Netbook era comes to an end

Updated: 2013-01-03 22:11


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The era of netbooks is over after Taiwan's computer maker Asustek Computer Inc, better known as Asus, said it suspended production of the inexpensive mini computers on Jan 1, industry observers said.

The short-lived category faced a constant challenge from tablets and smartphones and couldn't expand its market share, observers added.

Popular brands such as Lenovo Group Ltd, Dell Inc and Samsung Electronics Co have already stopped their production of the mini laptops, which are known for their slower computing power, shorter battery lives, but also lower price tags and portability.

Asus rolled out the first netbook computer in 2007 under the brand Eee PC.

The number of netbooks sold in 2013 is expected to be much lower than the 139 million units estimated four years ago, said Charles Arthur, IT editor of London-based newspaper The Guardian.

Meanwhile, Taiwan-based IT website reported in December that Asus and Acer Inc are offering discounts for netbooks, in a bid to clear stocks.

The increasing challenge from Apple Inc's iPads in Europe, the United States and on the Chinese mainland forced netbook makers to focus on emerging markets in the Middle East and Latin America, where profit margins are much lower, said