Bad time for them netbooks. These little laptop Inexpensive had their heyday a few years ago. Manufacturers are now abandoning them, one after the other. After Dell, Lenovo, Sony and even Samsung, it’s the turn ofAsus and maybe evenAcer to follow the march.
Jerry Shen, CEO ofAsus, told Digitimes it intends to end the range EeePC equipped with processors Intel Atom, as soon as stocks last.
Taiwanese magazine reports thatAcer would also expect to withdraw from the market. Contacted for the occasion, the Taiwanese company told us that no official announcement was going for the moment in this direction.
A declining market
The netbook market has enjoyed a good career thanks to the success of the first of them, the Asus Eee PC. Since then, the sector has gradually declined. Their products no longer making as much acceptance in developed countries, manufacturers then turned to developing countries. Now, even in these markets, there is a marked decline and demand is drastically falling.
The margins of these already thin products have become thinner over the years. Among others, they suffered from unexpected competition from shelves and Laptops classics whose prices have tended to fall. Manufacturers have therefore entered other markets, with Ultrabooks in mind, abandoning netbooks who no longer make a recipe.
GfK dataThe sales figures of the GfK group clearly show this decline. In terms of market share, the netbook peaked in 2010, representing 25% of the laptop market alone. Before slowly crumbling, reaching 17% in 2012. But it is above all the loss of turnover which reflects the manufacturers’ lack of interest in this market: between 2010 and 2011, it fell by 25%. A trend that seems to continue for 2012.
The next BONE of Microsoft, Windows 8, does not encourage manufacturers to develop netbooks. If Windows 7 has a version Starter inexpensive, this will not be the case for its replacement. It is therefore difficult to offer low-cost machines without this type of license.
Except that Microsoft was also very strict about using this license Starter for Windows 7 : no more than 2 GB of RAM and 320 GB of hard drive. Constraints that have not helped the offer to diversify and improve over time. Same observation on the side of the processor, theIntel Atom which quickly equipped 95% of the netbook fleet. Only, it has never really changed either, with a frequency almost unchanged during its operation.
In the end, these little PC were trapped by their limitations and did not evolve enough to create a craze that would have allowed renewal.
Asus told us that he has no plans to replace his Eee PCs with other computers at similar prices. The era of PC under Windows less than 300 € seems to be over.