 ($500 if you're pushing it, but then again some people say netbooks go up to 12").

Basically, just keep on making these babies with the same specs and if newer technology shoves old tech into the lower end, then good.

Look at cell phones: people were happy with monochrome screens, chunky keypads, and monotone ringtones. Now they have color touchscreens, wifi, bluetooth connectivity - some are even mini computers.
 

Sly

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I see netbooks competing with smart phones in the future...smart phones are becoming more capable by the month, and are more interactive (touch) and can process a task faster (assuming good connection and you have a good smart phone). A netbook is only useful on the road if you have an internet connection. In the middle of nowhere during a road trip, you don't without an air card, but your phone does. It's just not a fully functional operating system, but they can do email and web browsing, and most people buy a netbook for email and web browsing.

You haven't tried connecting your netbook to your smartphone? I put my phone into AP mode and have my netbook connect to the internet through it. The phone may be capable, but a netbook still handles web browsing, mailer, and messenger functions better.

PS: Joikuspot turns your cellphone into a wifi access point so you can connect other computers to it without needing a router or cables.
 

Corporal79

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my wife loves the netbook I got her for her birthday, it's not revolutionary by any means but she had used my work laptop a few times on her lap while sitting on the couch and she complained of heat and the weight. The netbook was perfect for her but I agree with most, I probably wouldn't buy another one unless something awesome came out.
 

BiGx5MurF

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One could argue an alienware m11x is a netbook, and it packs quite a bit of power. One could also argue its not a netbook but an ultra portable.

As for the comment about ipads being smoother w/ inferior hardware. It runs iphone/itouch OS. Dis-assembly shows its mostly screen and batteries, with a pcb, suspiciously the same size and shape as an iphone/itouch, albeit w/ a slightly faster processor.
 

BigBeef

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I see netbooks competing with smart phones in the future...smart phones are becoming more capable by the month, and are more interactive (touch) and can process a task faster (assuming good connection and you have a good smart phone). A netbook is only useful on the road if you have an internet connection. In the middle of nowhere during a road trip, you don't without an air card, but your phone does. It's just not a fully functional operating system, but they can do email and web browsing, and most people buy a netbook for email and web browsing.

You haven't tried connecting your netbook to your smartphone? I put my phone into AP mode and have my netbook connect to the internet through it. The phone may be capable, but a netbook still handles web browsing, mailer, and messenger functions better.

PS: Joikuspot turns your cellphone into a wifi access point so you can connect other computers to it without needing a router or cables.

Verizon charges another $30 a month to have that ability for a BlackBerry, I looked into it. Plus I have a friend who has that service on his BlackBerry work phone and the speed is atrocious. Lucky for him his work pays $30 for the required internet fee, then another $30 for the modem option...not worth it. I know there are some phones that now create wi-fi hot spots, like the HTC HD2, but few phones do that. Compared to recent smart phones that are full HTML and fast, I see comparable page loading times between a smart phone and a netbook. The netbook is just more practical for longer browsing periods. I'm getting rid of my CrapBerry and replacing it with an Incredible tomorrow; we'll see how YouTube's experience compares to a netbook's YouTube experience. For starters, I know that my Eee PC struggles to run videos on lower settings, though I don't have a high need for video rendering on a netbook.

I think for short periods of basic browsing and emails, a smart phone is superior. Maybe the netbook market has peaked, but that doesn't mean it's dying...there will always be people who need a basic functioning laptop that is lightweight and portable and very fair priced IMO.
 

BigBeef

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One could argue an alienware m11x is a netbook, and it packs quite a bit of power. One could also argue its not a netbook but an ultra portable.

As for the comment about ipads being smoother w/ inferior hardware. It runs iphone/itouch OS. Dis-assembly shows its mostly screen and batteries, with a pcb, suspiciously the same size and shape as an iphone/itouch, albeit w/ a slightly faster processor.

Anything is fast when you run only one app at a time...
 

Sly

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Verizon charges another $30 a month to have that ability for a BlackBerry, I looked into it. Plus I have a friend who has that service on his BlackBerry work phone and the speed is atrocious. Lucky for him his work pays $30 for the required internet fee, then another $30 for the modem option...not worth it.

Ick! Maybe the blackberry has a special category for it? The features i've been hearing about it sound like it's outside the league of normal smartphones. I've always thought that using the phone as a modem simply piggybacks on the phone's own internet connection. I don't actually dial anything when i'm using joikuspot, it accesses the internet just like any other app, and makes that connection publicly available.

I know there are some phones that now create wi-fi hot spots, like the HTC HD2, but few phones do that.

Really? My phone is just a regular 5800XM, it wasn't originally designed to be a hotspot but the app gave it that ability. I'd have thought that any recent Symbian phone would be able to do the same.:confused:

And considering symbian was able to do this, i'd have thought other smartphone's would be able to do the same as well.

Compared to recent smart phones that are full HTML and fast, I see comparable page loading times between a smart phone and a netbook. The netbook is just more practical for longer browsing periods. I'm getting rid of my CrapBerry and replacing it with an Incredible tomorrow; we'll see how YouTube's experience compares to a netbook's YouTube experience. For starters, I know that my Eee PC struggles to run videos on lower settings, though I don't have a high need for video rendering on a netbook.

I think for short periods of basic browsing and emails, a smart phone is superior. Maybe the netbook market has peaked, but that doesn't mean it's dying...there will always be people who need a basic functioning laptop that is lightweight and portable and very fair priced IMO.

Lightweight is right. When i parent saw my netbook and what it could do (I have it attached to a USB keyboard and 22" LCD), it was apparently perfectly suited for the office. She has to commute with the office issued laptop to and from work as well as use it for presentations and such. Two hours of commuting every day carrying two bags really wears you down. She wants a setup like mine where i plug it in, do my work, and when i'm done, unplug everything and take the netbook with me.

All office data is done over the network, anything outside of that is done with thumbdrives, which made their DVD drives redundant (I've never actually seen them use it). The ability to add peripherals made the small screen and keyboard issue irrelevant (They use USB keyboards already, laptop keyboards aren't comfortable for their work). CPU isn't an issue either for an actual office environment since all they do are documentations using openoffice and spreadsheets. The most i've seen them do with anything strenuous is text twist.

I've carried that laptop to a store to get the memory upgraded, and even tho it was in my backpack, it was *heavy*. I can't imagine carrying it every day in a laptop bag.
 
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