AMD announced today that they have a chip that will compete with the Atom chip dominating the netbook landscape… starting in 2011. Which begs the question – will netbooks even exist in 2 yrs or will they be swallowed up as low end notebooks.
I see the netbook category still around in 2 yrs but much smaller -niche wise not size wise- than today.
Between ION, dual core atoms, and more the current NETbook goes from handling 90% of the typical consumer load to 99% and thus becomes a not-over-priced-ultra-portable or notebook.
However the net only (ok mostly) concept is sound especially with more and more cloud type services coming online (could resist). With the first ION net-er-notebooks about to launch at $500 it’s safe to say they could run $300 in 2 yrs. Which shows that price differentiation is going to be less important in the future – at some point you hit the bottom (keyboards, trackpads and such all cost SOMEthing to make). Which leaves weight and battery life. So the netbooks of the future will be $200ish, weigh less than two pounds, have a real world battery life of 12 hours (claimed 15-18), and have just enough power to play hulu (which by then will be accelerated). OK maybe that’s 3 years out ;)