August 20, 2011 | In: Technology

Netbooks Will Fail

I was just reading the latest newsletter from my favorite technology store, and on the front page there was an HP netbook for $199. That netbook used to cost $299, but now they’ve slashed the price a $100. I remembered that I already own a Dell netbook, and that that thing is in its original box in another box in a closet that I never open in a country that I’m not residing in at the moment. Which puts the importance of that netbook in my life to almost 0.

Here’s why I’m not using this netbook:

– It’s slow. I can’t do anything on it, when I start having a few web pages open simultaneously that thing starts to crawl like a turtle (do turtles crawl? well you get the point).
– I don’t need it. Why on earth do I need a netbook? I have a Sony Z series that is almost just as light as that netbook and thankfully, it can run anything.
– The original point of a netbook was to be something between a computer and a smartphone. But isn’t this role nowadays assumed by tablets (which I had doubts about before but nowadays I feel that they are the next big thing)?
– They are unreliable. They’re just a piece of junk running an Intel atom processor that is the slowest processor Intel has ever produced, even slower than processors made back in 2003 (How do I know this? Well my Toshiba laptop that I purchased back in 2003 is faster than my netbook?)
– Did I mention that I don’t need it?

I have seen a few people using netbooks in Starbucks or Tim Horton’s or Second Cup… But they were only a few. I’m sure companies had really high hopes for netbooks, but I think they’re now changing their minds, and all of them are shifting their focus to tablets to compete with Apple’s IPad.

If people want small laptops then they can buy the Z series from Sony for example (the one that I’m currently using to write this article), if they want cheap laptops then they can buy a Gateway 15.4″ for only $299, which is a real laptop with a real processor.

I think netbooks will fail, if they haven’t already, and soon all netbooks will be discontinued and there won’t be any left in stores. So go ahead, buy one while it still exists, and you might show it to your kid/grandson one day and tell him, that was one person’s crazy idea to “bridge the gap” between laptops and smartphones. Some people thought it was a cool thing for a few months, but after the glitter has worn off, nobody seems to care about these things anymore nor use them (forget about buying them).

I think if they want netbooks to survive, well, at least for a couple of years, then they should price them for $50. I’m sure companies can afford to, after all, they’re using the worst hardware ever in these things, so why can’t they? For $50 they will probably sell like hot cupcakes, and the netbooks will truly serve their original purpose, which is providing computers for poor people.

Now how does this article relates to stocks? Just think of all these computer companies producing netbooks and ponder the effect of the netbook failure on their stocks (think DELL, HPQ) .

Comment Form