It turns out that netbooks maybe having an impact on notebook sales, going by what some analysts are saying. Back in August, we mentioned comments by Intel’s Chief Financial Officer about the concern of netbooks cannibalizing larger / mainstream notebooks. They felt it was growing the market and should be looked at in that light (and from that angle, they are correct, netbooks are the first exposure many have to laptops).
On Tech Trader Daily, there is an article that mentions analysts a slowdown in the notebook market due to netbook sales – that perhaps netbooks are eating away at the entry-level notebooks. Obviously Intel is not too affected – a sale of an Intel CPU is still a sale of an Intel CPU, even at a lower profit margin, but it still impacts their financials to an extent. Apple on the other hand (and they are mentioned), they are the only major producer that hasn’t publicly announced or hinted heavily at jumping into the netbook market (I would argue however that they are the most anticipated, judging by the number of people shoehorning OS X onto netbooks.
I’m very much inclined to agree with James Kendrick: Netbook manufacturers are quick to state that netbooks make good secondary computers but that’s not how we believe mainstream consumers see them. The average consumer just wants a simple computer in the home that lets them do the typical things they do on the computer, check email, browse the web and maybe do some light document work. These are the tasks that the netbook excels at performing and consumers are discovering this in droves.
Netbooks are getting to the point (or will soon be there) where they could easily be the primary computer in the home for many people, and the portability, battery life, and price easily appeal to many (and in fact, it’s easy to see netbooks becoming the first computers for many kids – ironic given that the netbooks grew out of the OLPC projects).