Intel Admits: Netbooks Do Not Attract New Buyers to PCs

Intel Does Not Expect Netbooks to Attract First-Time Buyers

by Anton Shilov
07/29/2009 | 02:00 PM

Intel Corp. on Wednesday admitted that netbooks do not attract new buyers to the market, but compliment already used personal computers that are used by existing consumers. If currently available netbooks fail to attract new customers, then machines running Windows 7 for netbooks with 10.1” screens will definitely not turn out to be popular on emerging markets at all.


“I do not think first-time buyers are going to buy netbooks. The first time you buy something you want the real deal. It's consistent not just in China, but all around the world. If you are going to spend your hard-earned money for the first time, you are going to put a computer in your house," said Sean Maloney, executive vice president and chief sales and marketing officer at Intel, at Intel Technology Summit media event.

According to Mr. Maloney, netbooks are mostly acquired by those, who already own one or two proper personal computers, but who need to have a very basic and inexpensive system for surfing the Internet or reading email.

Back in the second half of 2007 many believed that netbooks could enable inexpensive PC experience in developing countries, however, it looks like this has not happen. Moreover, most likely it will not: with limitation of screen diagonal at 10.1” in case of netbook version of Windows 7, not a lot of people even in developing world will buy a netbook as their first or primary personal computer.

Intel needs to ensure that sales of netbooks do not cannibalize sales of notebooks, however, this does not mean that the company’s netbook-oriented business is unsuccessful: last quarter Intel earned $362 million selling its Intel Atom processors, a very large amount of money considering the fact that the Atom family was only introduced in Q2 2008.