This day was always going to come. But even netbook-makers couldn’t have presumed it would come around so quickly. See, tablets have outsold netbooks for the first time, with new stats showing that the dinky laptops’ days are definitely numbered. Want to see just how badly netbooks are struggling in the face of the slate onslaught? Read on for the full skinny.

New numbers from ABI Research make for sober reading for companies who’ve bet the farm on netbooks. 7.3 million of the little lappies flew off shelves in the second quarter of 2011, not a bad figure when taken on its own, but disastrous when compared to the fact that 13.6 million tablets were sold in the same time period. Factor in the fact that 8.4 million netbooks were shifted in the first quarter of 2011, and you’re looking at an epic decline in fortunes.

What’s more, that tablet stat represents a whacking great 112 per cent increase on the first quarter of the year, when just 6.4 million slates were sold. There’s no denying that the introduction of the iPad 2 has had a massive effect on netbooks.

ABI reckons this is a trend that just cannot be reversed. And with a new iPad expected in early 2012, not to mention a host of Android Ice Cream Sandwich and Windows 8 devices, the short-lived dominance of the netbook is well and truly over.


  • Zedthegreat

    Of course, if netbooks wern’t hobbled hardware and were sold with proper copies of windows 7 then I would have one. At the mo XP on an Atom processor just isn’t worth the cash.

  • Anonymous

    Of course anyone with a brain would have bought an Asus Transformer, giving the best of both worlds, for less than the price of an iPad2.

  • T.A. (Tim) Walker

    In my view, the only true “netbooks” were the early Asus Eee models (like the 701SD I’m typing this on) and the first Acer Aspire One – i.e. the machines with SSDs and Linux preinstalled. Once they started getting hard disks and hamstrung versions of Windows, they stopped being “netbooks” and became “small laptops”.

    Still, I won’t easily ditch my Eee for a tablet – I loaded Arch Linux on this little fella, and he FLIES… :-)

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