Back in 2010, when netbooks were the fastest-growing segment of the P market and selling by the tens of millions, Steve Jobs defied conventional wisdom that Apple needs to make a netbook, famously lambasting netbooks as “cheap” and “not better than anything.”
Instead, Jobs introduced the iPad… and in the last three years, the iPad and similar tablets have completely killed netbook sales. In fact, in 2010, there were 32 million netbooks sold. Three years later? Only 10% as many will be sold, and by 2015, the segment will die entirely.
The data comes from research house IHS iSuppli, which shows just how precipitously the netbook is dying in the iPad age.
In 2010, as we already mentioned, netbooks sold 32 million units. In 2012? They shipped 14.13 million units: not great, but not bad. In 2013, though? Netbook shipments have sank 72 percent to just 3.97 million. And by 2015, iSuppli says no one will buy netbooks at all.
It’s not surprising. The reason people liked netbooks was they were easily portable, had great 10 hour battery life, cost under $500 and could perform simple computing tasks like web browsing and the Internet. Unfortunately, they were also slow, a little bulky and had tiny, unusable keyboards. In every respect, an iPad is better at what a netbook tries to do than a netbook is. Good riddance.