How that fruit company killed the netbook (charts!)

netbookRemember netbooks, those underpowered but very small and inexpensive laptops? If ever anything came and went in a whirlwind, that’s the example to we’d point to. Netbook sales are now a mere shadow of their former glory.

To some extent, netbooks were probably hampered by the wave of lightweight laptops that started appearing a couple of years ago. They weren’t quite as small, but small enough, and much more powerful. What they weren’t, however, was cheap. In that way they could not supersede the netbook.

So we’re betting the real netbook killer was the rise of tablet computers. This in itself isn’t exactly news, but we love being able to visualize trends. It’s usually a great way to confirm a hunch you may have about something like this. Let’s have a look at some charts from Google Trends and you’ll see what we mean.

We’ll take the United States as the example, but the worldwide view is similar.

netbook trend

It’s clear that the interest in netbooks peaked at the end of 2009 (the holiday season, as you can see by the cyclical nature of the graph). In spite of some peaks in interest in netbooks around Christmas it’s been downhill ever since.

Now let’s add interest in tablets to this chart.

netbook vs tablet trend

Note the peak at the beginning of 2010. That’s when a certain fruit company introduced its dashing new tablet to the world. That’s also when interest in netbooks started to wane.

Coincidence? Nah…

Now, just for fun, let’s add the fruit company tablet to this chart as well.

netbook tablet ipad trend

If nothing else, this last chart shows how vastly the general interest in the iPad outstrips the general interest in tablets. It’s not so strange that Apple currently dominates that market by a mile.

So rather than saying that tablets killed the netbook, you could say that Apple, and specifically the iPad, killed it.

Image credit: Netbook image via Wikimedia Commons.


  1. Netbooks are still great for what they’re meant for web-centric computing. I got an ipad awhile back and to me the thing is cool but it’s a novelty and not something practical. My acer aspire one with 1.66 ghz, 1gb ram and a 160 gb hdd still works great and I still use it a lot when I’m really on the go or when I want to watch a few youtube videos or check my email before I go to bed, and yes I have a laptop but it’s still not as portable as a netbook. Thanks to all! @Marisha from    (AC/DC Adapters)

  2. Small resolution killed the netbooks. Try to buy one with 10 inch screen and 1366×768 resolution. Impossible. I’m happy to own HP Mini with said resolution, Atom N550 and 2 GB of RAM – it’s my main computer, I work on it, watch movies, anything (except games). And the battery life is unbeatable. Tablet is not an option, I often work on remote servers via SSH, so I need a decent hardware keyboard… 

  3. السلام عليكم اعضاء المنتدى الكرام وجدت مجموعة جميلة من الصفحات التي تختص بنشر المقالات العلمية في مجالات الكومبيوتر والنترنت والمواضيع العلمية , ادعوكم للاطلاع عليها وترك تعليقاتكم على هذا الموضوع مع التحية المقطع التالي كما مذكور في الموقع :
    أطلقت شركة “مايكروسوفت” عملاق البرمجيات رسمياً تطبيق “سكاي درايف SkyDrive” للأجهزة المعتمدة على نظام تشغيل جوجل “أندرويد”، وهي متاحة منذ يوم الثلاثاء الماضي  للتحميل بمتجر التطبيقات “جوجل بلاي” , التطبيق يشبه الإصدارات التي أطلقتها مايكروسوفت منذ حوالي أسبوعين تقريباً لأنظمة التشغيل “ويندوز فون 7″، و”آي أو إس”.
    ويسمح التطبيق الآن مستخدمي أجهزة أندرويد من هواتف ذكية وحواسب لوحية من تحميل الملفات والصور وغيرها من البيانات والوثائق وحفظها وتخزينها داخل خدمة مايكروسوفت السحابية “سكاي داريف” دون قيود تُذكر، وإمكانية الوصول إلى كافة الملفات المخزنة من مختلف أجهزة أندرويد، ومشاركة هذه الملفات مع الآخرين عن طريق إرسالها عبر البريد الإلكتروني، مع إتاحة الوصول السريع إلى الملفات والوثائق المخزنة حديثاً. للمزيد اذهب للموقع:

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