Samsung is apparently planning to quit its netbook business, and concentrate completely on ultrabooks in the coming years. Ever since the tablet market exploded, netbook sales have been on a steady decline. There have been a lot of netbooks available in the market, with very little differentiation, and really thin margins.
Here’s what the official statement by Samsung said, in French (translated):
“Following the introduction of our new strategy in 2012, we will discontinue our 10.1-inch (netbook) product range in Q1 2012, in favor of ultraportables (11.6 and 12 inches) and ultrabooks to be launched in 2012.”
Intel is working to get ultrabook prices in the $600 to $800 range, at which point ultrabooks should go mass market. With the launch of Windows 8, ultrabooks may get an additional boost, especially the touchscreen ones. With the $300 million Ultrabook Fund, Intel is trying to stay relevant in the processor market, by bringing the battle back to its home turf – notebooks. Most tablets today are powered by ARM processors, while notebooks are powered by Intel processors.
It’s probably good that Samsung is getting out of this race to the bottom. It may affect its revenues a bit, but will help its profit margins significantly. Hopefully, with Samsung’s focus on them, we will see some great ultrabooks in the market by mid 2012.