Intel Exec: Netbooks “Fine For An Hour”

But you wouldn't want to use one all the time.

It would seems reasonable to expect that, as Vice President of Intel’s Sales and Marketing Group, Stu Penn, would be a big backer of the netbook form factor – sporting, as almost all of them do, Intel CPUs. However, speaking at a (otherwise amazingly dull) Raymond James IT Supply Chain Conference, Penn made some interesting statements about the netbook market at seen by Intel; slightly downplaying its consequence in the grand scheme of things.

The most interesting quote is Penn’s comment that: “If you’ve ever used a Netbook and used a 10-inch screen size, it’s fine for an hour. It’s not something you’re going to use day in and day out.” That echoes my own sentiments, but sits in contrast to the views of many (including quite a few members of the TR staff) who would be or even are quite content using netbooks day-to-day.

Penn also suggested that not only is the netbook market larger than was initially thought likely, it is also comprised of a different audience to Intel’s expectations, saying: “We originally thought Netbooks would be for emerging markets and younger kids, and there is some of that. It turns out the bulk of the Netbooks sold today are Western Europe, North America, and for people who just want to grab and go with a notebook.”

Penn also downplayed the significance of the netbook market, to Intel at least, saying :”We view the Netbook as mostly incremental to our total available market.” That seems fair enough. Even though a lot of netbooks are being sold, Intel is hardly charging a fortune for the chips used therein – the entire point of Atom is to be cheap after all.

It’s interesting to hear comments such as these from Intel itself. Personally, such sentiments aren’t particularly shocking but, rather, paint a realistic picture of the netbook market. I’m sure not everyone will agree, though.


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