PC Makers Learning the Hard Truth: Low Margin Netbooks Rule the Kingdom

I’m sure PC manufacturers are emerging from their shocked state to learn that traditional notebook sales have fallen sharply in direct proportion to the sharp increase of netbook sales over the past two years (actually not even that long since netbooks were still a bit of a novelty as recently as the summer of 2008). TechCrunch reports that…

Report: Netbooks Now A Fifth Of All Portable Computer Shipments

This, of course, is exactly zero surprise to anyone who has looked around to see netbooks in nearly every office, home, airport, or coffee shop. They’re cheap, they’re light, they do the job. Or, as long-time tech journalist Joe Wilcox wrote: Those fraking, margin-sucking minis are everywhere (Netbook Plague Kills 1 in 5 Notebooks).

In fact, the only place you won’t see a netbook is in an Apple Store. Apple, of course, virtually owns the high-end notebook market ($1000 or more) at the moment. Still, there are rumors that Apple may announce something netbook-like next week (though bets are starting to swing against that rumor now). With the exception of Apple, the days of huge profit margins from notebooks are over, folks. PC manufacturers, meet your new overlord: The teeny weeny netbook.