Like Betamax, the much-ballyhooed netbook is going the way of the Dodo. But perhaps you'd already assumed that to be the case.
The netbook only debuted five years ago, but, caught in between PCs and tablets, there isn't room for them in the market anymore. Asustek and Acer, the last of the major netbook manufacturers, announced they will stop producing them this year. Samsung, HP and others have already dumped netbooks.
“Despite the popularity of netbooks, they didn’t really offer many advantages over laptops to consumers," noted Yankee Group research VP Carl Howe, commenting on a Guardian article. "While they had a slightly smaller form factor and a low price tag, they still burdened consumers with driver updates, antivirus needs, mouse-based interfaces and slow boot times. Further, most netbooks were woefully underpowered for doing anything but the most basic operations."
The netbook still had life as of September, when Acer said it would keep netbooks in its lineup – but the company changed its mind, joining the other manufacturers who realized that there was little point in pursuing success with the devices any further.
"When consumers started comparing the netbook experience with the near-effortless use of touch-based tablets such as Apple’s iPad, they just stopped buying netbooks for anything other than hardcore PC applications," Howe added. "As tablet apps and cloud services replace many of the functions that used to require a PC during 2013, netbook manufacturers can expect netbook sales to dry up. We should [not] be surprised that these netbook makers don’t plan to make products that aren’t in demand."
Follow editor Craig Galbraith on Twitter @Craig_Galbraith .