ABI surveyed 1000 people about netbooks. According to their results, only 79% see them as a secondary computer. 11% see them as a primary computer proving that there is a significant overlap an direct impact on notebook sales. No surprise really.
The results are not good news for laptop and netbook manufacturers in general, despite the 79% that are buying a netbooks as a second device. Here are some thoughts from the top of my head.
- Any survey done at the moment is dealing with early-curve consumers that are highly likely to buy a second device. In one year the figures might be worse purely based on the change of customer type (although it will be hard to do this survey in the mainstream market as many consumers may not even know they’ve bought a netbook)
- Even if people buy a netbook as a secondary device, it will change their purchasing rhythm pushing the purchase of a replacement notebook further out. In some cases the netbook may satisfy the customer 100% and the next notebook purchase may never happen.
- As netbooks move to bigger screens, they pull prices of normal laptops down in order to compete on perceived value.
My feeling is that the netbook effect is going to hit manufacturers very hard in the next 3 years. Netbooks aren’t going away though so they will need to find a way to cope with it. This means stripping out niche products, reducing quality and implementing lots of tricky marketing.