Both Asus and Acer have produced numerous netbook models to keep potential costumers feeling as though they are getting the latest and greatest netbook. This marketing tactic has awarded both companies as they are currently the top netbook dealers worldwide. Despite this fact they have decided to put a hold on new netbook releases until the middle of August.
The decision to freeze new netbook releases is likely due to the fact the Intel is releasing the Atom N550 dual core processor for netbooks in the third quarter of this year. Asus and Acer need to liquidate excess inventory to make room for future netbooks with the N550 processor.
The faster N550 processor will increase performance but also the cost of the netbooks that carry them. The cost increase will be minimal so current Asus and Acer netbooks with slower processors will be harder to sell. Because of this it doesn’t make much sense for the companies to produce many new netbooks with the slower processors prior to the A550 processor release.
With Ipad sales breaching 2,000,000 units already the question must be asked, “Will the tablet PC replace the netbook in the future of small, portable computers?”
One thing is certain, tablet PC’s and netbooks both have advantages and disadvantages over each other and do in-fact serve slightly different purposes. The tablet PC is built for content consumption and very light content creation. With it a consumer can read books, check and send e-mail, watch movies (even in HD), and play games. The netbook on the other hand is built for content creation as well as light content consumption. A standard windows operation system allows the netbook to create most content a standard laptop can create and edit.
Pricing is another factor worth considering. Netbooks can be purchased for $250 – $300 while Ipads are in the $500+ range. Those looking for a cheap mobile computer will have to spend about twice as much for the tablet PC unless prices come down.
In my opinion there will likely be a device in the future that is more content creation friendly than the Ipad but also has the content consumption features that make it appealing. I do not believe tablet PC’s will replace netbooks until a college student can realistically bring a tablet PC to school as an all-in-one solution for their computing needs.
Yesterday, ASUS started taking pre-orders for the ASUS Eee PC 1201PN netbook and today they have finally added an official product page for the device. Other retail websites have also started displaying the netbook on their sites as well.
The 12.1″ (1366×768 resolution) Eee PC 1201PN netbook is powered by a 1.66GHz Intel Atom N450 processor and a Nvidia Ion 2 graphics chipset, and is equipped with 2 GB of RAM and a 250 GB hard drive. The netbook also features HDMI and VGA output and runs on the Windows 7 Home Premium operating system. The standard battery is a 6-cell, with 47Whr power consumption.
The current price for the 1201PN is $499.
Many PC manufacturers will be touting tablet computers at Computex 2010, but the Senior Vice President and General Manager of the Products Group at AMD, Rick Bergman, believes that the company is in no hurry to enter this market, “AMD currently is still evaluating the tablet PC market and will wait until market demand start to appear before joining.” AMD is more optimistic towards future growth in the netbook market and currently has no plans into expanding into the smartphone nor consumer electronics markets.
Bergman also noted growing competition from Nvidia. In order to keep up with the competition, AMD will continue expanding its graphics technologies and launch new products including the ATI Radeon HD 5450, 5570, and 5670 graphics cards, which will target entry-level and mainstream consumer groups. In addition, AMD has already shipped 11 million units of DirectX 11-supporting GPUs since its launch.
Instead of entering the tablet PC, smartphone, or consumer electronics markets, AMD will also focus its efforts on its netbook-based Bobcat processor, which will be released in 2011.
The Linux Foundation released a new version of its open-source OS, MeeGo, this week. MeeGo is for netbooks with Intel Atom processors.
MeeGo v1.0 is more for developers than regular users. It is comprised of Intel’s Moblin and Nokia’s Maemo operating systems. It has applications for email, calendars, recently used files, and social networking updates, among other things. It also has support for multiple languages.
MeeGo has been tested on Atom netbooks from Asus, Dell, Acer, Lenovo, and HP. People have generally liked MeeGo, though some have reported problems with getting its WiFi to work properly.
Before MeeGo, many versions of Linux were either for desktops or smartphones. The director of the Linux Foundation said that he thinks the foundation should focus on developing a platform that can be used on a wide variety of devices. Intel and Nokia have said they can see MeeGo being used on more devices beyond netbooks.
Via InformationWeek, image via MeeGo.
According to a recent survey done by Retrevo, a consumer electronics website, netbook sales aren’t doing so hot, mostly because of competition from the Apple iPad and cheaply-priced laptops. The study surveyed more than 1,000 U.S. consumers.
The Retrevo survey asked consumers whether they are planning on buying an Apple iPad or a netbook. An overwhelming 78 percent said they would choose an iPad while only 22 percent said they would choose a netbook.
The survey also asked consumers whether they held off on buying a netbook after they heard that the iPad would be released in a couple months. 70 percent of respondents said they would hold out, and 42.86 percent of these actually did end up buying an iPad, while 57.14 percent of these ended up purchasing a netbook. 30 percent of overall respondents did not hold out for the Apple iPad and originally moved forward with a netbook purchase.
The iPad has already sold more than one million units and there’s no doubt that iPad sales are still going strong. Two of its major advantages includes portability and relatively long battery life.
Even though consumer data indicates that the Apple iPad and cheaply-priced laptops are crippling netbook sales, analysts say that in the near future at least, netbook sales will not be greatly effected due to price-to-value differences. Guess we’ll have to wait and see how things really turn out. Don’t worry, we’ll keep you posted.
Netbooks have been steadily doing better with sales since their introduction, yet data gathered by Retrevo.com reveals a dark cloud looming over the horizon. Retrevo conducted a Pulse Study that asked notebook, netbook, and iPad owners what products they thought of buying this past year and what they finally chose. The study also asked what which products consumers are looking at and leaning towards.
It appears that netbooks are feeling the heat from both laptops and the Apple iPad. According to the study, 30% of potential netbook buyers ended up going with the iPad instead. Of course some percent of this market was expected to be acquired, but nonetheless a third is a substantial share. This is part of the manifestation of Apple’s almost cult status. The scarier part is that as far as it goes for consumers deciding between an iPad and netbook for the future, almost 80% are leaning towards an iPad!
Notebooks are also appearing to regain some of their share of the market that they began to lose to netbooks. Retrevo’s data shows that for both past and future buys, netbooks are less appealing to consumers than notebooks.
Despite this competition, netbooks should still always have a place in the market. In second and third world countries, they serve as cheap primary computers. Back here in the US, they still come at an unbeatable price as alternatives.
Via Retrovo, image via Retrovo
Steve Felice, the President of Dell’s consumer and small and mid-size business unit, recently said that, “There’s been some over-exuberance on this product (netbooks) in the marketplace. Some of our competitors have positioned [netbooks] as a replacement device and then you see feedback from customers that are disappointed when they gave up their notebook for a netbook and find that it’s not quite as fast or doesn’t have quite the same functionality.”
Unlike their competitors, Dell has not been a strong proponent of a netbook as a laptop replacement, and their foresight is right on target. According to shipment figures reported by IDC this past April, there has been waning enthusiasm for netbooks in favor of higher-performance laptops. Intel Atom‘s share of the market has fallen to 20 percent during the first quarter of 2010 from 24 percent during the previous quarter, despite the fact that the overall volume of processors shipped rose by 4.1 percent.
Stronger demand for laptop technology is a blessing for Dell. The company’s first quarter revenue in 2010 rose 21 percent to $14.9 billion and profits rose 52 percent to $441 million. Dell did especially well in emerging markets like China and Brazil, where revenue rose 90 and 81 percent, respectively. Felice says, “We are very pleased with the overall performance of Dell.”
Netbooks have not been able to do too much in terms of cannibalizing notebook sales, and we have Intel to partially thank for this. Intel has imposed a limitation on netbook screen sizes, i.e. netbooks that are powered by processors in the Atom N series have been restricted to screen sizes no larger than 10.2″. This may change soon, as Intel may lift this restriction in the latter half of 2010, particularly with devices that are powered by the dual-core Intel Atom N550 processor.
Surprised? I’m not. Netbook sales have started to level off recently, so Intel is looking for a way to keep netbooks interesting. Some consumers believe that netbooks are too small to be efficient, so by enlarging the overall size of netbooks, sales in this area of the market would potentially be much greater.
In addition, ARM-based smartbooks with screen sizes larger than 10.2″ will be coming in the near future. Intel wants to keep ahead of its competition, so it’s loosening the restrictions on which netbook sizes their processors can support.
Of course, increasing the size of a netbook would further blur the line between such a device and a notebook, leaving us with one question… when is a netbook no longer a netbook, but instead an ultraportable or a notebook? Check out one of our previous articles for some details.
A few days ago, there was a rumor that Acer would be releasing a Chrome OS-based netbook at the upcoming Computex 2010 showcase. Unfortunately, this rumor turns out to be just that — a rumor. Recently, Acer has officially said that it will not be releasing such a device at Computex 2010.
Furthermore, Acer has announced that they will not be releasing any Chrome OS-based devices. Don’t worry though, we’ll keep you posted when we hear any other juicy rumors.
36 million units of netbooks were sold in 2009, and in 2010, market research firm ABI predicts that a whopping 58 million units could potentially be sold! This increase in shipments is due to a multitude of reasons, such as the increased portability and convenience of netbooks and the impact that the downturn economy has had on people’s financial and budgeting agendas.
According to ABI Analyst, Jeff Orr, “We expect the netbook market to fragment according to different regional value propositions. Functionality will be added to mainstream netbook products while at the same time an entry-level netbook solution will grow, with the aim of targeting some large emerging markets (including China and India) where PC penetration is still quite low.”
In addition to the netbook market, ABI also foresees growth in the tablet market, currently led by Apple’s iPad. The company is predicting that 8 million tablet-style netbooks (or just plain tablets) will be shipped in 2010.
At the most recent Ubuntu Developer Summit (UDS), part of the discussion revolved around the changes that would be coming to the default applications released with the Ubuntu Netbook Edition 10.10 software package.
One item on the list of changes is in regards to the default browser that comes with the Ubuntu software. Instead of using Mozilla Firefox as the default web browser, Google Chrome might serve as its replacement. Whether or not this change will happen will depend on if there is enough storage space available.
The proposition is that Chromium will be used until the software’s Alpha 3 stage, at which point further decisions regarding which will be the default browser as part of Ubuntu Netbook Edition (UNE) will be announced.
Watch out Apple! Sony and other netbook manufacturers just might jump into the tablet PC manufacturing business soon. In fact, Sony recently released their new Sony VAIO P-Series netbooks, which feature new Intel Atom processors, as well as several other new features, including an undersized keyboard with a centralized pointing stick, and a touchpad on the right side of the LCD bezel and mouse buttons on the left side of the LCD. The setup is essentially similar to that of a tablet. The Sony VAIO P-Series netbooks also have accelerometers, so users can use the device in portrait mode.
Sony’s newest netbooks will be available in several unique colors: electric orange, neon green, and icy white — definitely sure to catch passerby’s attention. The P-Series netbooks are available for pre-order and start at $800 each for the base model.
At the company’s investor meeting in Santa Clara, California this past week, Intel showed off a netbook that was equipped with the company’s very own Intel Atom dual-core processor. The webcast event also showed off a new tablet computer that would be equipped with an Intel Atom chipset.
New netbooks and tablets featuring Intel chips will be displayed at Computex 2010. According to Mooly Eden, the Vice President and General Manager of Intel’s PC Client Group, the company wants to raise the bar in netbook performance and they’re aiming to do that with the release of dual-core Atom processors. Essentially, this technology will allow users to more efficiently run multiple applications on their netbooks at the same time.
Netbooks have been around for a while, and people are no longer willing to sacrifice their relatively poor performance (at least compared to laptops) for the added portability and convenience. Eden says, “People are not willing to compromise anymore. We do not think about one thing, we think about several things at a time. We expect our computer to do the same thing.”
According to Intel’s CEO Paul Otellini, the netbook market is continuing to grow, so improving the performance of netbook technology is very important.
With the introduction of its Atom chip, Intel has been a significant player in the netbook market. Intel CEO Paul Otellini is optimistic about the future performance of this market. He see revenues and earnings from netbooks increasing from single digits this year to low double digits within the next few years.
According to Otellini, computers are in “a growth industry,” especially with the growth of the technology in emerging markets such as China, India, and Brazil. “We’re on top of a growth engine and we intend to deliver.”
What does Otellini have to say about Apple and the new iPad’s impact on netbook and notebook sales? Otellini believes that tablets and netbooks offer additional means for consumers to stay connected, “I don’t think they will take away market share from other devices.”
Really? We’ll have to see about that — only the future can tell. We’ll be sure to keep you posted on any new developments.
Market research company iSuppli is reporting that notebook shipments are expected to post double-digit growth in 2010. This growth is expected because of increased shipments for netbooks and Consumer Ultra-Low Voltage (or CULV) notebooks.
Overall in 2010, 209.5 million units of notebook PCs will be shipped, which is 25.5% higher than the amount of notebooks shipped the previous year. The netbook category itself is expected to have 34.5 million shipments in 2010, a 30% increase from the previous year. Four years from now in 2014, netbook shipments are expected to hit a whopping 58.3 units! CULV notebooks are expected to have 14.5 million units shipped in 2010, which is a 93% increase from last year’s 7.5 million units.
Taiwan-based netbook manufacturer Acer leads the pack in netbook shipments; it has been the market leader for two years and holds 37% of the market. ASUS, also Taiwan-based, currently ships 5.5 million netbook units and holds 21% of the market. Hewlett-Packard, Samsung, and Dell are third, fourth, and fifth in netbook shipments. These top five netbook manufacturers make up 90% of the market.
Before the Apple iPad was released, nobody knew what space it would compete for in the computer market. Would it replace a laptop? Would it compete as a netbook? Nobody really knew. After its April release though, it’s clear that the iPad tablet does indeed compete against, and in a significant number of cases can replace, a laptop unit.
According to March 2010 data collected by Alphawise, 44% of those buying iPad devices have decided to forgo buying a laptop as a result. Their main needs in getting a laptop were to check e-mail and to browse the web — things they can also do from an iPad.
Here’s a fancy chart showing Apple’s iPad cannabilization:
Not only has the iPad been cannibalizing laptop sales but it has also been cannibalizing netbook sales as well. The chart below shows the decline in netbook sales growth starting at the beginning of 2010. A significant amount of this decrease was rumored to be due to the upcoming release of the Apple iPad.
Now that the iPad’s out, think it’ll be able to avoid the same fate that has come of other computing products? Apple’s pretty good at innovation, so it’s very likely.
With the release of the Apple iPad tablet comes a whole boatload of accessories being released as well. One that’s worth noting is the ClamCase (so named for the way it opens — like a clam shell), which basically serves as an all-in-one peripheral for the iPad. Not only does it serve as a case/protector, but it also serves as a keyboard add-on and a stand as well.
In addition, once the iPhone OS 4.0 is released, maybe the keyboard add-on feature will significantly boost users’ productivity. Unfortunately, there’s no built-in mousepad on this version of the ClamCase, but maybe that might be something the company considers for future versions of the accessory.
The ClamCase is rumored to hit stores this Fall. We’ll be sure to keep you posted if we hear any further news and/or uncover some other stellar accessories for the Apple iPad. Interested in learning a bit more about it now? Check out the video below.
According to Google Chief Eric Schmidt, netbooks running on Google’s new Chromium operating system that are expected to be on sale in retail stores by the end of this year or early next year will be priced in the $300-$400 range. “Those prices are completely determined by the costs of the glass, the costs of the processor and things like that, but in our case Chrome OS and Android are free so there is no software tax associated with all of this,” Schmidt says.
Google introduced the Chrome operating system two months ago and boasted it as a lightweight, browser-based OS that could boot up in seven seconds or less. The company has not yet revealed who they will be partnering with to manufacture their new netbooks, but Acer has said that it expects to offer about a million of these devices this year.
Google’s trying hard to get into the netbook market and is up for a fight against its competitors, namely Windows-based devices. Guess we’ll just have to wait to see Google’s latest creation.