Netbooks are quickly dying off as tablet sales overtake

Yes, that time is upon us: the netbook is slowly dying, with sales slowing down and tablets taking over the position the cheap, low-end notebooks used to occupy. According to ABI Research (via BGR), in Q2 2011 tablet sales accelerated to completely dominate netbooks, shipping 13.6 million to just 7.3 million.

What’s even more interesting is the change compared to the previous quarter. Tablets jumped by 112% to sell 7.2 million units more, whereas netbooks slumped by 13% to fall by 1.1 million units. Also, it appears as though the sizeable price difference between tablets and netbooks is not an issue for consumers, as often a tablet can cost twice that of a netbook.

It’s really not surprising to see this trend and buying shift occurring. Netbooks have always been slower, more annoying and visually less appealing than tablet offerings, especially those tablets from Apple which also carry massive brand-buying power. Tablets also often have better features than their netbook counterparts, such as proper gaming support with better graphics, rear facing cameras and fluid interfaces.

Of course the lack of a physical keyboard on a tablet may be a turn off for some people; however tablets are still successfully attacking these markets with devices such as the ASUS Eee Pad Transformer and the optional iPad keyboard. Speaking of the iPad, Apple’s own tablet with mass brand appeal managed to snag 68% of the tablets shipped in Q2.

The only real direction the netbook will head is down, as tablets simply continue to provide a better option for consumers.

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Oddly enough I've seen the exact opposite effect. Sure tablets are selling at a much faster rate but as of late we've had much more interest in netbooks and smaller form factor notebooks. So much so that one of the stores I represent sales out almost every single one everytime they get a shipment in. We've also been seeing a ton of returns on iPads, so I guess the magic might be wearing off there

i still think tablets are just a "phase" but i plan on getting myself one for the hell of it for x-mas. im also buying my daughter a netbook for x-mas, im sure ill be able to pick one up for cheap.

It's all consuming. Anyone who produces any for of content - written or otherwise - will find a keyboard of any size infinitely more usable than a tablet keyboard

Netbooks were doomed from the start. The stupid requirement some had to only have 1 Gig of RAM, maybe 2. The designs were poor, and they were kept artificially slow. Want one with an Atom at 1 point crap GHz? Wait a year, and it's still at 1 point crap GHz. Now? STILL 1 point crap GHz, still 2 Gigs RAM. STILL $250-$500. You could buy a "real" system for $300-$400. Why mess with a crippled Netbook?

Tablets are the way to go. Specifically the iPad. Email, web browsing, games, and everything else are just so much quicker, easier, and more fun to use on an iPad.

I own a desktop, a netbook, a smartphone and a tablet. Each has their own purpose.

I use my smartphone to check email and basic web usage while on the go.
My netbook (dual core AMD) is used for word processing in the library or coffee shop, light photo editing, web surfing... basically when I need the power of a real computer for light tasks
My tablet is used for internet surfing. Its nice to pull it out between classes or while at a friends. It's light, instant on and easy to use.
My desktop is for photo editing and typing long papers where my laptop keyboard is harder to use.

If I had to get rid of one, it would probably be my tablet. Its a convenience product. I paid $150 for the HP Touchpad. Its fun to use, but I could use my netbook in a similar fashion.

Stupid analysis.

Netbooks are dying because notebook are taking their position. Most netbook are about $200-$300 while some cheap notebook are about $350-$450. Tablet is just a stupid fad since it is not a netbook replacement.

sheesh!.

Nope. They are actually dying because of tablets. And tablets will start to die when ultrabooks come out, since many of them will support Multi-Touch interface.

Windows 8 will have a wide open market, and if that fails Windows 7 will be there to back it up.

Jose_49 said,
Nope. They are actually dying because of tablets. And tablets will start to die when ultrabooks come out, since many of them will support Multi-Touch interface.

Windows 8 will have a wide open market, and if that fails Windows 7 will be there to back it up.

netbooks where starting to die before the iPad was even announced!

Thalets are a trend. For sure they'll be round for ever, the great for somestuff. But as they are, they will never replace a laptop/netbook for most business means

Crender said,
Thalets are a trend. For sure they'll be round for ever, the great for somestuff. But as they are, they will never replace a laptop/netbook for most business means

A Windows 8 tablet, on a docking station, HDMI connected to a bigger screen and using a wireless keyboard/mouse seems like a good PC to use everyday (except for gamers and CPU intensive apps). And when you're on the go, just take the tablet with you and out you go. You're running Windows, so all the apps you like you can use, no need to find alternative on Android or iOS.

Crender said,
Thalets are a trend. For sure they'll be round for ever, the great for somestuff. But as they are, they will never replace a laptop/netbook for most business means

It depends what you mean with "Tablet": the "Real tablets as envisioned by Bill Gates have nothing to do with let us call them "Media" tablet like the iPad and clones; I bought my first "Real" , Convertible Tablet in 2002 as a replacement for the laptop and I never switched back. Right now I am holding on my old Toshiba M400 while monitoring what will come out in the next few months but I will surely buy another convertible Tablet, probably a Lenovo.

calimike said,
death of Windows 8?

do you go around trying to spread the death of windows everywhere you go? I sware everytime Apple iPad or something else tablet related is mentioned Windows and death come up from you

thenonhacker said,

OMG Because Windows 8 can only run in netbooks!!!11111 /sarcasm

In fact yes.
Windows 8 runs only in x86. However, Windows 8 ARM-Version (that is a completely different products) runs in ARM tablet.

neufuse said,

do you go around trying to spread the death of windows everywhere you go? I sware everytime Apple iPad or something else tablet related is mentioned Windows and death come up from you

The other way around you mostly have a front row seat when it comes to negative replies towards Apple. The pot calling the kettle black really.

.Neo said,

The other way around you mostly have a front row seat when it comes to negative replies towards Apple. The pot calling the kettle black really.

I don't reacal me ever saying "Death of Apple" or "Death of OSX"...

Magallanes said,

In fact yes.
Windows 8 runs only in x86. However, Windows 8 ARM-Version (that is a completely different products) runs in ARM tablet.

OMG all x86 are netbooks! /sarcasm

So many noobs here. Let me save you from the shame:
Laptops can be x86
Windows 8 can run on PC's, Tablets, Laptops and Netbooks.
The netbooks will die, but PC's, Tablets, Laptops live.
Therefore, "the death of Windows 8" != "The Year of the Linux Desktop" LOLOLOL

Kinda funny how so many here on Neowin were convinced this would never happen and the iPad was just a fad...

.Neo said,
Kinda funny how so many here on Neowin were convinced this would never happen and the iPad was just a fad...
i was one of them... but now love my iPad

.Neo said,
Kinda funny how so many here on Neowin were convinced this would never happen and the iPad was just a fad...

Whenever Apple announce anything there's loads of people who think it will fail, often because Apple are pushing something new or different which people don't realise they actually need yet - or soemtimes just blind apple hate.

Some interesting things to google:

"Sorry, Steve: Here's Why Apple Stores Won't Work"
"Why the ipod will fail"
"Why the ipad will fail"

All the articles from way back make for intersting reading nowadays

Seems inevitable. The Netbook is just too much of a compromise.. I've got one and have barely used it. Keyboard is irritatingly small, the screen too annoying to do anything meaningful.. a tablet is, arguably, a much better proposition with the slight tradeoff that it's less versatile. But for 99% of people doing web / email / twitter / facebook then a tablet is much better!

Chicane-UK said,
Seems inevitable. The Netbook is just too much of a compromise.. I've got one and have barely used it. Keyboard is irritatingly small, the screen too annoying to do anything meaningful.. a tablet is, arguably, a much better proposition with the slight tradeoff that it's less versatile. But for 99% of people doing web / email / twitter / facebook then a tablet is much better!


Keyboard is irritatingly small....

tablet is, arguably, a much better proposition....

C'mon!!. Are you saying that netbook stink because the keyboard is small however tablet is nice because it lacks of keyboard and it have a touch interface that is smaller and less functional than a real keyboard. :-?

It's not because of me... I just bought 2 EEE PC's: The 12 inch Asus EEE 1215B and it's little 10 inch brother (Asus EEE 1015BX).

I guess I'm old-fashioned and stuff, but I prefer a keyboard over a touch screen.

Bamsebjorn said,
It's not because of me... I just bought 2 EEE PC's: The 12 inch Asus EEE 1215B and it's little 10 inch brother (Asus EEE 1015BX).

I guess I'm old-fashioned and stuff, but I prefer a keyboard over a touch screen.

Agreed.

I got an Acer Aspire One. Cheap little thing that cost like half of an iPad. Is not simply about the keyboard, often things I need is on a Windows Based processor. Especially in my field, try drawing chemical structures on an iPad, because you will fail. And not only that, I love Mouse. The accuracy and speed of a mouse far exceeds the touch screen and its annoying fat-finger-small-link issue.


My iPad is useless. Like, check email, browse the web, operate as a nightstand, occasionally opening documents to read (bigger screen but hellish to scroll). Is a pure luxury item. I'm happy with it being that way.

Back on-topic. I think Ultra-Portables are eating away at the market, in that most people don't mind too much in jumping to i3 Core at least. And the slim low profile is attractive and easy on the back.

Windows based processor? I didn't know physical CPUs were built on top of the Windows software platform... There is an x86 architecture, x64, ARM, etc. Windows 8 will run on ARM, and it has been said time and time again it will be as limited as any other OS running on the ARM architecture...total incompatibility of x86 apps.

Bamsebjorn said,

I guess I'm old-fashioned and stuff, but I prefer a keyboard over a touch screen.

That's certaintly not old-fashioned, despite what Apple (aka the media) wants you to believe.

"Speaking of the iPad, Apple's own tablet with mass brand appeal managed to snag 68% of the tablets shipped in Q2."

Thats just thanks to the fact that they sued everyone else trying to ship anything to the US and ofcourse those half eaten apple fanbois.

These days it seems more like "If You don't own one apple product You're a nobody"

Kardo Kaul said,
"Speaking of the iPad, Apple's own tablet with mass brand appeal managed to snag 68% of the tablets shipped in Q2."

Thats just thanks to the fact that they sued everyone else trying to ship anything to the US and ofcourse those half eaten apple fanbois.

These days it seems more like "If You don't own one apple product You're a nobody"

Wow that sounded bitter.

I assume you're a netbook owner that envy the iPad owners who are happy with their purchase.

This news is not new to me. Last year, Best Buy has noticed that people prefer iPads instead of netbooks in their stores. So it made sense to them to stock more iPads and less netbooks.

Lesser demand for netbooks is a fact already. This Neowin article is saying, that the netbooks are downtrending faster.

Kardo Kaul said,
"Speaking of the iPad, Apple's own tablet with mass brand appeal managed to snag 68% of the tablets shipped in Q2."

Thats just thanks to the fact that they sued everyone else trying to ship anything to the US and ofcourse those half eaten apple fanbois.

These days it seems more like "If You don't own one apple product You're a nobody"

Actually it's more to do with fact they were the first to market these new breeds of tablets (and arguable created that market), so whenever someone says "tablet computer" nowadays it's automatically associated with "iPad", regardless of it not being the first tablet ever made, and as some people would argue not the best specs.

I think the Ultra-portable market is also having an affect due to the reasons above, low power, cheap/flimsy and annoying to use. I have an MSI U135, it's a good machine, but i had to ensure it's a dual core and could support 2GB RAM as i thought running with plenty of ram and a dual core atom would take the burden off the hard disk and slow I/O in the netbook systems.