The Netbook Revolution is Over, But it Served a Purpose
"Congratulations! The netbook revolution is over and you won. Monday, Intel announced the general availability of new systems from most major vendors featuring its dual-core Atom N550 processor. The company also shared that it has shipped over 70 million Atom CPUs since it first launched the low-voltage, low-priced platform back in 2008. Yet with so much success has come massive stagnation-and even declines in sales. The problem isn't that netbooks have failed. On the contrary, they've succeeded so well that they have become irrelevant."
Despite what some iPad hype-masters would have us believe, the drop is netbook sales has nothing to do with the iPad coming out - the reality is that netbooks re-shaped the notebook landscape, cluing manufacturers into the fact that for online tasks, a small form factor and "good enough" hardware are what many consumers were looking for. Netbooks still sell, especially amongst certain segments (they're big with students), but because the technology in a 2010 netbook isn't very different from a 2008 netbook, it's not surprising that people aren't rushing out to replace their hardware - especially since, odds are the first netbook they bought meets the "good enough" criteria.