Friday, November 28, 2008

Netbooks Under Fire

I am not sure whether to laugh or cry. Intel, Microsoft, AMD and all the other tech companies are unable to embrace netbooks, UMPCs, or MIDs. Yet Apple continues to move further into the mobile market.  When will they learn?

CNET started today's firestorm publishing comments from Stu Pann, vice president in the sales and marketing group at Intel.

"We originally thought Netbooks would be for emerging markets and younger kids, and there is some of that. It turns out the bulk of the Netbooks sold today are Western Europe, North America, and for people who just want to grab and go with a notebook," Pann said. "We view the Netbook as mostly incremental to our total available market," he added.

Now blogs are chiming in with their thoughts. Most are negative. Some are thoughtful.

  • jkOnTheRun states, "There are millions of folks who I'll bet will argue with that viewpoint based on sales numbers."

  • The Tech Report focuses on the comment regarding use for one hour.

  • Dave Winer sets the record straight, "A netbook is for the coffee shop or airplane or subway ride. For watching a movie, checking email, updating Twitter, fast, mobile stuff."

In contrast to my own beliefs Electronista suggests, "The popularity of netbooks has increasingly been regarded by Intel and notebook manufacturers themselves as a problem, according to analysts."

Really now - the problem is marketing and building a worthy product. IMHO, the concept is good but the implementation sucks. Consumers want the feature found in netbooks - mobility - and focus on mobility in terms of efficiency. Netbooks need more power, better screens, and easier synching with the networks (internet, company networks, etc).

So when will companies learn not to dump on a growing market? Probably never but there is hope.