Intel is very optimistic about the future of netbooks and nettops (nettops = devices smaller or more restricted than netbooks / sub-notebooks, usually without keyboards).
Optimistic enough for them to forecast that between 2008 and 2011, there will be over 45 million netbooks / sub-notebooks shipped (no prediction on how many of those will be powered by Intel’s Atom CPU/platform or any Atom successors made by Intel). They also predict 60 million of the nettops to ship.
Digitimes mentions that some of the manufacturers don’t see the nettops / MIDs (Mobile Internet Devices) being nearly that successful and that netbooks will outsell them.
I think I would agree that netbooks will rule the roost and outsell MIDs/nettops – when you get into MID/nettop territory, where it’s usually a touchscreen-only interface, as well as the smaller size of them, you are getting close to iPhones and other smartphones. Netbooks offer quite a bit to most folks, given the physical keyboard and slightly larger size.
This also ties into comments made by Intel’s CEO Paul Otellini late last month about the rise of these devices.