HP And Dell Rumored To Drop 10" Netbook Lines (UPDATE: Dell Says "No.")

Do you have a 10" netbook on your "must-buy" list? If you want one from Dell or HP, you might want to consider making that purchase sooner rather than later. According to a report from DigiTimes, both HP and Dell have "significantly reduced their investments in the 10" netbook segment, with HP reportedly even considering quitting the 10" netbook market and turning its focus to AMD-based 11.6" notebooks because profits from Intel Pine Trail-based netbooks have been lower than expected."

This sounds sort of shocking at first. Could two of the world's biggest 10" netbook makers (Mini 10, etc.) be leaving the market entirely? Maybe. If you'll recall, Asus and the rest were very high on producing 7" and 9" netbooks. For awhile, at the beginning of the netbook craze, those two sizes were far and away the most popular. Netbook makers simply had to use panels that small in order to produce machines at their desired price points, but things have obviously changed.

Today's netbook lineup almost exclusively consists of 10" and 11.6" machines, with a 12" and 13" thrown in every so often. But it makes sense to think that 10" units will fade out in favor of those larger units as LCD prices continue to slide down, mostly because people tend to see computers with panels under 10" as something more like a MID or UMPC. But even if HP and Dell ditch the 10" netbook, we doubt everyone else (Samsung, Acer, Asus, etc.) will join their bandwagon right away, mostly because they can probably continue to produce and sell them for less and less. So, if we end up with higher-end 11.6" netbooks from Dell and HP along with sub-$150 netbooks in the 10" level from the rest, it's a win-win for everyone. C'mon rumor, be true!

UPDATE: Dell has replied directly to Hot Hardware, noting that these rumors are simply false (speaking about their own 10" netbook line, of course). Here's the exact quote on the matter:

The Mini 10 netbook remains an important member of our mobile platform portfolio and is a great secondary companion device as people appreciate the compact size and the ability to stay connected on the go, whether they are traveling across town or across the country. Also just an FYI, wireless carriers around the world increasingly are offering netbooks with built in Mobile Broadband.  For example last week at CTIA, T-Mobile announced its first netbook offering will be the Dell Mini 10, available through T-Mobiles online and select stores. Clear also announced that will carry the Mini 10 with Built-in WiMax support for the Clear network. Dell is committed to offering a variety of products so people have a choice of devices to meet their computing needs.