Why Most CES-Launched Netbooks Will Not See The End of 2009

by Jay Bika on January 10, 2009 · 2 comments

in Opinion

If there’s anything to take from CES 2009 is that the netbook movement is in full effect. 2009 has been dubbed “the year of the netbook”. After Asus led the pack, everyone (except Apple) has jumped or is jumping into netbooks.

While a great selection ultimately benefits the netbook user aka the customer, too much choice is a turn off. I write about netbooks all day and of all people, i am having a hard time keeping up with the new netbooks that have been announced this week so far! All the manufacturers of these new mini notebooks obviously expect to sell millions of them and thus make money in this tough times.

The bad news is that only a few brands will fare well while the rest will sink as quickly as they surfaced. At this time of writing, I would not be lying if I said that there are probably more than 100 netbooks that a potential buyer would have to choose from if all the brands or models were put in front of her.

That’s just too much and it may turn against the netbook industry as a whole. What’s causing the recession in the first place? Excess is one of the culprit. 

Big brands such as HP, Lenovo, Dell and Sony will make money from netbooks because of their strong brands. But brands such as InTheMixx, Commodore and BenQ may find that their netbooks will not sell plenty.

The ultimate winner may be Acer with their Aspire One. That’s because the potential buyer will be so confused with the many netbooks available to her that she will just go with the popular choice which is Acer followed closely by Asus.

Everyone jumping on the netbook bandwagon shows that the netbook is a promising concept. The downside is that the confusion may turn off consumers and hurt many brands as a result.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Clayton Hallmark January 10, 2009 at 5:53 pm

You’ve got it backwards, IMHO — Dozens of brands at rapidly deflating prices will take over the market. The big guys — HP, Dell, etc. — will be the ones hurting. We need depression computers.

The no-name brands will be the ones that survive. Of course they will soon be replaced by other no-name brands, and it is the factories in China that will survive. A computer is just a computer, a commodity, or it will be that way.

Check back with me in a year or two, and we will see who is right.

Good blog, though I disagreed on this one point.


2 Jay Bika January 11, 2009 at 4:33 am

Clayton, thanks for your comment. You actually just stressed my point by using the word ‘commodity’.

Most of these netbooks have nothing that sets them apart from each other. Heck, most of them are just rebadged MSIs! What will happen like you say is a price war and since the larger brands have a larger distribution and a bigger marketing muscle, they will be able to sell more units and therefore be able to drop the prices at the same time.

All other not well known brands can decrease prices as they wish but they will be so invisible that the consumer will not be able to even be aware of them because at the end of the day, what retailer is going to be silly enough to stock all the brands? He or she will stock the proven winners or the ones from manufacturers who are also doing their bit in marketing the specific netbook brand and model.

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