Netbooks are this year’s hot property in the notebook world as we hear about them in a constant stream of news and coverage. For the most part they all look the same, have the same components and have a low price. There has been no shortage of speculation as to how big an impact on traditional notebook sales the cheap netbooks will have. Wistron, a large Original Design Manufacturer (ODM) of notebooks for big companies, doesn’t think there will be a big impact in the near term according to DIGITIMES. Wistron CEO says the netbook is too low a profit margin to have a big impact on the total notebook outlook as netbooks are still a "niche product".
Lin said that Wistron is not rushing into the netbook segment andestimated that the company’s netbook shipments will total two millionunits in 2009. Including projected sales from traditional notebooks,Wistron’s notebook business should grow by 40% on year to 25-28 millionunits. He expressed doubts about industry players’ forecasts thatnetbooks are to account for 20-30% of total notebook shipments in 2009.
I’m not sure how a brand new genre of device can ship two million units in a year (and that’s just Wistron) and be called a niche product. While the OEMs may not like the low profit margin of the cheap netbook it’s clear the consumer wants them and that’s why all of these companies are making them like crazy.