Netbooks started out as this massive craze, where every man and his dog not only wanted one, but somehow, required one. But, the netbook light that once shone so bright is now a fading star thanks to the ever-increasing speed and power of smartphones and the entry of tablets.
Samsung know this and look to be ditching the netbooks and concentrating on more expensive ultraportable laptops and ultrabooks instead, if we believe an e-mail sent to trading partners is to be believed. The e-mail is quoted by French site Blogeee and reads:
Following the introduction of our new strategy in 2012, we will discontinue our 10.1-inch (netbook) product range in Q1 2012, in favor of ultraportables (11.6 and 12 inches) and ultrabooks to be launched in 2012.
Netbooks were great, they were low-cost, and had great feature sets that mad basic tasks quite easy to handle, with their size contributing to portability. But, the form factor never really... evolved. Most devices ran similar hardware, which made it hard to choose between them and personally, I used to recommend different brands just for the keyboards and how spaced out they were.
Tablets can do virtually everything a netbook can, or could do, but have a touchscreen, have better battery life (for some tablets like the iPad and upcoming Transformer Prime) and will eventually, have even more power. Ultrabooks will be the next 'big' thing in 2012, and Samsung would be smart to ditch netbooks and start the ultrabook market running going into 2012.