ABI Research Finds that Consumers Still Like Netbooks

As with so many things, the rate at which tablets have been draining netbooks of their customers may have been a bit overstated, at least this is what an ABI Research survey appears to suggest.

Back in 2010, most people didn't expect tablets to take off quite so quickly, but they definitely did, making sure netbooks didn't get to rise in sales that much.

In fact, after the iPad was no longer the only viable tablet out there, sales of low-end mobile PCs dropped gradually by quite a bit each month.

This also had an effect on the PC market overall, to the point where some analysts started to think netbooks would be reduced to a niche eventually and notebook sales won't really be the same again.

Turns out, however, that things aren't really so dire for low-end laptops, as at least half of those subjected to a survey said they were as eager to buy one (or more) as they were to get a slate.

The reason slates are thought to be doing better than they really are is because they have been getting extensive news coverage.

Tabelts are, true enough, good for entertainment tasks, but netbooks have also risen in capability and, with prices so much lower than tablets, aren't in such great a danger.

“Nearly half of those surveyed, however, report that they are either ‘not very’ or ‘not at all’ interested in purchasing a media tablet. The most common reason for the lack of interest is ‘I don’t see the need’, selected by 60% of this group," said Jeff Orr, the director of mobile devices group, at ABI.

“This change is consistent with potential buyers realigning expectations to match modern netbook capabilities," said Mr. Orr.

Granted, the similar survey conducted in 2009 did show much higher netbook interest, but this is also partially owed for how, back then, the market saturation was not an issue, not to mention that the recession made relatively cheap laptops of this kind seem even more convenient than they would have been seen as otherwise.

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