Netbooks doomed to oblivion by 2015, report says

Looks like the iPad is about to cause another casualty. The latest victim: Netbooks.

You remember those small, cuddly laptops launched just a few years ago, with lower power, less functionality and lower prices to match. They were kind of computing ‘tweeners designed to fill the perceived gap between big, honkin’ laptops and the new, gee-whiz smartphones.


That was fine, for about a minute, according to a report from IHS iSuppli. Then along came the iPad in 2010, and that, as they say, was that.

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According to the report, shipments of netbooks in 2013 will be mere 3.97 million, a nosedive of 72% from the 14.13 million shipped last year. That’s a long way down from the 32.14 million netbooks shipped in 2010, the peak for a product introduced in 2007.

Wile E. Coyote couldn’t survived a fall off a cliff that steep, and neither will netbooks, according to iSuppli.

The firm projects that in 2014, there will be 264,000 netbooks shipped. And by 2015: Zero. Zip. Nada.

“Netbooks shot to popularity immediately after launch because they were optimized for low cost, delivering what many consumers believed as acceptable computer performance,” said Craig Stice, senior principal analyst for computer platforms at IHS in the report. “However, netbooks began their descent to oblivion with the introduction in 2010 of Apple’s iPad.”


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