Time and again, we’ve seen computer industry executives make the case that netbooks are ideal as a second or third computer for users that already have desktops or larger, full featured laptop computers. So netbooks represent a growth area for computer makers for two reasons:
- In case you missed it, there’s a global recession going on, and price-conscious shoppers are drawn to low cost computers like netbooks.
- Many consumers are buying netbooks in addition to other computers, not to replace them.
But in an interview with Laptop Magazine, HP senior VP Ted Clark admitted that netbook sales are cannibalizing the sales of other computers a bit more than HP had anticipated. He doesn’t give any solid numbers, but it’d probably be hard to do that since computer sales overall are obviously being affected by the recession. He does suggest that some people are buying netbooks to use as primary computers and he sort of seems hopeful that some of the people who have done so will be disappointed enough in the experience to purchase a larger, higher priced PC next time they’re in the market for a computer.
Clark also partially dismisses the Intel CULV platform as a rebranding of older CPU technology (which isn’t surprising since HP went with the AMD Neo processor for its new Pavilion dv2 thin and light laptops, rather than choosing CULV chips). He also says he thinks it’s possible the recent push by wireless carriers like AT&T and Verizon to subsidize netbooks for customers willing to pay $40 to $60 a month for long term service plans is going to appeal to small and medium businesses more than the general public that’s already grown accustomed to using netbooks and laptops with free and pay per use public WiFi hotspots.
Clark didn’t really have much to say when asked about whether HP would install Windows 7 Starter Edition or another version of Microsoft’s next generation operating system on upcoming netbooks, and he had a noncomittal answer to a question about Google Android. But as HP recently showed with the introduction of the HP Mini 1000 Mi Edition, the company isn’t beyond taking new approaches toward software.