One of the reasons netbooks are so popular is that they generally cost less than fuller featured laptops. But in addition to driving down the average price of computers, netbooks have also led consumers to change the way they think about the value of computers… and that’s led manufacturers to drop the prices of higher end computer as well.
At a recent conference, Creative Strategies president Tim Bajarin gave a presentation on the mobile device landscape. And he suggested that there’s a so-called “netbook effect” on the industry, which will make it difficult, if not impossible, for computer makers to charge $1000 for laptops in the future.
Now to be fair, I don’t think we’re talking about all laptops here. Some consumers will be willing to pay more for specialty devices like computers with high end graphics and gaming capabilities, or for Macs. But when a $300 netbook can run Windows XP or Windows 7 and most of the applications you need to use every day, it’s hard to justify spending more than $900 on a larger, heavier laptop just because it has a faster processor or larger screen which you may not need.
Still, Bajarin states what everybody following this industry already knows: Laptop makers are less than happy with the low profit margins on netbooks and are starting to push out higher priced machines with larger screens, faster processors, and other features which could convince consumers to pay $600 to $1000 instead of $200 to $500.
What do you think? Do you need a faster, more powerful machine? Or if you were looking for a laptop with a larger keyboard and display than the typical netbook, would you rather pay $500 or less and stick with a relatively slow CPU like and Intel Atom or VIA Nano?
You can watch a video of Bajarin’s presentation after the break.
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