Techcrunch is reporting that market forecaster DisplaySearch released their findings from the second quarter worldwide shipments showing a 2 to 1 growth rate for netbooks vs. notebooks. Europe leads the charge with 32.9 percent share of the netbook market and the US following close behind at 26.6 percent. Does this mean the netbooks will be our mainstream PC in the near future? It depends on who you talk to.
Netbooks are positioned in a space between notebooks and smartphones, NOT a device between notebooks and desktops. They are lighter and cheaper than their bigger counterparts and definitely easier to type out longer email messages than any smartphone on the market. As a power web user, the netbook makes a perfect road-warrior companion. As a desktop replacement, it is best to pull out the 15″ LCD beast and power your way through HD videos and multiple applications.
When you understand the role the netbook plays in the greater scheme of mobile technology, it makes perfect sense to incorporate one into your workflow but there are strong emotional opinions in this regard. Many have a strong distaste for netbooks, almost as if, no exactly like it is beneath them. Netbooks are viewed as the bottom-feeders to the tech elites, regulated to Walmart bargain hunters who do not understand what is lost with such a purchase.
Many complain about the cramp keyboards and tiny screens yet these are the same people more than willing to adopt to the touch pad of the iPhone and watch videos on a 3.5″ screen. Hey I love my iPhone but like hell am I going to touch type a long response to a friend when I can do that on my netbook and just the same, like hell am I going to try to run Eclipse and the Android simulator on the mini-me when I can do that on my monster 15″ Dell.
As I type this post on my netbook, I think many people tend to forget that mainstream consumers drives our purchasing diversity with the whole ‘just good enough’ mentality. Think about it, we all know the crapalious sound quality of compressed music yet it is the defacto standard for media players. Technology is evolving away from the kitchen sink model of performing everything under the sun to performing a single function at a lower cost. Tech is now becoming disposable.
I am not sure the netbook deserves the snub it is getting from the elites of our industry. The little guy was not meant to be the cure-all end-all portable device, no gadget can claim that crown. It was meant to be a web tool and nothing more. I have learned to accept that, why is that so difficult for others to do the same?