We've been waiting for a long time for this to happen, and today's sales figures have confirmed it. According to PC World, who quoted Market Research firm, ABI Research's report that the Q2 2011 global tablet shipments reached 13.6 million units, eclipsing netbook shipments of 7.3 million -- the first time it has happened since tablet sales began.
Of course ABI Research also tells us who are still buying netbooks these days -- developing nations whose PC markets aren't as mature, and might still be lagging behind. For these markets, cheap and underpowered netbooks are still attractive, but tablets are catching up in terms of power and usability. Don't believe us? Check out the Asus Transformer Prime.
From the figures it looks as though the netbook's time is nigh. While we can't say its existence will completely be eradicated, we can't wait for netbooks to be replaced by the tablet / notebook hybrid machines as they step into the limelight. And if Ultrabooks take off as intended, its prices will be pushed so low that not many will consider getting a netbook unless it costs much lower than it does now.
“This is a trend that we do not expect will reverse,” says Jeff Orr, group director, mobile devices. “As they are different segments, this is not a direct replacement behavior, but a changing of leadership for the most interesting device type.”