Are netbooks still around? After being here, there, and everywhere during the period between 2008 and 2010, the mini-notebooks seemed
to die off in shockingly quick fashion. While the concept of a low-cost, highly mobile machine was interesting in a world where tablets and high-powered smartphones were just novelties, a lot has changed. People are now expecting their machines to do more and be more mobile from the get-go; indeed, many 11" and 13" ultraportables are far lighter and thinner than these rigs were in 2008.
As always, market demand spells out what products OEMs will produce, and the demand for netbooks is clearly waning. According to research first iSuppli, netbook shipments are anticipated to fall to under 4 million units in 2013, representing a whopping 72% drop from 2012. In 2010, a staggering 32 million netbooks were shipped. And at this rate, iSuppli expects netbook shipments to essentially cease in 2015 after dropping below 1 million in 2014.
And honestly, we haven't seen a good reason to think otherwise. Companies are far more focused on tablets, phones and Ultrabooks than they are netbooks. Margins are tight already, and these netbooks leave little room for profit. Back in the depths of the recession, selling netbooks made sense. But technology trends move quickly, and there's no better proof of that than the rapid rise and fall of netbooks.