It might seem like the once-prolific netbook is already extinct, but the category won’t finish fading away for a couple more years, if a forecast by IHS iSuppli proves to be correct. The research firm expects netbook shipments to total 3.97 million units this year, down a whopping 72% from last year’s 14.13 million units. In 2014, netbook shipments might total a measly 264,000 units before the netbook market fizzles out completely in 2015.
“From the supply end of production, the major original equipment manufacturers of notebooks will have already terminated netbook production at this point. Whatever production is left is expected to be limited, or manufacturers will simply be shipping last-time builds to satisfy contractual obligations to customers,” iSuppli wrote.
It seems as if it was only yesterday when we were being pummeled with a bunch of new netbook models, which people happily lapped up – 32.14 million units were sold in 2010 alone. Netbooks, with their light frames and 10-inch screens were convenient and portable and allowed us to take our work and even our casual web browsing anywhere we wanted. Most of them, like the $199 Asus Eee PCs, were also super affordable. Alas, the netbook’s reign wasn’t meant to last, and even in 2010, we declared the netbook revolution to be over.
Apple introducing the iPad, which users ultimately found more sophisticated and even more portable than netbook, in 2010 sealed the netbook’s fate. Even Asus and Acer – the two manufacturers left who were still making netbooks – announced that they will stop producing the 10-inch laptops this year and have been focusing on designing new tablets instead.