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About 10 million netbooks were sold in 2008. 20 million netbooks are predicted to be sold in 2009. In this presentation Tim Bajarin, president of Creative Strategies Inc, talks about the netbook effect and states that laptops priced over 1000 USD are basically dead.
Bajarin talks about a very negative impact netbooks have on the PC business, because they caused the repricing of laptops in general, lowered the selling prices of existing laptops and conditioned consumers to believe that they can buy a laptop for 300 bucks.
He also states that the biggest reason for the high return rates in the beginnings of the netbook era was that they had Linux on it.
For me it's hard to imagine that the market for high-end laptops is dead. Netbooks and laptops serve different purposes. People who need to do actual work that requires lots of processing power are better served with a high-end laptop, whereas people who want to read and write email, surf the Web or watch online video are well served with netbooks.
The price drop caused by netbooks is not that bad for consumers, though I agree that it is a misbelief to expect a powerful laptop to come at a price of 300 USD.
Bajarin's claim that Linux was the biggest reason for netbook returns seems short-sighted too. I guess many people where not satisfied with the limited processing capabilities, as well as the small screens and keyboards of the first generation of netbooks.
What do you think, will laptops that cost more than 1000 USD vanish?