Netbooks came upon us almost out of the blue and without warning. They proved to be a major disrupter that left everyone scrambling for a piece of the action. They’ve continued to be a major disruptive force as they’ve evolved more quickly than most can keep track of and stolen attention and profits (some argue) from those who particiapte in the race.
At this stage in the game we’re seeing reports about parts and chips being scarce, and also about demand dwindling and a glut in the chip market. We’ve seen a few reports that things slowed down a bit last quarter. NVidia’s ION and the ARM chip (armed with Google Android?) seem poised to disrupt this disruptive influence even more. Folks are talking about Linux again with the new release of Ubuntu making some waves right before Windows 7 and its Starter Edition is about to be unveiled in a Release Candidate.
Where’s it all going? Who really knows. It is a still a voliatle market in a unreadable economy and things are changing so rapidly that not much seems to take hold beyond the fact that low price points are loved by all (except by those who call them junk.)
This summer promises to be interesting as we see what will be revealed next in the crazy world of Netbooks and mobile computing that Asus unleashed just a short time ago. In some part of my little pea brain I think the chaos and disruption is a good thing for Netbooks and how they will play out in the future.
UPDATE: After posting I caught this post from Brad Linder at Liliputing that has a link to an interesting video where Tim Bajarin of Creative Strategies says Netbooks have killed the market for laptops over $1000. He may have a point. I think I recall predicting some time ago that we’d see things settle into a segmentation that would feature low cost Netbooks on one end of the spectrum and high end laptops on the other. But then again, take any anaylsis and anaylist with a grain of salt these days. (Including this one.)