First introduced in late 2007 as a smaller and cheaper alternative to the notebook, the netbook had at one stage been expected to top 139 million units in 2010, with models coming from Samsung, HP, Dell, Acer, Asus and Toshiba among others.
However, the subsequent release of the iPad and other tablet computers appears to have taken its toll on the netbook with the last vendors backing the form factor, Acer and Asus (with the Eee PC) now having discontinued their netbook models, according to Digitimes.
The source added that "the netbook market will officially end after the two vendors finish digesting their remaining inventories."
This time last year research firm DisplaySearch cut its forecast for future netbook growth, although it did say that 2011 shipments grew 12% year-on-year to reach 187.5 million units, a figure just shy of the group’s earlier forecast.
Despite the netbook’s demise, one analyst at the TabletBiz conference in November said that the form factor has inadvertently helped drive tablet adoption.