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iPad Isn't "Killing" Netbook Sales, According To Paul Thurrott 457

Posted by timothy
from the only-a-flesh-wound dept.
mantis2009 writes "Paul Thurrott, the prolific technology analyst and Windows expert, reacts strongly to an article highlighted on Slashdot. Thurrott takes numbers from IDC and the Wall Street Journal, indicating that netbook sales have not in any meaningful way been affected by sales of Apple's tablet computer, the iPad. Money quote: '[N]etbooks and sub-12-inch machines will sell 45.6 million units in 2011 and 60.3 million in 2013. If I remember the numbers from 2009, they were 10 percent of all PCs, or about 30 million units. Explain again how the iPad will beat that. Please. Even the craziest iPad sales predictions are a small percentage of that.'"
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iPad Isn't "Killing" Netbook Sales, According To Paul Thurrott

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  • Watch the messenger (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Protonk (599901) on Saturday May 08, 2010 @04:45PM (#32141810) Homepage
    We should note that Paul here has both a vested interest in dogging on the ipad and a long history of making hyperbolic statements about how the iPad can't or won't succeed. Also, the original graph clearly showed the growth rate changing, a flow variable, not the number of units, the stock. If the growth rate drops off and is replaced by growth in iPads, how in the world is that not a takeover? What manufacturer will net into a market where the rate of growth is much less than it was even 6 months ago.
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by budfields (1663047)

      Paul is also ignoring key issues, saying that 'he doubts' things instead of citing any data whatsoever, and tossing out a lot of vested-interest PC geek magazine predictions as if they are fact.

      Par for the course from someone whose wallet size is correlated with the performance of the PC market.

      • by Threni (635302) on Saturday May 08, 2010 @04:59PM (#32141908)

        To be fair, though, the idea that sales were affected was based on asking people what they were going to buy, not what they already bought. People talk a lot of crap. So it's best to ignore what they say and concentrate on what they do. Not many people are going to not buy a netbook because of an iPad, because they satisfy different markets. Netbooks are great for people who want to throw a small pc in a bag and have access to the net, type emails etc on the go. iPads are great for..well...uh..say you wanted an expensive, easy to scratch laptop but wanted to have to hold it awkwardly all the time you were using it, didn't want to actually type anything on it etc. They're great for that, I guess.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Protonk (599901)
          That's just as much conjecture as sales projections through interviews. I have only your analysis (which doesn't seem at all derived from a distaste of one product) to guide me in determining if netbooks and tablets are satisfying different markets. What if they do serve different roles but the act of purchasing one or the other is a revelatory moment about value of the "other" computer? If I buy an ipad maybe I'll discover I don't need a netbook and vice versa. We need to wait six months or so to get a
        • by AmigaMMC (1103025) on Saturday May 08, 2010 @05:06PM (#32141960)
          I have little use for an iPad, but I just bought less than a month ago a Netbook (Asus Eee PC 1005PCB) and totally love it. It's powerful enough to play all those lame Facebook Flash games, LOL, and actually plays all DivX video without a glitch, something my other crappy HP laptop with 2X core can't do. Battery lasts about 11 hours with normal use and about 7-8 hours watching video. I tried typing on an iPad and couldn't stand it, but I do travel writing and blogging and I don't have a problem typing on my Netbook.

          So, as far as I'm concerned Netbooks are alive and well.

          • by Protonk (599901)
            Great. I have little use for a netbook. So....netbook sales are dropping? Anecdata doesn't cut it.
            • by Attila Dimedici (1036002) on Saturday May 08, 2010 @08:58PM (#32143458)

              So....netbook sales are dropping?

              Except that they aren't. What is dropping is the rate of growth in sales. Well what do you expect? Lots of people went out and bought one when they first came out. Now they have one. They don't need another one yet (netbooks have not been around for the standard life cycle of a computer).

              • by Pojut (1027544) on Saturday May 08, 2010 @09:41PM (#32143618) Homepage

                This. It would be foolish to assume that the iPad hasn't affected netbook sales SOMEWHAT, and may be responsible for the slowdown...but that slowdown was coming anyway. The "saturated market" theory makes a lot of sense.

                Still, I wouldn't be surprised if some of the people that bought an iPad originally intended to buy a netbook. That being said, even if every single iPad buyer had at one time been a potential netbook owner, that would account for a very small portion of overall netbook sales.

                • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

                  by cheesybagel (670288)
                  People have been claiming netbook sales were going to decrease for like two years now. This is due to several factors, mostly unrelated to the iPad. Windows 7 is more of a resource hog than Linux, so you have to include HDDs instead of SDDs (HDDs use more energy), use cheaper hardware components to defray OS costs, plus there is a high performance differential between a low end Intel Core 2 Ultra Low Voltage processor versus an Intel Atom processor, while cost is nearly the same. Intel needs to revamp their
          • Thanks for enlightening us with your study, sample size n=1.
        • by beelsebob (529313) on Saturday May 08, 2010 @05:20PM (#32142048)

          Netbooks are great for people who want to throw a small pc in a bag and have access to the net, type emails etc on the go.

          Correct.

          iPads are great for people who want to throw a small pc in a bag and have access to the net, type emails etc on the go.
          Sounds pretty accurate too.

        • by obarthelemy (160321) on Saturday May 08, 2010 @05:35PM (#32142132)

          I for one will buy either a Tablet or a Netbook. Not an iPad though, a true Tablet, with LAN access to my files, Tethering, SD card, USB ports and video out. I'm holding out for all those Tablet pre-announcements, to see if one actually pans out.

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by gig (78408)

          So what you're saying is: iPads are no good for having access to the net and email while on the go? Uh, right.

          I guess what you're also saying is that people who value mobility won't pay 30% more to get something that is half the size, half the weight, and has double the battery life? And doubles as a reader?

          You can't knock the iPad keyboard in a context of a netbook because netbook keyboards SUCK. They are 89% scale. I have a friend who carried a Bluetooth keyboard with his netbook for the past year and rep

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by toppavak (943659)

      If the growth rate drops off and is replaced by growth in iPads, how in the world is that not a takeover?

      I believe most people would refer to that as market saturation. There is a finite number of people needing to purchase a new computer in a given period of time and the explosive growth of netbooks could very well be slowing now that a large percentage of everyone who wants to buy one has. Still, I think the entire debate is baseless because the two products (iPad and netbook) serve very different purposes. The iPad is best suited to enable the consumption of media (movies, music, web, ebooks, etc) whereas n

      • by Protonk (599901)
        Yeah, market saturation is at work here, but I don't think the contemporaneous nature should be overlooked. I suspect there are different spheres of customers. Some for whom a netbook is not replaceable by an ipad and some for whom an ipad offers an easy substitute. I think a case can be made that two things happened. First, the introduction of the ipad offered that substitute to our second group. Second, the growth of the ipad sucked out the oxygen in the netbook world, pushing manufacturers toward ta
      • The iPad is best suited to enable the consumption of media (movies, music, web, ebooks, etc) whereas netbooks are most often used as simply small, inexpensive notebooks. Every person I know who owns a netbook uses it for work computing- Office, presentations, e-mail, scientific computing, I even use my old Eee 900 for editing and managing photos when I travel.

        Currently the iPad is better suited to consumption.

        But that's a software issue... all of the things you mention - presentations, editing documents, em

    • Not to say that there aren't going to be SOME people who decide to buy an iPad over a netbook (just like there are going to be some people who decide to buy a Livescribe smartpen over a netbook) but the graph of prospective "iPad cannibalization" shows that by far the iPad is more likely to "kill" sales of Apple's own notebook/iPod numbers. In any event, the fallacy in all of this killing talk is in assuming that every iPad sale must come at the expense of some other electronic tool that would've been boug

      • The overlap is for grandma, who needed some kind of web device, and wasn't going to spend much at all on it. Until now, she would have gotten the cheapest laptop possible: a netbook. As of today, her geeky grandson is getting her an iPad. That's where the overlap is.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by jim_v2000 (818799)
      Bah...the market overlap between netbooks and tablets (that would cause competition) is tiny. People who buy netbooks want a small laptop. People buy the iPad want an entertainment device. The iPad happens to be coming in ot the market at a point where it's becoming saturated with netbooks. The drop in demand in natural, and is unlikely to have anything to do with the iPad.
    • by zullnero (833754) on Saturday May 08, 2010 @05:53PM (#32142270) Homepage
      Seriously, who cares one way or the other? Tablets and netbooks aren't competing for the same niche. I couldn't care less about the Apple and MS fanboy back and forth between tablets and netbooks. They don't really compete for the same purposes. Realistically they could co-exist really well if the major players involved were a little more obsessed with making the customer happy than their shareholders.

      Netbooks compete against laptops and desktops as a low cost, ultra-portable alternative. They're not very suitable for the things tablets are designed for, and tablets are not suitable for many of the things netbooks are designed for. The only product line the iPad could possibly put out of business is the Kindle and other e-readers. Maybe if PDAs were still around, they'd be competing in that market niche as well. But netbooks? No. Though a netbook with a detachable multitouch screen and proper online cloud support services (media store, cloud backup, etc.) might. But no, Jobs needed to start the whole brouhaha by thumping his chest about tablets being the end of netbooks.
    • by jipn4 (1367823)

      If the growth rate drops off and is replaced by growth in iPads, how in the world is that not a takeover?

      What makes you think the two are related? If netbook and iPad users are completely separate populations, you can still see the same behavior: one market gets saturated after a few years of sales, and a completely different market takes off.

    • by vtcodger (957785)

      It's silly. The ipad is interesting. It has by far the best touch screen software I've ever seen. But IMO, touch screens are loathsome especially for typing. There is no way that I'm buying an ipad rather than a cheaper, more capable, netbook. At least not unless and until "they" somehow fix ipad data entry. Which may or may not be possible.

      Yes I could buy a keyboard for the ipad. But why not buy a cheaper netbook that comes with a keyboard tidily packaged?

      I'm sure that I have a lot of company.

      My wi

    • by Zencyde (850968) <Zencyde@gmail.com> on Sunday May 09, 2010 @03:03AM (#32145242)
      But of course, the original poster of the statistics was a dedicated Apple blog. There are vested interests everywhere but that doesn't justify bullshit statistics. Paul is right here, in this case. He calls out the bullshit statistics. And I assure you, the previous article that this one is referring to was because people are just too stupid to read graphs.
  • 1 million (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mosb1000 (710161) <mosb1000@mac.com> on Saturday May 08, 2010 @04:48PM (#32141838)
    Didn't they sell a million of them last month? That's about 25% of netbook sales (48million in a year would be about 4 million a month). That doesn't sound like a small fraction to me.
    • by tagno25 (1518033)
      But when the iPad sells approximately 20-30 million units, sales will drop significantly, if not before then.
    • Re:1 million (Score:5, Interesting)

      by AmigaMMC (1103025) on Saturday May 08, 2010 @05:08PM (#32141968)
      If you are assuming that the iPad took 25% of the netbooks market I bet you're wrong. I'm willing to bet that most of those people were not planning to buy a netbook in the first place. Maybe, I could grant that iPad owners had in mind to buy an electronic book reader, to the iPad might have taken sales away from Amazon and Sony.
  • by Manip (656104) on Saturday May 08, 2010 @04:54PM (#32141882)

    I think if the iPad had a competitive price point it might be an interesting battle, one in which the iPad might win... But right now the iPad is priced like a laptop. If you look at the typical Netbook price and the cheapest iPad then we are talking above 100% price increase.

    ePC - £199
    iPad - £429
    "Full" Laptop - £400

    However what you might see happen is the iPad gets bundled with 3G mobile services and winds up costing a fair bit less in relative terms... Netbooks have tried to bundle with 3G but I think it is safe to say it has been fairly unsuccessful.

    • I bought an Asus over the winter. Paid $450, got 4 gigs of RAM, ~300 gb HD, etc. The ~$500 sales tag of the iPad is ridiculously high.
    • by Splab (574204) on Saturday May 08, 2010 @05:29PM (#32142094)

      "Netbooks have tried to bundle with 3G but I think it is safe to say it has been fairly unsuccessful."

      I think it's fairly safe to say bullshit - might be true for your neck of the woods, but around here, bundling a 3G dongle is a big hit (EU - Denmark), in fact, such a big hit some of the big carriers are having trouble delivering the amount of bandwith needed.

  • Wouldn't the iPad fall under "sub-12-inch machines"? Wouldn't it then be part of the "45.6 million units in 2011 and 60.3 million in 2013"? And though I did bet a bottle of polish vodka on the iPad selling 5 million times this year, now that I know the 1st month numbers, I guess it could well be 7,5 million. Looks like it could take a pretty significant percentage in 2011 ... But then of course I'm not a prolific analyst and expert.
  • by BitZtream (692029) on Saturday May 08, 2010 @05:16PM (#32142018)

    So let me get this straight, the argument here is that the iPad isnt effecting netbook sales because the projected number of netbooks to be sold in 2011 hasn't been changed in the last month ...

    Seriously, someone fucking fire timothy, he hasn't posted anything that wasn't a blatent slashvertisment or flat out obviously wrong in at least 2 years.

    Why don't we wait until someone gets some real sales numbers and there has been more than a month before we start talking about how its effecting the market.

    I don't think the iPad is going to effect much either, but I don't try to back that up using sales PROJECTIONS made by people who aren't actually doing the selling. The WSJ must be pretty damn smart to predict the future with 0 input to base it on.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Generally speaking, affect is a verb and effect is a noun. When you affect something, you produce an effect on it. Even in the passive voice, something would be affected, not effected.

    • by bloodhawk (813939) on Saturday May 08, 2010 @05:49PM (#32142240)
      I think your missing his point.

      ie. the most optimistic projections are saying about 3-4 million ipads, now if one assumes that they are going to take that directly from netbooks (something I seriously doubt) then the future projected size of the market is very relevant. If the market is expected to be 46 million than it can be assumed the ipad even if it reached the optimistic end of predictions will have only a small impact on the netbook market

      however what is more likely is that the ipads are stealing sales from ebook readers and there is also a large group of apple fanatics that would buy steve jobs farts if he bottled it. Thus significantly shrinking the possible effect on netbook sales.

      So what he is saying is, if the market is supposed to be ~50million for these small computer devices, how the fuck does a million or so units of that market taken by apple equal the the end of netbooks.
  • Android tablets are coming out every day. ARM based Netbooks are selling for less than $100.
    If you believe people who plan on buying a sub-$200 netbook will really buy a $400 Ipad, you have got
    a screw loose.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Mad Leper (670146)

      Could you please provide a link to where these ARM based netbooks or Android tablets are being sold? Cheapest netbooks I've seen start at $400 CDN and functional tablets have been pretty much vapourware..

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        Here's one for $80 [linuxfordevices.com]. And here's one for $90 [ebay.com]. And another for $130 [ebay.com]. And of course there is the Archos 7 tablet [archos.com] which runs Android, and has an MSRP of $199.
        • by ChunderDownunder (709234) on Saturday May 08, 2010 @07:22PM (#32142888)

          None of the linked products are competitors to the iPad or a typical netbook. With a 800x480 screen and puny single-core ARM they have specs equivalent to a high end phone - except that a phone can fit in a standard trouser pocket and make voice calls.

          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by RzUpAnmsCwrds (262647)

            puny single-core ARM they have specs equivalent to a high end phone

            The iPad has a "puny single-core ARM" that's not significantly faster than the 1GHz Snapdragon that is currently in many high end phones.

        • by Bill_the_Engineer (772575) on Saturday May 08, 2010 @07:41PM (#32143040)

          I find it funny that people get so emotional over someone else's choice in computers.

          I also find it funny that only on Slashdot you can find people comparing computing devices that were engineer well enough to actually revive a basically dead touch tablet market, to pieces of crap thrown together at a Chinese assembly plant.

          Let's use Slashdot's mandatory car metaphor as an example:

          Sure we can all drive to work on a Vespa scooter, but I prefer to drive my Honda automobile. There is a tangible difference between having the capability to drive to work, and actually wanting to use the vehicle to drive to work. The same applies to computers.

          Sure I can spend a lot of time figuring out how to get that $80-$190 off brand device to do what I want, or I can spend a little more money and get something useful like a $300-$400 Asus netbook or $400 - $800 Apple iPad.

          That's not even taking reliability into consideration, I have yet found anything that is both really cheap and reliable. Face it the only thing those cheap pieces of crap found only on ebay are good at is to provide some flimsy evidence to a Slashdot poster so that they can say "See I can find something cheaper that technically could do something similar to that expensive computer you like so much!!"

    • by Protonk (599901)
      Man when you can point me to a non-vaporware tablet in the price range, do so. I'll take a look at it. Until then it seems absurd to compare a real product which shipped in the PAST with some notional product which may ship in the future.
  • by ericdano (113424) on Saturday May 08, 2010 @05:35PM (#32142134) Homepage

    Seriously? This guy has been so wrong on apple over the years that I think taking his opinion on apple or anything tech would be like believing exRaider Jamarcus Russell that he was doing well at QB.

    seriously slashdot should have higher standards than Thurott

  • by zullnero (833754) on Saturday May 08, 2010 @05:41PM (#32142168) Homepage
    I dropped 300 bucks for my netbook last year on a whim. I had a pretty burly laptop at the time...then the nVidia sli bug kicked in and fried my video cards. I had nothing else and I had another project come up, so I took my netbook in and used it for development (obviously hooked it up to a monitor, mouse, keyboard, etc.). Worked like a charm for me. And I do a lot of .NET development and SQL stuff, but that little Atom processor and the 2GB of RAM was plenty enough for my needs (and actually, I was able to catch a timing bug that I couldn't replicate on a higher end Win7 notebook, but I digress).

    See, I can get actual WORK done on a netbook. I can do paperwork, make website edits, do a whole lot of other things without having to lug around (or pay for) a much more expensive high end laptop...and I don't see myself replacing that netbook with a bigger laptop anytime soon unless I'm stuck using higher end systems for a client. If I need to do something really high end, I use my desktop at home or whatever a client dumps on my desk for work purposes. Otherwise, the netbook is all I'd need...the only real reason I had my old laptop was for gaming, and I'm better off doing that on my desktop at home anyway.

    The problem that a lot of folks have with understanding why tablets just aren't that much a threat to netbooks is that netbooks and tablets sate two different market segments. Tablets are fun, show-off things that you use to waste time (though just like netbooks, they really suck for gaming). But you can actually get work done on a netbook and a good one will cost you less, too. Sorry, tablet fans, but that's how it is. They may be super cool to you and you think that you paid 500 bucks for a great thing, but you know in your heart that you paid 500 bucks for a goof-off device.
    • by Protonk (599901) on Saturday May 08, 2010 @05:57PM (#32142314) Homepage
      I'm really puzzled by the persistence of this view and the rancor which is usually associated with it. First off, if people spent 500 bucks on an ipad knowing full well it doesn't do the suite of things you mention, who cares? I can't do econometric analysis or write software on my ipad, but I don't intend to. I sure as hell can surf the web, watch movies, answer emails, etc. You make a good point that the tablet market doesn't really devour the laptop market. But that doesn't generalize too well. How big is the segment of the market which wants a netbook but can't stomach a tablet? My guess is that it is pretty small. It may grow bigger as netbooks grow more powerful, but tablets are growing in power as well. The ipad wasn't even conceivable 3 years ago. Three years from now when netbook class devices can rival "real" laptops, what will the limits to tablets?
      • Given the iPhone OS 3.2's now hooking Bluetooth keyboards into the keyboard API(Not to mention the Apple Dock keyboard), I'd easily say that no, the iPad IS meant for content creation.

        It's just not ment to ape the Netbook formfactor. If I'm at my favorite bar, there's enough room in my bag for a stand, an ipad, and a bluetooth minikeyboard for use with things like SSHTerm should I be called about critical failures with something or another.

      • by King_TJ (85913) on Saturday May 08, 2010 @11:24PM (#32144304) Journal

        My feelings as well.... I just plunked down the money for a 64GB iPad 3G, which was quite frankly a lot MORE expensive than most netbooks or half the notebooks out there. Why? Because I'm a believer in the idea that it's in a class of its own ... not just a "netbook killer/competitor" or what-not.

        I've never had a netbook or a notebook that was worth a darn if you had to use it while standing up, for example. And I wind up doing quite a bit of that when I go out someplace and have to wait in long lines. (Ever notice how a lot of people try to take a notebook computer with them to use on lunch breaks during the business day, and then they waste a good 10 or 15 minutes in line to order their food, while carrying the thing under one arm, closed and shut off or in "sleep" mode?)

        And furthermore, the respective strengths and weaknesses of a tablet type computer like the iPad depend a LOT on the software. If it's intelligently designed for the touch-screen environment, it may be GREAT. If it's a port of something designed for a keyboard and mouse originally? It may be frustrating and useless. People saying the iPad is no good for gaming, for example, are just focusing on certain types of games and not others. I was just playing "Crazy Birds HD" on mine earlier tonight, and it's IDEAL for a touch-screen environment. I think the board games lend themselves extremely well to the touch-screen setup too. Scrabble for iPad does an excellent job of demoing the possibilities, including letting multiple players use iPod touches or iPhones as the holders of their letter tiles, and the screen turning so its oriented properly for each player sitting at a table with the iPad in the middle, as each player takes a turn.

        The iPad is also "instant on", most of the time. I understand a notebook/netbook is similar if you just leave it powered on but put it to sleep whenever you're not using it for a few minutes ... but that whole sleep/wake thing doesn't work nearly as well as the custom OS in an iPad or iPhone. It'll eat your battery up a lot faster, for starters ... (Hence the "hibernate" mode most portables offer along with plain "sleep" .... but coming out of hibernation takes a little while as the system reloads the saved state of the system from the hard drive.)

        Lastly, even *if* I want to use a full-size bluetooth keyboard with the iPad ... at least I can do so on-demand and have a "best of both worlds" scenario where I can carry just the tablet when I like, but use it more like a traditional computer when I like. With a netbook, I'm still stuck carrying around the keyboard at ALL times and can't just opt to do everything by touching the screen.

    • by JaredOfEuropa (526365) on Saturday May 08, 2010 @06:07PM (#32142382) Journal

      They may be super cool to you and you think that you paid 500 bucks for a great thing, but you know in your heart that you paid 500 bucks for a goof-off device.

      Why on earth wouldn't paying $500 for a goof-off device be a good thing? It's just the right size for some idle browsing or watching movies, and small and light enough to be an easy carry. $500 bucks may be a lot if you're shopping for a netbook or a light laptop, but remember that not too long ago we paid this much for rather crappy portable dvd players.

      Actually I plan on using mine for work too. The things that come to mind immediately are:
      - e-reader/browser for reference material. I don't always have a twin monitor setup available, and the iPad makes a great e-reader for reference books. For this sort of work the screen beats a typical netbook, though it won't replace my e-paper reader for heavy reading anytime soon.
      - taking notes in meetings. It may not be the best device for this, but it does let me quickly draw diagrams as well as write text, and it is thin enough to slip into my leather folder for easy carrying.
      - Capturing ideas. Again the ability to do some quick diagrams come in real handy for this. Netbooks, laptops or even desktops kind of suck for this, as the drawing tools (mouse + primitives) distract from the thought process, whereas a tablet lets you draw naturally (fingers on a touchscreen).

      I am by no means convinced yet that the iPad is the better choice for my particular line of work, but it sure hit the ground running. The fact that it lets me goof of in ways hereto unimagined is just a bonus... by the way, what gave you the idea that gaming on iPads suck? The thing just hit the market but there's already a couple of great games available. Different games than we play on our desktops, to be sure....

      Anyways, I am not sure how useful this thing will turn out to be... for sure, it is a whole different way of working. But if it turns out to be not so good, at least making someone else happy with it should prove easy.

    • by SuperKendall (25149) on Saturday May 08, 2010 @06:11PM (#32142416)

      Worked like a charm for me. And I do a lot of .NET development and SQL stuff... ....
      The problem that a lot of folks have with understanding why tablets just aren't that much a threat to netbooks is that netbooks and tablets sate two different market segments.

      And the problem with people that think the iPad lives in a different space is that they do not realize how few people need to do things like .NET development that cannot be done on an iPad.

      • And the problem with people that think the iPad lives in a different space is that they do not realize how few people need to do things like .NET development that cannot be done on an iPad.

        Still, there are fundamental difference in the way the devices are designed.
        - the iPad is mainly a device designed with a "consumer" mind set. It's great to have around in the living room to watch video, listen to music, read e-books, read web pages (note the "read" verb) and maybe a few games. In short, the user is just a consumer of available media. For starter it lacks a real decent input device like a real practical keyboard. Not that its bad for its intended usage - it is not. A keyboard is not needed

        • - the iPad is mainly a device designed with a "consumer" mind set.

          I totally disagree. It's a large flat touch screen with one button and a large number of input (touch, bluetooth, network) and output (video, network, display) options. It is anything software makes it.

          For starter it lacks a real decent input device like a real practical keyboard.

          I think you missed the part where I said "I can type very fast on it". Is it better than a physical keyboard? No. But I can type almost as fast due to the lar

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Jeff DeMaagd (2015)

      I would suggest that for most buyers, netbooks are goof-off devices too. The fact that you had to attach a separate monitor, keyboard and mouse would seem to suggest that netbooks really aren't intended for work either, you can do it, but without slinging some peripherals into the mix, it's not very comfortable for work use.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by wfolta (603698)

      Tablets are fun, show-off things that you use to waste time (though just like netbooks, they really suck for gaming). But you can actually get work done on a netbook and a good one will cost you less, too. Sorry, tablet fans, but that's how it is. They may be super cool to you and you think that you paid 500 bucks for a great thing, but you know in your heart that you paid 500 bucks for a goof-off device.

      Not unless you count ALL web browsing as a waste, most email, and perhaps reading in general. Let's see, I also have spreadsheets that I keep (and maintain) on my iPad, To Do lists, Keynote presentations (admittedly created on my Mac), a calculator, financial information programs, sketchpad, and a thousand research PDFs (Papers), and yes, games. Sure, I won't be running R on my iPad, but I can easily do my thinking and research on it... And goof-off when I need to.

      All in a convenient form-factor, free from

  • Paul Thurrott knows the world ends in 2012. He only quoted netbook sales for 2011 and 2013.

  • by sunfly (1248694) on Saturday May 08, 2010 @05:56PM (#32142302)
    Netbook Growth Chart [wired.com]

    Netbook sales were already leveling off. Looking at the sales figures, they have continued their downward growth trend that started months before the iPad was released. I have no idea how this is stretched into an iPad effect.

    • The recession is easing, and people have more to spend on electronics, and are purchasing what they really wanted.
    • It appears two of the biggest computer manufacturers Dell and HP are mostly exiting the netbook market.
  • by jipn4 (1367823) on Saturday May 08, 2010 @06:10PM (#32142406)

    Maybe iPad sales are cutting into netbooks, maybe not. But what makes people think Apple can keep this up?

    The MacBook Air looked like the granddaddy of netbooks, it was shiny and hot; and a year or two after its release, its just another expensive, light, and slow laptop for Mac users with too much cash.

    The same is likely going to happen with iPads. Apple pushed the thing out the door quickly, but low-cost tablets have been in the pipeline for a couple of years, and you're likely going to see $200-$300 tablets with better specs than the iPad and no software restrictions this year.

    • by SuperKendall (25149) on Saturday May 08, 2010 @06:22PM (#32142488)

      and you're likely going to see $200-$300 tablets with better specs

      Why then is the Crunchpad (sorry, JooJoo) $500?

      Before it was released, it was supposed to be $200 too... I'll believe that price point when I see it.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      Maybe iPad sales are cutting into netbooks, maybe not. But what makes people think Apple can keep this up?

      The MacBook Air looked like the granddaddy of netbooks, it was shiny and hot; and a year or two after its release, its just another expensive, light, and slow laptop for Mac users with too much cash.

      Umm, that was the MacBook Air's market to begin with. It was always a niche device for those with more disposable income than most. The assumption was that you already had a computer and probably a laptop too. Nobody predicted the Macbook Air would change the face of computing.

      The same is likely going to happen with iPads. Apple pushed the thing out the door quickly, but low-cost tablets have been in the pipeline for a couple of years, and you're likely going to see $200-$300 tablets with better specs than the iPad and no software restrictions this year.

      Wow - I can't wait to login to the iTunes store on one of those $200 tablets and download my favorite apps!

      What do you mean it won't run those apps?

  • Why would anyone would quote Paul Thurrott? Why is this on Slashdot? This is like reading press release from Redmond, Washington.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by dingen (958134)
      My thoughts exactly. Paul Thurrott is a well-known (and quite succesful) troll. He will bash anything Apple does, he will love anything Microsoft does and he's often not even subtle about it. He even manages to like the Kin phones and claim "most reviews are positive", while in fact every major tech website hates them. When reading something from the hand of Paul Thurrott, you quickly realize RDFs aren't Apple-exclusive.
  • Dear Paul, (Score:3, Insightful)

    by RyuuzakiTetsuya (195424) <{taiki} {at} {cox.net}> on Saturday May 08, 2010 @07:33PM (#32142988)

    Show me a netbook that's projected to sell 10 million units and support a media and application infrastructure that will allow it's manufacturer to continually reap income from the device long after sale?

    Thought not.

    Come Christmas, the iPad will be *the* tech item to buy.

  • by Daetrin (576516) on Saturday May 08, 2010 @08:21PM (#32143286)
    Okay, the "correlation is not causation" loons have reached a new plateau of insanity. As far as i can tell there is neither correlation nor causation in the statistical sense involved here. There is an easily verified claim that the netbook market is currently larger than the iPad market, and there is an impossible to prove (except with the passage of time of course) but entirely reasonable belief that that will continue to be the case in the future. So where is the supposed correlation that is being incorrectly claimed to indicate a causation?
  • by gig (78408) on Sunday May 09, 2010 @01:42AM (#32144978)

    The numbers look pretty grim for netbooks since the pre-iPad hype that dominated CES, and they get worse after the iPad introduction and worse again after the iPad shipped. But even so, I wasn't really sure that iPad was killing the netbook until Thurrott said it's not.

    Thurrott was pro-tablet right up until Apple reinvented the tablet. Now he will be anti-tablet right up until Microsoft has an iPad copy for him to promote.

    The guy is paid by Microsoft and Dell and has no credibility.

    He whined and whined and whined about iPhone v1 and v2 not having "such a basic feature" as Copy/Paste and multitasking of 3rd party applications. Then when Microsoft announced they were killing Windows Mobile in 2009 and would be back in 2011 with "Windows Phone 7" which would lack both Copy/Paste and multitasking of 3rd party applications, Thurrott cheered them. So, keeping score: not having Copy/Paste in 2007-2008 during your first 2 years in the phone market is just totally inexcusable, while removing Copy/Paste in 2011 in your 10th year in the phone market is just fine, no biggie.

    He also said of Steve Jobs' "Thoughts on Flash" that "he can't disagree more" with it. That shows Thurrott knows nothing about mobiles, where there is no FlashPlayer at all, and nothing about the consumer market, where vendor neutral standardized audio video is not just the norm, it's a religion.

    To the actual issue of tablet versus netbook: it's clear that perceptions of the tablet and netbook have been changed, same as iPhone versus the smartphones of 2007. A month ago, HP released an HP Slate teaser video, then just recently they bought Palm and we hear the Slate has been canceled because Windows 7 is apparently not a mobile OS. (You don't say!?) Compared to a netbook, iPad is half the size, half the weight, double the battery life, and 1000 times sexier. It makes a netbook look like a pocket protector. Half the size and weight and double the battery life ... that just can't be argued with. Even with a small Bluetooth keyboard added, iPad is still much more mobile than a netbook. And you can use a 100% scale Bluetooth keyboard and get real typing done.

    The netbook had fatal flaws anyway. If you're going to have a keyboard, make it 100% scale. Every PC maker CEO spoke out against netbooks, even when they were most popular. So it would actually be surprising if we could have this Year Of The Tablet in 2010 and not see the netbook be very much affected. Walt Mossberg said iPad replaced 80% of his notebook use in the first week, so where does that leave a netbook? He's a techie. For consumers it is even worse, they are finding iPad replaces 95% of their Mac/PC use.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by jfanning (35979)

      He also said of Steve Jobs' "Thoughts on Flash" that "he can't disagree more" with it. That shows Thurrott knows nothing about mobiles, where there is no FlashPlayer at all, and nothing about the consumer market, where vendor neutral standardized audio video is not just the norm, it's a religion.

      Actually I think you misrepresented Paul's statements on just about everything there. But in any case you show your ignorance with this statement.

      Flash exists on pretty much every Nokia Symbian based smartphone in existence. So that means at least 40% of all smartphones have Flash Mobile. The Nokia tablet range including the N900 phone include full Flash, and it works perfectly fine.

      Jobs just has a vendetta against Adobe. Nothing more, nothing less.

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