Despite creating a line of CPUs seemingly targeted precisely for the netbook market, the Atom
, Intel seems as though it just might be having second thoughts.
Speaking at a Raymond James IT Supply Chain conference last week, Stu Pann, an Intel VP of sales and marketing admitted
some problems with the new notebook form factor:
"We originally thought Netbooks would be for emerging markets and younger kids, and there is some of that. It turns out the bulk of the Netbooks sold today are Western Europe, North America, and for people who just want to grab and go with a notebook. We view the Netbook as mostly incremental to our total available market.
If you've ever used a Netbook and used a 10-inch screen size--it's fine for an hour. It's not something you're going to use day in and day out."
It's something we've considered as well, and it's along the lines of those who say "no, I don't want my cell phone to become my computer. I want a larger form factor." However, Asus might disagree, along with other netbook OEMs. Asus recently said it was on track
to sell 5 million Eee PCs by the end of the year..
What it sounds like Intel is saying, with its statement of "incremental" sales, is that these netbooks are cannibalizing notebook sales, rather than creating new sales, something analysts have posited for some time..
That's a definite problem for OEMs, as the profit margins on these things are quite obviously less than on full-sized notebooks. Unless, as VP of sales and marketing, you change your marketing stance, as perhaps he's trying to do above?.
"Don't buy it as a replacement, use is as an adjunct." Frankly, the screen size is a problem for some, but they're also underpowered, still more of a problem --- at least for us.