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RIP netbooks, set to fade away completely in 2015

CNETAnalysis: It’s not the world’s boldest prediction, but a research firm is saying that the netbook will be dead by 2015. Research house IHS iSuppli cites the netbook’s falling shipments as evidence – its figures show that demand dwindled from 14 million in 2012 to an expected 4 million netbook shipments this year. It doesn’t see a recovery coming – IHS says shipments are likely to bottom out at a quarter of a million in 2014 then fade away to zero in 2015 and beyond. RIP We’ve heard talk of the death of the netbook before – ever since the iPad put tablets in the picture in 2010, netbook makers have shuffled uncomfortably in sales meetings and coughed awkwardly to obscure figures. Dell , Samsung , Toshiba and Intel have all hinted at consigning netbooks to the great charging port in the sky, with Dell taking the plunge and ditching them altogether and Toshiba calling time on the teeny laptops in the US. PC sales have been slipping over the last few years – take another bow, tablets – but some analysts argue that this is simply because tablet take-up is lengthening the computer’s lifecycle. Either way, with tablets’ growing dominance and thin-and-powerful laptops like the MacBook Air and Intel Ultrabooks growing more affordable, no one but no one will be surprised to say goodbye to the netbook in 2015.

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