Acer is reportedly reducing orders for some of its netbooks from ODM manufacturing partners. Digitimes reports that the move is due to cooling demand for netbooks in Europe and a high level of inventory in local channels. But the company is also deciding to its efforts more heavily on Consumer Ultra Low Voltage or CULV based laptops which will provide decent battery life at a low cost, but which will be sold with higher profit margins than netbooks.

I’m still a bit skeptical of reports that suggest the netbook market is cooling. While it’s true that many of the people who were in the market for netbooks may have already picked them up, I think it’s more likely that the dip in sales between Q4, 2008 and Q1, 2009 is due to the fact that the holiday season is over. Everything sells better in November and December than in January and February.

There’s also this little global recession going on, which has reduced consumer spending across the board. Sure, netbooks might not be flying off the shelves like they were a few months ago. But they’re still one of the few bright spots in the PC industry.

I’m not saying it doesn’t make sense for Acer and other companies to tailor their orders to meet demand. I’m just not sure that netbook demand has really bottomed out yet. I guess we won’t know for sure until the holiday season when we can do a real apples to apples comparison between 2008 and 2009.

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4 replies on “Acer cuts back on netbook orders”

  1. Hey netbook manufacturers, are you reading this? I bought a Lenovo S10 in November and installed Mac OS X on it, and I love it! I’ve even used it for a month at a time while traveling as my only daily computer!

    I’d buy another netbook right now, but no manufacturer seems to have reached that next level of technology that provides additional functionality over my current netbook. With Windows 7 coming out soon (and possibly a more touch-oriented Mac OS X) I want a capacitive swivel 1280x800ish 10″ screen without a lot of wasted bezel space, and all major hardware in the netbook to be compatible with drivers available for the Mac OS… And don’t charge more than $500, because then you break into full-featured laptop territory…

    Until they can work that out, the money is staying in my wallet…

    Also, on a side note, I don’t think the netbook makers are helping themselves by annoucing so many netbooks three months before they ship. We get excited about a particular model, and then before it even ships, a new model is announced that is better, and you have to decide if it’s worth waiting another few months, and pretty soon you’re playing the endless waiting game (since you don’t actually NEED) a new netbook.

    1. There’s a lot of truth in your last paragraph, especially for people who groove on comparing specs and getting the perfect model, like us Lilputing readers. Since I didn’t really “need” a netbook, I fell into that pattern and wound up waiting about 16 months before buying my first one, an Asus 1000HE. Admittedly, I was an extreme case.

      It didn’t help that all of the little buggers had at least one major flaw: keys wrong, too shiny, too heavy, won’t work with Linux, tiny touchpad, big bezel, SSD card in two pieces, pink, etc. I kept waiting for some manufacturer to get it right.

      I even made an impulse purchase of a Lenovo X61s, which I’d wanted for years, four days before I bought my first netbook. When I saw the fully loaded model I’d wanted, for less than half price, I couldn’t resist. And I’m not sorry :b

      I’ll definitely buy more netbooks. Now I’m looking at 9″ and very small 10″ models and something to just hack and play with for fun, like the NorhTec Gecko.

  2. There’s a lot of people still waiting to buy one… people I’ve shown my 1000HE too were all impressed and plan to pick them up later, some for the beginning of the autumn term and some as late as next xmas, when they expect to replace their current laptop (yep, replace a laptop with a netbook… I’ve done it too, I got a powerful desktop and a long lasting laptop, I don’t really need a regular laptop).

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