Tudor Brown, the president of ARM, said that tablets should be more multimedia-rich and offer more value-added services than netbooks in order to be successful on the market.
One of the potential business models with netbooks was selling them at very low price-points with a contract for Internet access by telecommunication operators. While in some countries there are operators who sell netbooks this way, the majority of such computers are still sold by retailers.
While for netbook manufacturers it is absolutely not important who sells their products, for the end-user it means that after the purchase he or she will not get any value-added services that can be expected from operators.
In addition, netbooks utilize very low-end microprocessors and simply cannot provide adequate performance in multimedia applications simply because they are not tailored for Atom microprocessors. As a result, people still have to acquire traditional notebooks in order to enjoy their favourite content.
Netbooks are designed specifically to be portable, primarily capable of basic Web surfing, email and word processing. When people find out that their newly purchased netbook does not have any capability when it comes to multimedia applications, they just go back to the store and pick up a mainstream notebook with better performance and features," said Tudor Brown, the president of ARM, in an interview with DigiTimes web-site.
Tablets should solve netbook-related issues: they should offer value-added services (preferably both from manufacturer and network operator, which will require investments from both) and they should provide high-quality multimedia experience along with long battery life.
"Customers have a growing appetite for tablet PCs as more new features and value-added services will be added to the devices. The trend is tablets will be more multi-functional," stressed Mr. Brown.
The bottom line is: notebooks are for productivity, slates are for entertainment and quick Web surfing. The question what are netbooks for is rhetorical.