The iPad was barely a newborn when the first pundits started shouting about the 'death of the netbook'. These claims were seemingly substantiated by Fortune's Mac blog which loudly proclaimed that the stalling netbook growth was due to iPad sales. Now Paul Thurrott has put together a tantalizingly detailed rebuttal.
The massive plunge in netbook growth rates actually occurred well before the iPad's launch. As early last summer, netbook growth peaked off. Unit states are still going up, but overall growth has slowed as a result of unexpectedly good PC sales. Windows 7 notebooks slowed the netbook's wild ride, not the iPad.
Thurrott points out that IDC forecasts currently estimate 2011 mini-notebook sales to exceed 45 million. Even if the iPad proves wildly successful beyond all imagining, it won't have sold 45 million units by 2011. While it's true that the iPad (and the growing tablet market) are likely to have some deleterious impact on netbook sales, it is way too early to declare the netbook 'dead'.
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