Say goodbye to the netbook.
As of Jan. 1, the two remaining companies producing the tiny laptops — Asustek and Acer — ended production of the devices following the lead of other companies such as Samsung, HP and Dell who have put their focus on tablets, according to a report by the Guardian.
ABI Research in 2009 predicted 139 million netbooks would be sold this year. Sales may be high while retailers cut prices to sell their remaining inventory, but numbers will not be even close to the original forecast.
Digitimes reported Asus, the father of netbooks courtesy of its Eee PC, launched in 2007, has announced it will no longer make its Eee PC product after Jan. 1. With Acer also abandoning plans to produce netbooks, it means the “market will officially end after the two vendors finish digesting their remaining inventories.”
“Facing strong competition from tablets, only Asustek and Acer are still competing in the netbook market and are mainly selling to emerging markets such as countries in Southeast Asia and South America,” the Digitimes report concludes.
According to the Guardian, there are four factors that contributed to the demise of the netbook:
• The rest of the PC market (which includes the advent of ultrabooks).
• A recovering economy.
• The economics of netbooks — the low prices also meant marginal profit for manufacturers.
• The growing popularity of tablets at various price points, from the iPad to the Kindle Fire.
The netbooks were a success when they first hit the technology scene six years ago — long before tablets were a reality.
Netbooks offered portability for travelers and business people on-the-go. The devices were also popular with students due to low pricing — netbooks could be had for as low as $199.
The emergence of tablets and notebooks, however, has made the netbook an unnecessary alternative to the laptop — tablets are more portable and offer ease of use with touchscreen technology.
Convertible notebooks offer keyboards that can be hidden exposing only the screen for touch operation.
In short, the netbook has been left behind as a device of the past and will soon be a distant memory in the world of technology.