January 2, 2013
The netbook is no moreAsus, Acer cease production
Netbooks, the small, low-cost mobile PCs that Steve Jobs famously ridiculed as he unveiled the first iPad back in 2010, are officially no more. The two remaining manufacturers, Asus and Acer have both issued statements claiming that the end of 2012 also marks the end of production for the once much-hyped mini-laptops.
Portability + productivity
By 2009 the devices had become so popular that every one of the world's leading PC manufacturers, from HP to Sony and Toshiba, had their own range. Many experts and tech journalists were claiming it was only a matter of time before Apple was forced to launch its own netbook if it wanted to survive. Analysts were predicting that by the end of the year 45 million devices would be sold. ABI Research went as far as to suggest that by 2013 netbooks would sell in quantities of 139 million a year.
But what actually happened is that full-sized laptops became more powerful, lighter and cheaper, and in 2010 Apple released the iPad.
During the launch presentation, Steve Jobs explained that there is room for a third device in people's lives -- one that occupies the space between a smartphone and a laptop computer -- but to be able to occupy that space, it has to be better than both devices at browsing the web, sharing photos, watching videos, reading e-books and gaming.
A little over two years later, Apple has sold over 100 million iPads, and all of the world's leading computer makers are now selling their own tablets and convertible PC devices.