Netbooks a Threat to Notebooks

(Ping! Zine) – Chadwick Martin Bailey’s most recent tech pulse, a market research study among over 200 IT decision makers about business device substitution plans, found that IT departments are more open to substituting computing form factors for one another than consumers. Over half of IT buyers are open to some type of substitution of their company’s current notebook fleet during the next buying cycle, most commonly for netbooks (33%). It’s a different story for consumers, only 18% of consumer notebook users will switch to a netbook and 13% to a tablet.
“Netbooks entered the market with a consumer hat on, but now we are seeing more of an opportunity for netbooks to gain market share in the B2B market,” comments Don Ryan, managing director of Chadwick Martin Bailey’s Technology practice. “Tablets like the iPad will cut into the consumer share of netbook sales, but we’re seeing notable interest among IT departments for ongoing B2B netbook purchases,” continues Ryan.

IT departments’ interest in netbooks is driven more by low price points than it is by improved mobility of the form factor vis-à-vis notebooks. For extreme mobility, many mobile employees are already equipped with smartphones and this device form factor has the least likelihood of being replaced with anything else for the most common mobile business applications like email, IM, calendaring, web surfing and—let us not forget—phone calls. The typical mobile employee will likely remain a “smartphone + 1” creature for the immediate future.