Netbook Industry Shutting Down After Being Squeezed by iPad and MacBook Air

Discussion in ' News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Jan 3, 2013.

  1. macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    As noted by The Guardian earlier this week, the netbook industry will be winding down in the first quarter of 2013, as major players Asus and Acer will be shutting down production of the tiny notebooks.
    The report points to four factors that likely contributed to the demise of the netbook: the overall PC market including the rise of more powerful ultrabooks, the global economy, poor profit margins on netbooks, and the iPad leading a charge of tablets to the market.

    Going a bit further, Slate argues that Apple is the primary culprit in the demise of the netbook, with the MacBook Air and iPad squeezing netbooks from both sides and leading to a transformation in personal computing.
    Slate's Farhad Manjoo goes on to note that Apple simply couldn't compete in the netbook market given the pricing model, and it had no interest in building an inferior product in an attempt to do so. Steve Jobs himself said at the iPad's introduction in 2010 that netbooks were simply a non-starter for Apple.
    With the MacBook Air and iPad emerging as Apple's alternatives the entire computer industry was spurred to follow its lead, ultimately squeezing netbooks out of existence.

    Article Link: Netbook Industry Shutting Down After Being Squeezed by iPad and MacBook Air
  2. Guest

    Dec 7, 2010
  3. macrumors 6502a

    Aug 19, 2006
    Remember when analysts kept wanting Apple to make a Netbook and Steve Jobs was like "We don't know how to make one that's not a piece of junk."
  4. macrumors 6502

    Oct 8, 2009
  5. macrumors 68040


    Dec 22, 2009
    Can't say I'm surprised, I don't see many people buying netbooks when iPads and Android tablets are just as cheap and far more convenient and functional.
  6. macrumors 6502a

    Jun 21, 2010
    N. Kentucky
    Now if only the industry would take Apple's lead in product and device design.. oh wait. :rolleyes:
  7. macrumors regular

    Sep 5, 2007
    "Netbooks aren't better at doing anything!"
    Favorite steve jobs line.
  8. macrumors 6502a


    Mar 24, 2010
    Been thinking this for a while. iPads and MacBook Airs are the way to go, Netbooks aren't good at all, like Steve said.
  9. macrumors 6502


    Oct 19, 2005
    Netbooks really are junk. Smallest MacBook Air reminds me of one of them, and it's just not needed in my opinion. 13" MacBook Air is lovely though. This had to happen eventually.
  10. macrumors 6502a

    Oct 22, 2011
  11. macrumors G3


    Aug 3, 2011
    It's Never A Good Night To Have A Curse
    They're the best at being little computers.

    ...but yeah, I always thought the iPad was a better device for netbook style tasks than a netbook ever was.
  12. macrumors 6502a

    Oct 5, 2011
    Southern California
  13. macrumors regular

    Aug 9, 2012
  14. macrumors 68020


    Feb 16, 2012
    The worst headache i've ever had was given to me by a netbook and an 8hr train journey - good riddance I say.
  15. macrumors member

    Nov 12, 2010
    Funny thing is I was never interested in the netbooks for the reason Steve mentioned, and yet... here I sit with an MBA in my hands and a iPad sitting on my desk. The MBA replaced the MBP that just seemed like a ton of bricks (yes, at only 6 pounds I'm being melodramatic), and I use it when I need more than the iPad will do, yet my Mini isn't available (traveling).

    Can't put my finger on it, but I have friends with NetBooks and they've always seemed "forced." I never really thought about it enough to articulate, but now that I read Steve's comments I'd have to say it is what I was "perceiving." One might say it's the power of suggesting it, but I do truly feel the iPad and MBA do EVERYTHING exactly the way I want. And, once M$ comes out with the Office for iPad, my kids won't need expensive laptops/netbooks/whatever to do school work (until they get older and maybe want to do software engineering or something :) )
  16. macrumors 603


    Sep 19, 2003
    Canada, eh?
    I owned two netbooks over the years. They were good for what they were designed to be -- VERY inexpensive PCs with VERY good battery life (6-8 hours, which was pretty much unheard of at the time). But that was pretty much ALL they were good at. They made huge sacrifices to get there, including tiny unusable keyboards and highly underpowered CPUs that were optimized for low power consumption, at the expense of performance.

    I distinctly remember being only somewhat impressed with the performance of my first netbook out of the box, but then after installing Windows firewalls and virus protection, it all went downhill from there. A PC that was barely usable, almost right out of the box. Woohoo!

    So yes, I think Steve was right. People bought these for the extremely low price or for the extreme portablility -- a "throw away" laptop you could take on the road, just to check your email. That was my primary reason for buying it. And the battery life was such that I didn't have to pack my AC adaptor, and thus carry an entire laptop bag. So it fulfilled that purpose just fine.

    But now, everyone uses tablets for that.

    I still own a netbook, a dual-core Atom this time, which I had planned to set up as an extremely low-powered file/media server. Haven't got around to it yet. It cost me less than $200, for a full Windows 7 PC with a 250 gig hard drive. I'm certain the manufacturer made next to nothing in profit on the sale of this thing. I can see why they're not terribly interested in continuing to sell them.
  17. macrumors 65816

    Mike MA

    Sep 21, 2012
    Germany, Europe
  18. macrumors G4

    Small White Car

    Aug 29, 2006
    Washington DC
    So it turns out that the only difference between a MacBook Air and a Netbook was they one was small and good and one was small and bad. And this outcome shocks who?

    I love how the tech press kept trying to convince us that, "oh no no, they're totally different categories!"

    No, a phone is a different category. A bicycle is a different category. A Netbook is just a crappy laptop.
  19. macrumors 6502

    Aug 29, 2011
    Thank God and good riddance! I hated selling these things. Whenever a sales person sold one we'd start a pool for when we thought it would be returned. I made more money in winnings then I ever did selling a netbook.
  20. macrumors 6502a

    Dec 24, 2011
    Personally something named "Mac Book Air" is ages more catchy that something called "Eee PC".

    First big failure there, people will buy what they can remember and recall easily.
  21. macrumors P6


    Apr 1, 2005
    Space--The ONLY Frontier
    Kinda like samsung eh ?

  22. macrumors 6502


    Apr 2, 2011
    Again steve nailed it very much an inovater the world is going to be a less fun place
  23. macrumors regular


    Apr 3, 2010
    I will say that i never understood netbooks.
    Happy to see apple change the way we use otherwise would have solved a problem when it comes to a good device.
  24. glutenenvy, Jan 3, 2013
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2013

    macrumors regular


    Sep 6, 2011

    It is hard to get excited about cheap stripped down hardware running stripped down and old software. If they also boasted a built in universal remote control and gaming pad the netbooks could have survived in the living room. As it has been to this point netbooks never had anything to make them exciting.

    Cheaper camera memory and easier cloud based storage pretty much took away any usefulness a netbook had for me.

    I expect is is less due to Apple and more due to general smartphone acceptance as the major culprit here. People are addicted to online info. You can get that on a tablet but it is even quicker on a smartphone because it is usually in your pocket.​
  25. macrumors 6502a

    Apr 8, 2010
    Not just netbook, Ultrabook line will be dead soon. No one wants to pay over 1k for Windows notebook.

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