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Businesses Handhelds Apple

iPad Is Destroying Netbook Sales 911

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the good-for-someone dept.
Hugh Pickens writes "Fortune magazine reports that sales growth of low-cost, low-powered netbooks peaked last summer at an astonishing 641% year-over-year growth rate but netbook sales fell off a cliff in January and shrank again in April — collateral damage, according to Morgan Stanley's Katy Huberty, from the January introduction and April launch of the iPad. In support of Huberty's theory, she offers a Morgan Stanley/Alphawise survey conducted in March which found that 44% of US consumers who were planning to buy an iPad said they were buying it instead of a netbook or notebook computer. In related news, Apple announced that it sold its one millionth iPad last week, just 28 days after its introduction on April 3. 'One million iPads in 28 days — that's less than half of the 74 days it took to achieve this milestone with iPhone,' says Steve Jobs, Apple's CEO. 'Demand continues to exceed supply and we're working hard to get this magical product into the hands of even more customers.'"
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iPad Is Destroying Netbook Sales

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  • by Locke2005 (849178) on Thursday May 06, 2010 @12:40PM (#32112586)
    says Steve Jobs, Apple's CEO. 'Demand continues to exceed supply and we're working hard to get this magical product into the hands of even more customers.' Steve -- have you tried using Pixie Dust?
  • by crumbz (41803) <<remove_spam>jus ... pam>gmail. c o m> on Thursday May 06, 2010 @12:40PM (#32112588) Homepage

    ...I find the iPad to be a perfect web surfing device. Great for e-mail and watching video. I am actually considering selling my Macbook Pro, as it is starting to get dusty. That said, I wouldn't want to write a novel on it.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Peach Rings (1782482)

      Why on earth would you want to use an iPad to browse the internet if you have a laptop? Tiny screen, no Flash support, no keyboard... when did it become hip to use crippled devices?

      • by fruitbane (454488) on Thursday May 06, 2010 @12:47PM (#32112724) Homepage

        When un-crippled devices proved to complex to use and maintain. The average person doesn't actually need a full-on PC for most tasks. The said, the iPad is damn expensive for a limited computing appliance.

      • by Man On Pink Corner (1089867) on Thursday May 06, 2010 @12:48PM (#32112728)

        Why on earth would you want to use an iPad to browse the internet if you have a laptop? Tiny screen, no Flash support, no keyboard... when did it become hip to use crippled devices?

        Try it.

      • by fredmosby (545378) on Thursday May 06, 2010 @12:59PM (#32112956)
        I got an iPad earlier this week and I haven't used my laptop since. A laptop can do more, but the iPad does everything I need, and it's much easier to use. Actually the screen size isn't a problem because I tend to have the screen closer to my face than a laptop.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by rinoid (451982)

        > Tiny screen?
        Not. Smaller than a 15.6" laptop? Sure but bigger or equivalent to most netbooks.

        > no Flash support
        We are still fracking talking about this? Please.

        > no keyboard
        Really?! You point this out? Have you RTFM'd? On screen keyboard in landscape mode does fine for typing pretty long missives -- longer than this one. Bluetooth keyboards take you to the next level.

        It's really not "crippled" or "limited", not in the knee-jerk manner most consider. It's a nice productivity tool, and, it's a grea

        • by Mr2001 (90979) on Thursday May 06, 2010 @01:33PM (#32113632) Homepage Journal

          >Tiny screen?
          Not. Smaller than a 15.6" laptop? Sure but bigger or equivalent to most netbooks.

          At that price, it'd better be.

          > no Flash support
          We are still fracking talking about this? Please.

          They still haven't fixed it, and they're clearly not going to. All the talk in the world about HTML 5 doesn't change the fact that many, many web sites use Flash, or that there's no HTML 5 equivalent of the Flash developer tools. Until either the iPad changes or the web changes, the iPad will be cut off from a big part of the web.

          On screen keyboard in landscape mode does fine for typing pretty long missives

          Having used an iPad myself, I beg to differ. I wouldn't recommend that screen for typing an SMS, much less a blog post.

          It's really not "crippled" or "limited", not in the knee-jerk manner most consider. It's a nice productivity tool,

          It's crippled in the sense that there are many applications you can't get, web sites you can't use, and tasks you can't perform with it, all because Steve has a chip on his shoulder. As for "productivity tool"... well, maybe with a Bluetooth keyboard hooked up. But at that point, you might ask yourself why you're trying to make it into something it doesn't want to be, and whether you might look a bit less silly using a device where the keyboard is attached to the screen.

          and, it's a great device to have in the house or for travels. It does a ton of stuff.

          Heh. You know what's an even greater device to have in the house or for travels, something that does even more stuff? A netbook. Comparable screen, lower price tag, actual keyboard, and uncrippled OS.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Nemyst (1383049)
          If I get an iPad, I want it to be portable. Getting a Bluetooth keyboard on top of that defeats that purpose, since suddenly you're carrying around two things (at which point a netbook becomes a better investment).

          Compared to a netbook, it is crippled. I want to be able to install whatever I want, whenever I want, from whoever I want without Jobs policing me. If I want Flash, well I'm stuck on the iPad (like it or not, Flash is still very widespread and will continue to be so for the foreseeable future; y
      • by Yakasha (42321) on Thursday May 06, 2010 @01:27PM (#32113462) Homepage

        Why on earth would you want to use an iPad to browse the internet if you have a laptop? Tiny screen, no Flash support, no keyboard

        When I wanted to sit on my comfy chair on my deck wrapped in a blanket with a coffee in one hand and /. in the other.
        Or when I want to browse while standing for an hour on the train twice a day.
        Or when I want to just not carry around a 5lb brick everywhere I go when not working.
        Or when I don't want unblockable popups.

        ... when did it become hip to use crippled devices?

        You mean like a motorcycle instead of a car?
        You mean like a regular cell phone instead of a smart phone?
        You mean like a laptop instead of a desktop?

        Many people like to use whatever is appropriate to the task.

      • by gstoddart (321705) on Thursday May 06, 2010 @01:28PM (#32113478) Homepage

        Why on earth would you want to use an iPad to browse the internet if you have a laptop? Tiny screen, no Flash support, no keyboard... when did it become hip to use crippled devices?

        You know, if you're holding it at less than arms length, I suspect it's a pretty usable screen size since it' about the size of a book. I see people use their CrackBerry's for Google, and you'll notice they've got an even smaller screen.

        As to flash, I don't have it installed on most of my browsers, so it's not like you're missing anything. I can't view flash on my current machine because I've chosen to do without it -- it' hardly mandatory. In fact, it's a bloody nuisance.

        If you're truly browsing the internet, you mostly don't need a keyboard for the most part.

        With a form factor more like a book, I can see sitting in a comfy chair looking up stuff on the internet or reading an e-book or what have you. And, with a purported 10 hour battery life, that's pretty good.

        I'm not going to run out and buy one, but I'm keeping an eye on them -- might be something to ponder in a year or so if they come down in price.

      • by Eponymous Coward (6097) on Thursday May 06, 2010 @01:31PM (#32113586)

        I have a netbook and an ipad and for me the ipad is a much, much better machine.

        For one, it's battery life is astounding.

        Secondly, the build quality is superb. It feels solid. The netbook in comparison is too flexible and feels very cheap.

        Third, I like tools that do what they are designed to do well. For some, no flash is deal breaker. For me, I don't miss flash one iota.

        I use the ipad for watching movies, email, surfing, reading, and games. In other words consuming content (ack - I hate that phrase). For these uses, it's hardly a crippled device. At least no more crippled than, say, a Nintendo DS or an XBox. Different devices, different uses. Personally, I'm a fan of simple tools that do a limited number of things well.

      • by darrylo (97569) on Thursday May 06, 2010 @02:01PM (#32114276)

        The iPad is easy-to-use, and has a decent battery life. Flash issues aside, it's the perfect device for non-technical users. Sure, it doesn't do a lot of things well, but it does them "good enough" -- good enough that the non-technical users don't care or can't tell the difference. And many (most?) don't care if there isn't a physical keyboard -- a lot of people can only type via hunt-and-peck, and most of them probably don't care if they're pecking on a real or virtual keyboard.

        Of course the iPad is disliked by a lot of people on slashdot, but advanced users aren't the target audience. Allow me to use a word that many people here might understand: it's for the "n00bs". Many consumers still have only little to modest computer expertise, and the iPad is a great, toaster-like device for them. (Apple will probably make a metric a**load more money selling to novices than advanced users.)

      • by jDeepbeep (913892) on Thursday May 06, 2010 @02:03PM (#32114352)

        when did it become hip to use crippled devices?

        Outside of /., it's called 'convenient', not 'crippled.'

    • by atarione (601740) on Thursday May 06, 2010 @12:47PM (#32112710)

      "That said, I wouldn't want to write a novel on it."

      so yeah it is perfect if you never have to do any actual work =p

      oh #$%* now i'm kinda jealous of your never having to work lifestyle..... DAMN IT....

      sigh...

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by raddan (519638) *
        I don't hear many people complaining about not being able to write novels on their Playstations.
    • by Fnkmaster (89084) on Thursday May 06, 2010 @12:55PM (#32112870)

      That does sound awesome - sit around all day, surf the web, read email, and watch video. If you can figure out how I can support my lifestyle on that, I am totally down to replace my Macbook with an iPad too.

    • by nine-times (778537) <nine.times@gmail.com> on Thursday May 06, 2010 @01:33PM (#32113620) Homepage

      Yeah, I don't agree that it's "the perfect web surfing device"-- but not for the reasons you're going to get flamed for. People are going to call you crazy because it's a little screen, no Flash, no physical keyboard, etc., but after using an iPad for a while, that's not the stuff that bothers me.

      The real problem with the iPad as a web browsing device is in how it handles tabbed browsing. I browse the web in a particular way, and it's not quite linear. When I'm reading through a page, if I come across a link that interests me, I open it in a new tab in the background. Then I continue on reading the page until there's nothing else I want, and I close the tab. That automatically brings me to the next tab, from which I do the same thing. It's a very easy and natural way of processing things, and I barely understand the point of having multiple web pages open at the same time if you're not managing things that way.

      On the iPad, however, you don't really have tabs. Instead you can back into some other screen where all your open pages appear as thumbnails. Not only is the transition of moving in and out a bit slow and aggravating, but there's no way to open a new page in the background. If you "Open in New Page", it automatically zooms you out, opens a new page, and zooms into that page. Worse yet, a lot of times if you have multiple pages open and you switch from one to another, the page you've just switched to will automatically reload itself. ??!! The whole reason I'd want to be able to keep pages open in the background is so that they'll be all loaded up and ready to go. If I have to wait for them to load each time, then I may as well just bookmark them and avoid the whole shrinky-zoomy animation.

      Apple needs to fix that experience. Along with everything else, they have these nice big touchscreens, and the best way they can come up with to change between web pages is to press a button that zooms you out to look at thumbnails? We can't get functionality to have a quick 3-finger swipe take you to "next tab"?

  • hyperbole much? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by thomasdz (178114) on Thursday May 06, 2010 @12:41PM (#32112608)

    Geesh... "destroyed"? "fell off a cliff"?
    no bias in this article

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Locke2005 (849178)
      My netbook fell off a cliff and really was destroyed, you insensitive clod!
    • Re:hyperbole much? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by jeffmeden (135043) on Thursday May 06, 2010 @12:57PM (#32112914) Homepage Journal

      *We report* on how the awesome new Ipad is decimating the very existence of the Netbook, then defecating on its already stinking corpse. *You Decide* how long it will take you to open your eyes to the best computing device on earth, and then open your checkbook to the tune of 800 bucks!

      Fair.And.Balanced.

      Hey, look out! There's something behind you!

    • Re:hyperbole much? (Score:5, Informative)

      by bhartman34 (886109) on Thursday May 06, 2010 @01:05PM (#32113064)
      Not only is it incredibly biased, but it offers nothing in the way of actual evidence that would persuade someone who'd advanced past third grade.

      Think about it for a second: Only 44% of the people who bought iPads who were surveyed said that they did so instead of buying a netbook. How many people bought iPads, as compared to those who bought netbooks?

      The other thing that's astonishing to me is that someone who writes a market research report could be so piss-poor at reading a graph. Sales of netbooks actually went down most in October/November 2009, well before the January announcement of the iPad. I'm kind of astonished that the author of the Fortune article could be that stupid.
  • by Yossarian45793 (617611) on Thursday May 06, 2010 @12:42PM (#32112624)
    Or maybe netbook sales are cratering because instead of delivering quality models with high performance and low power packed into a lightweight enclosure, companies like Dell have axed all but the most profitable models, and replaced SSDs with magnetic disks and raised prices to the maximum they can squeeze out of customers. Netbook selection is terrible now compared to what it was a year ago. Last year there were many models and there was a price war, now there are a few models and they're just crappy low-end notebooks.
    • Predicted last year (Score:5, Informative)

      by ThrowAwaySociety (1351793) on Thursday May 06, 2010 @12:58PM (#32112940)

      Or maybe netbook sales are cratering because instead of delivering quality models with high performance and low power packed into a lightweight enclosure, companies like Dell have axed all but the most profitable models, and replaced SSDs with magnetic disks and raised prices to the maximum they can squeeze out of customers. Netbook selection is terrible now compared to what it was a year ago. Last year there were many models and there was a price war, now there are a few models and they're just crappy low-end notebooks.

      Indeed, at least one study in late 2009 predicted that Netbooks would fall off of their own accord
      http://www.internetnews.com/stats/article.php/3855261/Netbook-Sales-to-Cool-Off-in-2010.htm [internetnews.com]

      That was a month before the iPad was announced.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by nine-times (778537)

      Yeah, I've been questioning the whole "netbook" classification lately. What set netbooks apart form notebooks was that they sacrificed a lot of functionality to make the cheapest, lightest, smallest thing capable of browsing the Internet (on a screen big enough that you didn't have to zoom in/out the way cell phones do). Now they're generally cheap ultraportable laptops.

      Which is fine. Whatever. But "netbook" just seems like a marketing term now. They're small laptops made as cheaply as possible, but y

    • Or maybe the vast majority of people who wanted a netbook now have one and that's why sales have slowed down. Were people expecting month on month rise in sales of 641% for ever? sounds like a new market plateauing to me.

      Early adopters might change their laptop eevery six months but most people will hang on to the same one for 2, 3 or more years. They've bought them and now the market has shrunk to a more mature marketplace shape?

  • welp. (Score:5, Funny)

    by hamburger lady (218108) on Thursday May 06, 2010 @12:43PM (#32112632)

    the /. "it'll never sell, it's just a giant itouch' crowd really knocked this one outta the park.

    what can i say? when you're right 48 of the time, you're wrong 52 percent of the time.

    • Re:welp. (Score:4, Informative)

      by Yamata no Orochi (1626135) on Thursday May 06, 2010 @12:47PM (#32112718)

      I think the /. crowd said something more along the lines of, "It's a piece of crap, but every yuppie retard will still buy one."

      Seems a little more in-line with reality.

      • Re:welp. (Score:4, Insightful)

        by DeadDecoy (877617) on Thursday May 06, 2010 @12:53PM (#32112810)
        Nah, most of the /. crowd is formed of IT admins, programmers, and engineers, whose environment is saturated with computers and probably do not need a device that has less functionality than the one they sit in front of all day long. For the basic end-user, it's a nifty device. You're just getting a biased opinion here.
      • Re:welp. (Score:5, Funny)

        by Brett Buck (811747) on Thursday May 06, 2010 @12:54PM (#32112860)

        "It's a piece of crap, but every yuppie retard will still buy one."

          In other news, Slashdot posters also declared with authority that "dating supermodels is a real pain in the ass, they are too high-maintenance" and "being rich doesn't make you happy!"

  • by goldspider (445116) <ardrake79NO@SPAMgmail.com> on Thursday May 06, 2010 @12:44PM (#32112664) Homepage

    Demand continues to exceed supply and we're working hard to get this magical product into the hands of even more customers.

    I can't imagine why some people regard Apple as a cult...

  • Sigh (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 06, 2010 @12:45PM (#32112672)

    I think it has to do more with market saturation than the iPad. All of the Soccer Moms and folks who wanted the small portable cheap computer picked them up over last year and the holidays. These aren't people on a 3 year HW replacement cycle and don't care about power so they're not going to go out and jump for another machine.

    Enough iPad sensationalism.

  • One million (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Zerth (26112) on Thursday May 06, 2010 @12:45PM (#32112678)

    I'm going to feel just a little bit sad for the owners of those million iPads when they drop the price and kick out the next version in 6 months. They'll be outraged, but Jobs will just say "hey, at least it wasn't 2 months this time!"

    • Not particularly an iPad fan here, but still... every technology product has this issue. I think most people understand the tradeoff between having something now and having something slightly more whiz-bang later.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Ogive17 (691899)

      I'm going to feel just a little bit sad for the owners of those million iPads when they drop the price and kick out the next version in 6 months. They'll be outraged, but Jobs will just say "hey, at least it wasn't 2 months this time!"

      Not only that, the next version will come with features that should have been included on the 1st one. Apple always fucks over the early adopters... yet they keep falling for the same trick every time. I know if I ever had the urge to buy an Apple product, I'd wait til th

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by s73v3r (963317)
        Care to name any other company that doesn't do this? Every company adds features to their products as the years go on.
  • by v(*_*)vvvv (233078) on Thursday May 06, 2010 @12:45PM (#32112682)

    An iPad is a big iPod Touch. It's a toy. Fun for the whole family, and even geeks love them... but it is still a toy.

    A Netbook is another name for a cheap laptop. You can do real work on a netbook, and by work I mean Microsoft Office and Quickbooks work.

    So if people were buying netbooks just for fun, then maybe those who think they could have more fun with an iPad are opting for those instead, but it seems like the iPad is selling to a whole new audience that wouldn't have bought a Netbook to begin with like...

    Apple users who wanted a Netbook (Apple only has expensive laptops)

    • by mosb1000 (710161) <mosb1000@mac.com> on Thursday May 06, 2010 @12:52PM (#32112794)
      People buy toys. . .
    • by nweaver (113078) on Thursday May 06, 2010 @12:54PM (#32112852) Homepage

      An iPad is really a "new class" of device: a "content access" tool rather than a "content creation" tool. A notebook is really good for creating stuff. But for viewing stuff, its actually decidedly second-class.

      And netbooks are just small notebooks: with all the limitations that a notebook has.

      An iPad is different: it actually sucks for creating content for the most part: the keyboard just is a steaming pile of "not good" compared with even the keyboard on the XO laptop. But for data access it is brilliant: Light weight, long lived, easy to use.

      And with the app ecology, apps are just more "data to access", and its really good at that. I'd expect to see, eg, a lot of interesting industrial/business applications as well start to develop. Its not just a "for fun" device really, its just a reflection that there are different roles for devices, and apple built a specialist-in-a-different direction device.

      • by dfghjk (711126) on Thursday May 06, 2010 @01:32PM (#32113600)

        "But for viewing stuff, its actually decidedly second-class."

        How so? In what ways is the iPad "first-class" in comparison?

        "...with all the limitations that a notebook has."

        None of which you have enumerated.

        "But for data access it is brilliant: Light weight, long lived, easy to use."

        Why is it brilliant for data access? In what ways does it help a user use "data" better than existing devices? Is it really easier to use than a notebook, say an Apple notebook? I don't agree. You are aware of the iPad's poor ergonomics for longer term use, right?

        "apps are just more "data to access"..."

        No they aren't, and apps are censored by Apple meaning there will be fewer than there otherwise would be. Sorry, that's another disadvantage.

        "I'd expect to see, eg, a lot of interesting industrial/business applications as well start to develop."

        Perhaps, but that doesn't make the iPad a "new class" of device. Tablets for vertical markets have been successful for more than a decade already.

        Sorry, but you are ignorant.

    • by gstoddart (321705) on Thursday May 06, 2010 @01:00PM (#32112974) Homepage

      You can do real work on a netbook, and by work I mean Microsoft Office and Quickbooks work.

      You know, I think you've basically just proved Apple's marketing campaign for the last several years.

      Usually the PC is saying they can do spreadsheets and other similar boring business type tasks. The Mac is more concerned about doing interesting things like managing photos and playing music and having a life.

      To a lot of people, Microsoft Office and Quickbooks aren't things they want to do. Apple seems to have made a market about selling people devices which do fun things. And, yes, that likely is a whole new audience.

      The fact they've sold a million in this timeframe means it's a big audience. I don't know what I'd do with one, but what I've seen of them makes me secretly want one -- I won't be buying one, but I do covet them.

  • Not surprising (Score:5, Interesting)

    by TheRaven64 (641858) on Thursday May 06, 2010 @12:45PM (#32112686) Journal

    NetBooks were always strange devices. Marginally more portable than a laptop (although not portable enough to fit in a pocket), and a lot less powerful. Their only real advantage was their cost. They were very cheap, but since the original EeeeeeeeeeeeeePC they've gradually crept up in price and now they're just too expensive for what they are.

    The iPad, in contrast, is not just a cheap laptop. It fills a distinctly different need to a laptop. I've not entirely worked out what that need is - it seems to target a market that doesn't contain me - but it's clearly not the same set of uses as a laptop.

    The iPad isn't killing Netbooks, they're doing that all by themselves. The iPad is just giving people who might have bought one and never used it after the first couple of months something different to waste their money on.

    • Re:Not surprising (Score:4, Interesting)

      by LWATCDR (28044) on Thursday May 06, 2010 @01:00PM (#32112968) Homepage Journal

      The iPad has a better screen than most netbooks and a longer battery life.
      I am still waiting for a smartbook. I don't need windows on a mobile device. I have a notebook if I need windows.
      I can do everything I want on a mobile device just fine with Linux on an ARM.
      I would like Flash for it until Firefox decides to support H.264 but other than that I really could do everything on Ubuntu running on say a TegraII with a nice screen.

    • Re:Not surprising (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Animats (122034) on Thursday May 06, 2010 @01:00PM (#32112980) Homepage

      They were very cheap, but since the original EeeeeeeeeeeeeePC they've gradually crept up in price and now they're just too expensive for what they are.

      I know. There should be vast numbers of $200 netbooks, and there aren't. The PC industry was terrified of that price drop, and with Microsoft's help, managed to fight it off.

      I have several of the original EeePC machines. Their Linux has a built-in self-destruct feature. Their "union file system" loses inodes over time. As a test, I have one plugged in and completely idle; it loses about 1% of its inodes per day. When all the inodes are gone, the machine stops working. There is a workaround for this [eeeuser.com], which must be applied every 90 days of power-on time, or sooner if you actually use the machine. The vendor-recommended procedure, though, is to reinitialize the machine to the factory-empty state, losing all user files.

      And people wonder why Linux hasn't succeeded on the desktop.

  • Not surprising (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ErichTheRed (39327) on Thursday May 06, 2010 @12:49PM (#32112746)

    For the vast majority of end users, especially those who don't care what's running their devices, the iPad is a good enough substitute for a full laptop PC. The screen is big enough to do serious browsing (unless you use Flash...) and it doubles as a book reader/media player. The major problems I've always had with netbooks is the desktop OS (Linux or Windows) crammed onto a too-small screen, the speed and the tiny keyboards. I've tried to like them - I really have. But that form factor really stinks if you have bad eyes and big fingers.

    (And no, I don't own an iPad. I'm the old fogey in the corner with a 14" laptop.)

    Even with the lack of Flash,a keyboard and a mainstream OS, the iPad as a netbook replacement is not totally out to lunch. There are some situations where netbooks work well, usually they involve field workers in non-harsh environments who have to run full desktop apps but want a 2 pound laptop instead of a 5 pound one.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by mrchaotica (681592) *

      There are some situations where netbooks work well, usually they involve field workers in non-harsh environments who have to run full desktop apps but want a 2 pound laptop instead of a 5 pound one.

      What people really want -- and always wanted -- is an electronic substitute for a clipboard. They've been using netbooks (and Tablet PCs before that) because that's all that was available; now that the iPad exists there's no surprise that it's killing off those other devices! It still needs to lose another pound

  • Inaccurate summary (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 06, 2010 @12:50PM (#32112750)

    Growth in netbook sales is slowed down to "only" 6% YOY as of April. This means that they're just as strong as last year, just not going up at an insane exponential rate which is, by definition unsustainable for many generations. They are not *cratering* as the summary implies.

  • While it's true iPad cannot doesn't allow me to do everything my laptop does, I find that for most of the things I do with a laptop the iPad excels. Especially consuming content. Creating content is getting better (I'm more used to the keyboard and use an external BT keyboard for long writing sessions), iSSH makes it bearable to manage my servers remotely (the only servers I use anymore are "remote"), and when off work the iPad is a fantastic movie and gaming platform.

    So, I am finding myself using my iPad more and my laptop less. (Ironically, I'm writing this from my MacBookPro :)

  • Sheer Madness (Score:5, Insightful)

    by eldavojohn (898314) * <eldavojohn@@@gmail...com> on Thursday May 06, 2010 @12:52PM (#32112800) Journal

    'One million iPads in 28 days -- that's less than half of the 74 days it took to achieve this milestone with iPhone,'

    Isn't it crazy how fast people will belly up to throw cash at you when you're not also forcing them into a two year cellphone plan with AT&T with high monthly payments? I know you need a service plan to use the iPad's 3G but there's also a model with no 3G. I wonder what the breakdown of that million sales looks like (yes, I know the 3G just came out). I'd wager the faster adoption of the iPad is mostly due to the consumer's ability to make their own choices. Consumer options are a good thing. I know that's not the way Jobs likes to do things but that's just my analysis.

    • Re:Sheer Madness (Score:4, Interesting)

      by CrackedButter (646746) on Thursday May 06, 2010 @01:02PM (#32112996) Homepage Journal
      Hence the ipod touch?
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by dfghjk (711126)

      Apple's counting technique for 28 days is curious considering their presale period. The iPhone did not have a presale period nor did Apple produce sufficient stock to meet demand. iPhones remained out of stock for quite a while after launch while iPads can be seen in stores already. Had Apple executed with the iPhone like it has with the iPad it's not clear there would be a difference.

  • 641 (Score:5, Insightful)

    by random string of num (1676550) on Thursday May 06, 2010 @12:54PM (#32112834)
    641% wow man.. thats a lot of growth, if they could keep that up the number of netbooks in the market doubles roughly every month, it would only take just under 3 years for the entire population of the world to have a net-book (starting with 1 net-book at the 1st month) isn't it more likely that the net book market has saturated itself. I find it hard to understand how people can compare these two different product types, these tablets don't even have keyboards, and cost at least 2wice as much. enough already with this apple out to conquer the world hogwash don't believe the hype
  • by BitZtream (692029) on Thursday May 06, 2010 @12:56PM (#32112884)

    Its also entirely possible that people have begun to realize that netbooks are just annoying.

    Too small for long term use, too large for stuffing in your pocket or a small purse, battery life no better than my MBP for the same tasks and utterly incapable of doing the same things. Not useful as a phone.

    Netbooks were a cute fad but lets face it, they aren't really useful to most people and it took people a little bit to realize it.

  • Hype-Cycle (Score:5, Interesting)

    by prefec2 (875483) on Thursday May 06, 2010 @12:58PM (#32112918)

    First there was no such device as a netbook. Then the geeks saw the OLPC and then they ran around, screaming "I want one of these!!!!" After some screaming, Asus thought it might be nice to sell some of these devices to geeks. Hey its about money. And then more people saw that netbooks are nice devices so they bought one. As the demand for netbooks was high the sales jumped up (because the industry suddenly provided a portable product which was very much needed by many people). Now most of those people who want a netbook have a netbook and so the sales are going back. Also there was/is a financial crisis going on. And while the crisis more or less hit the public in the US very quickly it took some time to have an affect countries with "social backup systems".

    So in short: It is not a falling of a cliff it is just the end of a peak. And yes, as already mentioned, there are no really cheap netbooks anymore.

  • by Geeky (90998) on Thursday May 06, 2010 @01:04PM (#32113032)

    Well, I just bought a Samsung netbook.

    I needed a lightweight, long battery life device mainly for better browsing than a smartphone while travelling. I like to be able to type emails on a proper(ish) keyboard, same for web forums.

    I do a lot of photography and the 250GB harddrive is ideal to back up my compact flash cards and quick preview my shots - I used to use a dedicated Epson view for that.

    It has HyperSpace, which is a boot option that takes you into a cut down linux system - it boots faster, uses less battery and is therefore a handy option when all you want is to browse.

    Initial thoughts are that it's not that quick, but I also ordered a 1GB upgrade and when that arrives it should improve the Windows 7 performance (yes, Windows. Suits me. Sorry). Battery life seems good - I reckon the 11hrs quoted might be ambitious, but my experience so far says I should get 8 or 9 from normal use, including WiFi. Sticking a 3G USB dongle on will probably drain it quite a bit quicker...

    It was also under £300.

    Absolutely no reason I'd want an iPad.

  • by Flavio (12072) on Thursday May 06, 2010 @01:04PM (#32113044)

    Desktop computers and laptops are designed to be workstations. The iPad was designed to be a toy, and that's how most people use it. That's how Apple markets it, and that's why people buy it.

    What Apple and Steve Jobs realised very early in the game is that Americans have a lot of money to spend on toys that look good. Even though most Americans spend their day using computers for work or entertainment, that doesn't make them geeks. They don't need significant computing power, create very little content and only use a very small set of hardware and software resources that are available to them.

    The remarkable thing is that most Americans are wealthy enough to spend $500 to buy an iPad. And even though most people could save that money and use it to buy something more useful later, they will spend it on discretionary purchases if the product is considered fashionable enough.

  • by Azureflare (645778) on Thursday May 06, 2010 @01:07PM (#32113092)

    Netbooks just suck. That's why no one's buying them anymore. It's not because of the iPad.

    We have a hard time justifying buying an inferior tiny product that you can barely see, which can't really do that much, especially when almost everyone already has a laptop or desktop which works just fine.

    The iPad is successful with people because it provides a big huge screen which is great for lying in bed or sitting out on the patio relaxing with. While this is possible with a laptop, the iPad is much more conducive to a more relaxed environment (the ads for the thing were spot on in my opinion).

    Also it does have a longer battery life than a standard laptop. Laptops tend to chew through batteries way too fast these days.

  • by ISurfTooMuch (1010305) on Thursday May 06, 2010 @01:08PM (#32113100)

    ...with help from notebooks.

    When netbooks came on the scene, they were dirt cheap. Sure, they could do less than a notebook, but, again, they were dirt cheap, they were small, and battery life was good. Just what you needed for Web browsing and light productivity work. Oh yeah, and they were dirt cheap, easily several hundred less than most notebooks except that once-in-a-blue-moon sale you might run across.

    However, this didn't last. Companies started cramming more and more into these things, which drove the price up. In and of itself, that might have been OK, but notebook prices started coming down, and they offered more features. They were bigger, but you could do more with them, and I really believe that a significantly lower price is what drove netbook sales, not merely their size. So, people could spend maybe $250-$300 for a netbook, or, if they caught a sale, they could spend $350 for a basic notebook, which offered much more bang for the buck. That's what killed netbook sales, IMHO.

  • Look and Feel (Score:5, Interesting)

    by savanik (1090193) on Thursday May 06, 2010 @01:12PM (#32113176)

    A friend of mine has one that I got a chance to try out. It's an interesting little device - I'm not going to get one, but then, it's not meant for me.

    The iPad does notably excel in one simple thing that I have been missing for the past few years. It has no interface lag. My phone? When I'm switching screens, it lags for a couple seconds. My two year old laptop I got fed up with and threw out because the power jack kept breaking? Opening a directory took a noticable amount of time. Even my streamlined, power-user, performance gaming desktop has moments where its trying to access things and it chugs along before giving me any feedback.

    The iPad's interface is responsive. It does what you want it to, when you want it to. When you drag an icon around, it responds immediately. When you poke at a link, it responds instantly with feedback - the webpage might take a moment to load, but it lets you know it's heard you immediately. And everything else in the environment remains responsive. You access the dropdowns, they come right down. You hit the 'menu' button, and you don't get 'the application is waiting to close' hourglass or anything like that, you get MENU.

    I can see how that would appeal to many consumers in a world of stuttering, jerky computers.

  • by Enderandrew (866215) <enderandrew@gmai l . com> on Thursday May 06, 2010 @01:12PM (#32113186) Homepage Journal

    They show a chart that lists declines in Netbook YoY growth from July of 2009, and cite the iPad as being the reason why. The iPad wasn't even ANNOUNCED until January of 2010.

    The chart doesn't list netbook sales, but rather the rate of growth over the last year. You'll note that netbook sales still have positive growth.

    So despite the fact there was this sudden MASSIVE surge to buy netbooks in the past two years, netbook sales continue to grow. But the growth rate of that surge did not continue upward. And even though the decline started six months before anyone had heard of an iPad, clearly this is all about the iPad.

    Bull-fucking-shit. But nice try.

    That being said, I'd buy an iPad at $200. For $300 or more, I expect more PC-like functioanlity and would prefer a netbook. In fact, Asus makes a nice convertible netbook/tablet that is cheaper than the iPad, has 10 times the storage, a faster processer, a webcam, I can install whatever software I want, it runs Flash, has more RAM, has a full keyboard built-in when I want it, etc. etc. etc.

    If I can get that at $450, why would I want to spend so much more for far less functionality?

    Oh, the i-before the name!

  • by nick_davison (217681) on Thursday May 06, 2010 @01:15PM (#32113242)

    Discussing this one in the office, the esteemed Kevin Thompson said,

    "It could be good for the netbook market when all of those people buy an iPad and realize they can't do [expletive] go and buy a netbook to replace it."

    Apple's training users to appreciate a convenience size... yet almost completely failing to provide for content production as well as content consumption.

    The quoted Morgan Stanley figures say 44% are buying an iPad instead of. That's 56% who aren't, who wouldn't be buying anything else. Many users will stay with Apple... but how many users have Apple converted to the size of ultra portables yet let down enough on content production that they'll move back in to, and enlarge, the general netbook market?

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by alvinrod (889928)
      Your assumption only holds true if end users expect the same out of the iPad that they would out of a netbook or notebook. I believe that the different form factor may cause a large percentage of buyers to separate the two into different categories. If people don't expect to be able to use an iPad (Or any other similar tablet device for that matter.) in the same way that they would use a notebook, they won't buy the netbook.

      The majority of people in the world are consumers, not creators, and tablet devic

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