Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 13th May 2009 22:02 UTC
Hardware, Embedded Systems It seems like we're getting even more signs that netbooks haven't been doing very well lately. Research figures by IDC on the processor market seem to paint a not-so-rosy picture of sales of Intel's Atom processor, and then figures coming in from DisplaySearch seem to paint a different picture. What's going on here?
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wow this is tough to figure out
by poundsmack on Wed 13th May 2009 22:50 UTC
poundsmack
Member since:
2005-07-13

lets see...

companies order a bulk load of the chips
then they build the netbooks
then the try and sell them
...since they don't see all the netbooks as fast as they bought the chips, there is some still in inventory
they wait to order more until their suply starts to dwindel.

its for this reason that Intel scrapped the 45nm i5 chips because everyone had a surplus of core 2's still lying around. Business 101.

Reply Score: 5

atom 2
by wanker90210 on Wed 13th May 2009 23:55 UTC
wanker90210
Member since:
2007-10-26

Speaking for my own part, the Atom CPU is not super fast (the memory crippling windows license apart). Intel's announcement that newer much better Atom2 chips will hit the market real soon now has at least put of me from buying a netbook right now.

Wasn't it btw a vintage laptop brand that died for announcing the next version of their laptop prematurely, thus killing their sales and then going bankrupt?

Reply Score: 2

RE: atom 2
by Accident on Thu 14th May 2009 01:06 UTC in reply to "atom 2"
Accident Member since:
2005-07-29

Yep......I remember! It was Osborne.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Osborne_1#Market_life

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: atom 2
by chemical_scum on Thu 14th May 2009 03:36 UTC in reply to "RE: atom 2"
chemical_scum Member since:
2005-11-02

Yep......I remember! It was Osborne.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Osborne_1#Market_life


No - If you read your link you would see that the failed successor "luggable" computer was the Osborne Vixen.

There was an Acorn Atom computer:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Acorn_Atom

Its successor was to be called the Proton and it morphed into the BBC computer which was very successful in the UK educational market in the eighties. The surviving successful spinoff of Acorn is ARM which is of course licensed its technology to Freescale who are now producing a competitor to the Intel Atom in the netbook market.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: atom 2
by MamiyaOtaru on Thu 14th May 2009 06:24 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: atom 2"
MamiyaOtaru Member since:
2005-11-11

This could be the Osborne Effect at work, though TBH I hadn't heard anything about newer Atoms until now. What I'm really waiting on though is a chipset that doesn't use more energy than the CPU.

Yep......I remember! It was Osborne.


No - If you read your link you would see that the failed successor ... computer was the Osborne


wat

You seem to be agreeing. Why are you saying "no"?

Reply Score: 4

RE: atom 2
by Bill Shooter of Bul on Thu 14th May 2009 03:07 UTC in reply to "atom 2"
Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:
2006-07-14

Well, Intel also has to hold off the potential defection to ARM as well. They'll have to just make do with the sales of all of their other processors.

Reply Score: 3

RE: atom 2
by Lennie on Thu 14th May 2009 23:25 UTC in reply to "atom 2"
Lennie Member since:
2007-09-22

In my case it's ARM, that would actually be worse for Intel.

Reply Score: 1

new Atoms
by geleto on Thu 14th May 2009 07:50 UTC
geleto
Member since:
2005-07-06

It is quite obvious - new Atoms are about to ship in the next months.

With on-die GPU and memory controller, much smaller chipset(unlike the current one which consumes more energy than the Atom) - the netbooks will weight much less and require a smaller battery. The old netbooks will look big and bulky.

Having an invertory full of old Atoms is not a good idea.

Reply Score: 3

Not al netbooks have atoms...
by coolvibe on Thu 14th May 2009 08:57 UTC
coolvibe
Member since:
2007-08-16

My EeePC 900 has a celeron. It's probably not the only one that has a celeron instead of an atom.

Could explain it somewhat.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Not al netbooks have atoms...
by Fransexy on Thu 14th May 2009 09:39 UTC in reply to "Not al netbooks have atoms..."
Fransexy Member since:
2005-07-29

And not forget that there is also netbooks with ARM and PowerPC (Well, only one in this last).

Reply Score: 1

But...
by Hakime on Thu 14th May 2009 10:12 UTC
Hakime
Member since:
2005-11-16

if the figures released by DisplaySearch are anything to go by. According to those figures, netbook market penetration increased during the first quarter of 2009, to where netbooks now measure 20% of the total notebook market.

You are saying half the story!!! You seem to ignore that in the DisplaySearch's figures, it is reported that the growth of netbook sells between the last quarter of 2008 and the first quarter of 2009 shows sharp negative values for all manufacturers. That means that during the first quarter of 2009, netbooks sells have slowed down significantly.

Asus sees -47% in sells, Acer -18%, Hp -22%, Toshiba -33%, Lenovo -50%, -19% for other players. Dell had zero growth. And those numbers actually fit quite well with what is reported by Intel itself for Atom revenues growth for the first quarter of 2009, -27%.

The fact that netbooks show larger market penetration is maybe not so surprising if other segment of laptops have had constant decrease in shipments since last year.

Edited 2009-05-14 10:14 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE: But...
by Thom_Holwerda on Thu 14th May 2009 11:22 UTC in reply to "But..."
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

Uhm, the q/q sales decline of netbooks is in line with that of normal notebooks: about 25%.

Not surprising in a post-holiday quarter.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: But...
by Hakime on Thu 14th May 2009 12:19 UTC in reply to "RE: But..."
Hakime Member since:
2005-11-16

"Uhm, the q/q sales decline of netbooks is in line with that of normal notebooks: about 25%.

Not surprising in a post-holiday quarter."


What? Don't look at the total, look at a manufacturer by manufacturer basis. From the figures,

HP:
- Netbooks: -22%
- Notebooks:-11%

Acer:
- Netbooks: -18%
- Notebooks:-9%

Toshiba:
- Netbooks: -33%
- Notebooks:-7%

Lenovo:
- Netbooks: -50%
- Notebooks: 12%

Asus:
- Netbooks: -47%
- Notebooks:-47%

Others:
- Netbooks: -19%
- Notebooks:-54%

HP, Acer, Toshiba have significant higher negative growth for their netbooks compared to their notebooks. Lenovo saw a positive growth in his notebooks sales, and a whopping decrase of 50% for its netbooks sales. Asus had severe decline in both, netbooks and notebooks.

The total numbers are not informative because they hide the severe drop in sales of top netbooks manufacturers even compared to their notebooks. You can come up with the post holiday reason, but that does not explain why some manufacturers see a bigger drop in sales in netbooks than in notebooks. That should be the opposite, given that netbooks are supposed to be the driving force of the industry in 2009. In other word, netbooks should be have been less influenced by sales decline during the post holiday period.

What i am saying is that this is significant enough to be mentioned in your story (instead of mentioning basically pointless numbers of market share). Referring to those numbers makes the Atom revenues decline at Intel more understandable.

Edited 2009-05-14 12:22 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: But...
by Thom_Holwerda on Thu 14th May 2009 12:24 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: But..."
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

The total numbers are not informative because they hide the severe drop in sales of top netbooks manufacturers even compared to their notebooks.


This has to be the biggest piece of number twisting I have ever heard someone say on OSNews. We shouldn't look at the totals? WTF?

Totals indicate that netbook sales have decreased conform the market trend, about 25% for both netbooks and notebooks. The fact that some manufacturers saw sharper drops than others is, ell drop dead obvious.

I guess you'd think differently if we were talking about your grades in school. How ridiculous would it be if your grades in a subject were measured only by looking at your low grades, instead of the average?

Come on Hakime, this is just utter bullshit, and you know it.

Reply Score: 1

To answer the question
by steogede2 on Thu 14th May 2009 11:10 UTC
steogede2
Member since:
2007-08-17

>> Atom Sales Drop, Netbook Share Increases: What's Going on?

Without reading the article, there are a number of answers that pop into my head:
In a shrinking market, market share can increase whilst sales drop - all it takes is for sales to decrease at a lower rate than the market shrinks.
Processors don't come out of the Intel factory, straight into a computer and into a customers hand. Yes the sales of the two are linked, but they aren't directly connected.

Reply Score: 1

Atom sales drop, netbook sales increase
by 3rdalbum on Thu 14th May 2009 12:54 UTC
3rdalbum
Member since:
2008-05-26

There are another two possible explanations.

First explanation is that Atom-based Mini-ITX motherboards were initially selling well, but have now slumped; whereas netbook sales have increased.

The other explanation could be that Atom-based netbooks and nettops have decreased in sales, and Via-based ones have been taking up the slack. Highly unlikely I think :-)

Reply Score: 2

DavidSan Member since:
2008-11-18

There are another two possible explanations.

First explanation is that Atom-based Mini-ITX motherboards were initially selling well, but have now slumped; whereas netbook sales have increased.

The other explanation could be that Atom-based netbooks and nettops have decreased in sales, and Via-based ones have been taking up the slack. Highly unlikely I think :-)


There is another explanation...

Netbooks are just fashion. People are realizing they are too uncomfortable and underpowered. At least, many people I know, do not use them anymore... They prefer BB or iPhone. Easier to carry, and it is almost the same thing because Netbook typing is a joke.

When you are in recession, I mean, short of cash, you are not going to spend money in a "thing" you might barely use.

Edited 2009-05-14 20:49 UTC

Reply Score: 1

3rdalbum Member since:
2008-05-26



There is another explanation...

Netbooks are just fashion. People are realizing they are too uncomfortable and underpowered. At least, many people I know, do not use them anymore... They prefer BB or iPhone. Easier to carry, and it is almost the same thing because Netbook typing is a joke.


That explains a slowing down of Atom sales, but it doesn't explain an increase in netbook sales. That's the whole point of this thread: To explain why one news source has said "Atom sales are slowing" and another news source has said "Netbook sales are growing".

Also, the quality and size of the keyboard depends on what netbook you get. I'm a touch typist and I adapted to the Aspire One (9 inch) keyboard very quickly - I'm almost as fast and accurate on that as on my normal desktop keyboard. The iPhone keyboard is much smaller, and the iPhone is more underpowered than any netbook.

And I'm not sure why someone would baulk at spending $299 US on a netbook, and instead spend $499 US on a phone.

Reply Score: 2

DavidSan Member since:
2008-11-18


That explains a slowing down of Atom sales, but it doesn't explain an increase in netbook sales. That's the whole point of this thread: To explain why one news source has said "Atom sales are slowing" and another news source has said "Netbook sales are growing".


But if you look at the numbers Hakime posted, it is not the case:


HP:
- Netbooks: -22%
- Notebooks:-11%

Acer:
- Netbooks: -18%
- Notebooks:-9%

Toshiba:
- Netbooks: -33%
- Notebooks:-7%

Lenovo:
- Netbooks: -50%
- Notebooks: 12%

Asus:
- Netbooks: -47%
- Notebooks:-47%

Others:
- Netbooks: -19%
- Notebooks:-54%



It seems, even though Netbooks were selling well in the holydays, manufacturers believe Netbooks are a fashion and they won't sell well in the near future. So they are not making as many as before. So, not buy many Atoms chips and get rid of inventory. Why? usability tests, surveys, tracking users, sales by sector...

Also, the quality and size of the keyboard depends on what netbook you get. I'm a touch typist and I adapted to the Aspire One (9 inch) keyboard very quickly - I'm almost as fast and accurate on that as on my normal desktop keyboard. The iPhone keyboard is much smaller, and the iPhone is more underpowered than any netbook.


You are missing the point. Netbooks are not as portable as iPhone. iPhone interface is design to be used in that small device, unlike Windows XP or general Linux which are very dpi centric. So users seem to be more confortable using a more portable device design to be used in uncomfortable situations.

Look at this: http://crave.cnet.co.uk/cartech/0,250000513,49302140,00.htm?tag=mnc...

Netbooks are not as portable as iPhone, and not as comfortable as a Laptop. Son, unless you are a child, or you have very thin hands (like Japanesse , Chinesse people...) you get a very hard time trying to type.


And I'm not sure why someone would baulk at spending $299 US on a netbook, and instead spend $499 US on a phone.


Portability. Netbooks are between two worlds: too big for really portable use, too small for conventional Laptop use. Un-optimized software or underpowered hardware (Whatever you choose). The only thing it their favor is price. But a normal laptop with similar quality can be cheap these days.

So, unless you are considering kids use, there is a loss in mass appealing. Computer manufacturers are getting very good at identifying consumer trends, they do not want to end up with a pile of unsold netbooks.

Edited 2009-05-15 14:44 UTC

Reply Score: 1

bornagainenguin Member since:
2005-08-07

DavidSan postulated...

Computer manufacturers are getting very good at identifying consumer trends, they do not want to end up with a pile of unsold netbooks.


Oh I don't believe that at all. I don't think this is so much a case of predictive maneuvering as much as it is self-fulfilling prophecy. Most of the big name OEMs have seen that netbooks are "good enough" for the average user's needs and are thus slowly eating away at their low end laptop sales and resales. I'd love to see what the secondary market for laptops has been since the release of atom-based netbooks and charted against their sales, I think we'd find it enlightening.

No, I think what is happening here is the big name OEMs are realizing that once the price gets as low as they are projected to hit, they will be unable to make as big of a profit as they have in the past and this is unacceptable to them. Also, despite every effort to claim the opposite, in fact I believe there were direct efforts at sabotage--I think we've seen Linux come out as a strong competitor that works better than any Microsoft alternatives. This last frightens them even more because they will be unable to install the customary shovelware and profit off their installed base.

Meanwhile, ARM netbooks are just around the corner and China has been making their MIPs processors available for netbooks running WinCE and Linux for the last two or three years now... That right there could explain the numbers discrepancy, the West isn't the only market for netbooks, you know!

--bornagainpenguin

Reply Score: 2

DavidSan Member since:
2008-11-18


No, I think what is happening here is the big name OEMs are realizing that once the price gets as low as they are projected to hit, they will be unable to make as big of a profit as they have in the past and this is unacceptable to them.


I agree with that... Netbooks do not make profit.. So why bother to make them anyway? Yo have to sell tons of them to make a million dollars. And a million dollars is nothing for HP, Toshiba, Acer...



Also, despite every effort to claim the opposite, in fact I believe there were direct efforts at sabotage--I think we've seen Linux come out as a strong competitor that works better than any Microsoft alternatives.
This last frightens them even more because they will be unable to install the customary shovelware and profit off their installed base.


Sorry, I don't buy it:

1.Microsoft cannot control hardware manufacturers, although it tries, and Windows XP is pre-installed in many Netbooks. Apple does not care about Netbooks...

2.The problem with Linux is not an agenda or a conspiracy against it. The problem with Linux is easy to understand, but hard to admit: It is not good for the desktop. People prefer to pay than dealing with it.

Reply Score: 1

bornagainenguin Member since:
2005-08-07

DavidSan replied...

Sorry, I don't buy it:

1.Microsoft cannot control hardware manufacturers, although it tries, and Windows XP is pre-installed in many Netbooks. Apple does not care about Netbooks...

2.The problem with Linux is not an agenda or a conspiracy against it. The problem with Linux is easy to understand, but hard to admit: It is not good for the desktop. People prefer to pay than dealing with it.


That's because I think we're seeing two different things here.

1) We're not talking about Microsoft here, we're actually talking about the hardware manufacturers. It actually goes back to my first point which you agreed with and is entirely about revenue streams. Most OEMs now preinstall a bunch of trialware products (Microsoft Office) or crippled software that works to a point (DVD Players without full audio support) as well as a bunch of background processes that masquerade as mediaplayers (Viewpoint, Wild Tangent) all that stuff that comes free with your computer in Windows.

As far as I know none of it exists in Linux (which is a feature, not a bug to most users) but to the manufacturers this is a disaster and represents yet another negative in their balance books, because they cannot sell space on these machines to software vendors, meaning even less money gets made on these machines for them!

2) That's right we're not talking about the desktop--we're talking about netbooks! Which doesn't have good support in Windows (yes, even in Windows XP) for SSDs and this results in much reduced performance. Windows also does not like having only 4GBs (or less!) to live in, or doing without a swap file. It also does not like "strange" resolutions for its video output, many of which results in screwy font sizes and improperly sized applications with no recourse for fixing the situation.

Linux does not have these issues for the most part.

Linux is capable of dealing with the hardware limitations of SSD better, handles non-standard resolutions better, has full theming support so my applications will fit the screen, lives without a swap without complaining, etc etc.

So what do the manufacturers do when they go with Linux? They find the most obscure distros they can and toss them on without even bothering to ensure all hardware works! They manage to use software that is more than several years old (Xandros I'm looking at you) and no real way to add new applications then wonder why their users are unhappy with it.

Yet when you put on a standard distro like Ubuntu and ensure all the hardware is supported Linux just works...

So no, I'm not making the mistake of blaming Microsoft for this, I'm putting the blame squarely where it belongs--on the part of the OEMs who never wanted to cater to the netbook market in the first place and have been doing everything they possibly could to sabotage and kill it since they first heard of it.

--bornagainpenguin

Edited 2009-05-15 20:26 UTC

Reply Score: 2

too small
by 2501 on Thu 14th May 2009 21:48 UTC
2501
Member since:
2005-07-14

I they are too small...they are good for kids.
-2501

Reply Score: 1