Netbook sales crash: the downside to the tablet upside

Let’s face it many of us thought tablets would be popular but few expected them to start killing netbooks and even affecting sales of notebooks and PCs. However their impact has been highlighted by Bill Koefoed Microsoft’s general manager of investor relations.

When explaining at a recent Microsoft results announcement why the consumer PC market had declined 8 per cent in the most recent quarter Koefoed said it was partly due to a “40 percent decline in netbooks.”

He didn’t explain why netbooks had suffered specifically but analysts Gartner Inc did when they downgraded their forecast for PC sales in 2012 down to 440.6 million units. Gartner put the blame squarely at the feet of tablets.

Netbook we hardly knew you…

“We expect growing consumer enthusiasm for mobile PC alternatives such as the iPad and other media tablets to dramatically slow home mobile PC sales especially in mature markets” said George Shiffler research director at Gartner.

“We once thought that mobile PC growth would continue to be sustained by consumers buying second and third mobile PCs as personal devices. However we now believe that consumers are not only likely to forgo additional mobile PC buys but are also likely to extend the lifetimes of the mobile PCs they retain as they adopt media tablets and other mobile PC alternatives as their primary mobile device.”