Another Device Made Obsolete by iPad

Although the slow death of the PC has been widely discussed by technology pundits recently, there is also another, lesser known victim of Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPad market dominance. The netbook, which was originally intended to fill the low-cost niche between fully loaded laptops and smartphones, is dying an even quicker death than the PC according to IHS iSuppli market research statistics via Electronista.

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Netbooks debuted in 2007 and were an immediately a popular product “because they were optimized for low cost, delivering what many consumers believed as acceptable computer performance,” states IHS senior principal analyst Craig Stice via the Los Angeles Times. According to the IHS statistics, netbook sales were at their height in 2010, with 32.14 million units shipped reports Electronista.

Last year the number of units shipped dropped to 14.3 million. The IHS report predicts that a total of 3.97 million netbooks will ship in 2013, which is a 72 percent decline from the previous year. However, the bad news for the netbook market doesn’t stop there. The market research firm forecasts a paltry 264,000 netbooks shipped in 2014, followed by the complete disappearance of the netbook by 2015.

As the IHS analyst points out via the Los Angeles Times, “netbooks began their descent to oblivion with the introduction in 2010 of Apple’s iPad.” However, netbook sales have declined even faster than PCs since the devices are being made obsolete by multiple types of products. Netbooks are being squeezed out of the market by higher-priced tablets, as well as lower-priced smart phones.

Perhaps Steve Jobs said it best when he introduced the iPad in 2010. As quoted by Electronista, Jobs stated, “The problem is: netbooks aren’t better at anything. They’re slow, they have low-quality displays, and they run clunky, old PC software.” Apple shipped 22.9 million iPads in the quarter that ended last December and claimed 51 percent of the global tablet market in 2012 according to IDC statistics cited by Bloomberg.

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Apple shares closed down 1.04 percent at $429.80 on Friday.


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