The iPad's Impact On The Netbook Market: Does It Matter?

Ever since Apple announced the iPad there has been debate regarding how it will impact the sales of netbooks, and even before the iPad was announced, there has been debate about whether netbooks are a true market segment. In the article titled…

Netbook Sales May Be Leveling Off – Does It Matter?

…Liliputing takes up the discussion about what exactly is a netbook. Are netbooks computers with ATOM processors? Are they computers with 10 inch or smaller screens? I think Liliputing’s point is valid that what really matters is that netbooks dramatically lowered the cost of mobile computing. Consider what the price of the iPad might be if there were no netbooks proceeding it. I can imagine that the low end of iPad prices might have been $200 or more higher than the current $499 price.

Prior to Asus selling the Eee PC, notebook computers with the Eee PC’s size and weight cost no less than $1000 and there was little incentive for manufacturers to lower prices because such ultraportable computers were thought of as premium devices. It may turn out that people prefer portable tablet computers over a netbook to the point that what we think of as netbook today: clamshell, small keyboard, and small screen, ceases to exist, but as Liliputing says, “…the netbook’s lasting impact will be a shift in the way we think about price and portability for all mobile computers.”