Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Apple Takes Advantage of the Netbook Market

In September Apple introduced a new line of iMac and Mac mini desktop computers. Apple was running against the grain of the rest of the computer industry, which has trended largely toward notebooks and even smaller netbooks recently.

Surprisingly, the new desktop machines are selling well, based on analysis of NPD sales data by Piper Jaffray's Gene Munster.

I believe that the success of netbooks in particular is related to the success of these desktop machines. People buying low cost, highly portable netbooks are more than likely supplementing a "main" computer. As they begin to replace these "main" computers it makes sense to consider a desktop machine rather than another notebook. The desktops have more processing power and disk storage, bigger screens, and generally better keyboards than laptops. If you've covered mobility with a netbook, why not splurge for the nice screen and comfort of a desktop at home?

So while Apple isn't playing in the netbook market directly, I believe their recent investment in upgrading and improving their desktop line was done to take advantage of the same market. I'm not contending that desktops will make a total resurgence or that notebook sales will decline, but I think there was a bump in desktop interest that Apple predicted and capitalized on.

I will be interested to see any statistics on "other" computers owned by netbook owners in the future.

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