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Netbooks no longer appeal to first time buyers says Intel

The world of microprocessors is dominated by Intel with secondary players like AMD coming in far behind. Intel helped to usher in the era of the netbook with its wildly popular Atom line of CPUs and still has little in the way of competition.

Intel has announced that it sees the netbook market shifting. The company said that it no longer expects netbooks to appeal to first-time buyers. Intel says that it sees netbooks as a secondary computer for users or an option for kids needing their first computer.

Intel's Sean Maloney said at a media event, "I don't think first-time buyers are going to buy netbooks. The first time you buy something you want the real deal. It's consistent not just in China, but all around the world. If you're going to spend your hard-earned money for the first time, you're going to put a computer in your house."

Maloney said that he doesn't see the trend of netbook sales changing soon. The machines have traditionally sold to users with one or two PCs in the home already. He also adds that the market for kids 7-11 years old is underserved. Disney for instance is offering a netbook for kids that is festooned with Disney characters and software right out of the box.

EWeek reports that Q2 revenues for Atom processors and chipsets spiked 65% from the first quarter to $362 million. This was also the quarter where Intel had to pay the massive EU fine, which it is appealing. Intel also still maintains that netbooks will allow new people to be introduced to computing, which is particularly important in emerging markets. Netbooks, according to Maloney, are now a well-established market.

He said, "There is a new category established. That category is, to an extent, maturing. It is not so much in the early phases."

Much of the netbook focus isn't on the U.S. market with the economy still in a recession. Intel says that it sees the economy in areas like India and Brazil improving.

He says, "If you are dependent on the U.S. consumer, or U.S. business alone, obviously you are in one box. If you are global, you're in another. There are a number of countries, Brazil included, that actually seem to be coming back pretty quickly."

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By theanomaly1 on 7/30/2009 11:23:32 AM , Rating: 1
You know, that's not necessarily such a bad thing.

<sarcasm> Cause I mean, every 7 year old I know absolutely needs a computer... </sarcasm>

By Belard on 7/30/2009 11:35:08 AM , Rating: 2
My 4 year old has his own desktop. Even when he was 3 he had a computer, it was an AMD-XP system.

Now its an AMD X2 CPU, 2GB RAM, GeForce 8600GT and Windows7rc (He likes Windows7). He plays his games, runs his educational software and draws on the computer. I use it at times to test things with Windows 7.

He can even plug his whole computer up.

I'm looking at a netbook in the future for him to do homework and such on... its portable. Or the OLPC2... but that maybe too limiting, even thou its VERY cool.

By CurseTheSky on 7/30/2009 12:41:40 PM , Rating: 2
I built my girlfriend's son his first desktop when he was 3 as well. He's 5 now, and it's still chugging away with an Athlon XP, 512 MB of RAM, 9800 XT, and a case with glowy lights. Out of all of his "toys," he prizes that one the most.

He started out slow with it - he had a hard time using the mouse and needed help figuring out what buttons to press on the keyboard - but now he's a whiz. He has his own music collection, plays Jumpstart games, and draws using MS Paint. No doubt he'll have no trouble adapting to using computers exclusively for school work, since that's the way things seem to be going in the future.

We got our first computer when I was only five, and I don't regret it in the slightest.

By Belard on 7/30/2009 2:41:28 PM , Rating: 2

When he was 1, I gave him a PC that was retired by a client. It was a $1500 PIII-1000 / 512mb computer I built. I did a fresh install of Win98, put Write and Paint on the desktop and 1-2 ED games and let him at it.

After his 3rd Birthday, I gave him another retired PC: A Compaq with an AMD64-3200. It had a 9200 AGP card, but some of the games he wanted need more power... I had my trusty and dusty ATI9800Pro and stuck that in there. WindowsXP of course. But a few months ago, the mobo was failing and might have damaged the 9800Pro... eventually, the whole PC died... so it lasted over a year.

So I rebuilt his mothers Compaq (AMD64-3700 - looked like his OLD computer too) that was in storage. I had a 8600GT handy and that got him back in business. That lasted about a month... its CPU always ran hot, the PSU was only 300watt and so it ran loud when he played games or Youtube, anything that hit the CPU...

So I took MY old computer which I was saving for a HTPC. Its in a $100 Antec case with a clear window, has a blue light on it. AMD X2 3800, 2GB, 8600GT. Because of timing, I put Windows7 on it and it runs very good. I recopied his games. Its much quieter and flys with Windows7. MS included a childs game which he loves. MS Paint for Windows7 is vastly improved (as is word pad) so he's having fun with those.

I don't use Win7 on my computer yet. ;)

Oh, I had noticed a problem with the mouse because he's so young and playing games made it difficult to control the buttons. I bought a notebook mouse (wired of course) from Logitech for $15... so it fits his hand perfectly and it looks very much like my mouse. (His PC is in my computer room) Check it out:

His keyboard is a Logitech wireless, it matches his mouse. I got it free from a client who was going to throw it away. So when he's in trouble, I can take his keyboard away very easily.

My first computer was in 1985, 1mhz Commodore. So, figure this... my 4yr old has a PC more powerful than what I had 5 years ago. ;)

Of course, what you can get today for $300~375 is sick.

By FITCamaro on 7/30/2009 12:43:50 PM , Rating: 5
How about he go outside?

By Belard on 7/30/2009 2:21:41 PM , Rating: 2
As I finish these two posts quickly, I'm going to go play with my son with his Thomas train set. He is already building something new.

He has had his own computer since he was 1... since he wanted to be like mommy and daddy. Also keeps him off our computers ;)

For the most part, I rarely have shown him how to DO anything. Kids can figure some things for themselves and its a great way for them to learn.

By bohhad on 7/30/2009 8:21:21 PM , Rating: 2
How about you go outside?

By Moishe on 7/31/2009 11:34:31 AM , Rating: 2
Kids don't "need", but if you want them to be well-versed, the sooner the better. I know some 5 year olds that can do everything on a PC better than most elderly people.

It's the future, gotta be prepared.

"People Don't Respect Confidentiality in This Industry" -- Sony Computer Entertainment of America President and CEO Jack Tretton
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