Given the usual refrain that accompanies any new netbook announcement – “under the hood there’s Intel’s N270 1.6GHz Atom processor…” – you’d think the silicon company would be happy with their lot in life. However it looks as though they’re not so sure; Stu Pann, vice president in the sales and marketing group at Intel, has described netbooks as “not something you’re going to use day in and day out.”
The issue, according to Pann, is of positioning in the marketplace and the intended buyer. What was perhaps intended to open up new segments – such as developing markets, where traditional notebooks are too expensive and over-complicated – has instead begun cannibalizing entry-level laptops in existing markets.
“We originally thought Netbooks would be for emerging markets and younger kids, and there is some of that. It turns out the bulk of the Netbooks sold today are Western Europe, North America, and for people who just want to grab and go with a notebook. We view the Netbook as mostly incremental to our total available market” Stu Pann, VP of sales and marketing group, Intel
Pann went on to criticise the netbook form-factor as unsuitable for regular use, claiming: “if you’ve ever used a Netbook and used a 10-inch screen size, it’s fine for an hour. It’s not something you’re going to use day in and day out.” The Intel VP was speaking at an IT supply chain conference.