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Netbooks meet smartphones - the next big thing?

The netbook will look very different in the future

Even though netbooks only exploded on to the market two years ago, they've dramatically evolved. We take a look at what netbooks might look like in the future.

Do these new netbooks have a future?

Even though the first of these netbooks are still months away from release, they have drawn their share of doubters.

"I'm very sceptical," says Stephen Baker, vice president of industry analysis for market analysis firm NPD Group. "It's not a traditional product and it requires users to do things they're not used to doing. It doesn't run Windows. How is it going to play with people's home network, plugging in USB drives, printers and the like?" He predicted these new netbooks will be relegated to small market niches.

Current Analysis' Avi Greengart is also sceptical of the new approach to netbooks. "They're trying to promote something between a mobile phone and a computer," he says. "I understand the use-case for computers and phones, but I don't understand the use-case for something in the middle."

However, proponents of the new devices scoff at the sceptics. "It feels like the smartphone space a couple of years ago," says AT&T's Lurie. "Then, smartphones were mostly for business folks. Now they're for everybody. Netbooks are in that same infancy."

  1. Why we think the netbook will look very different in the future
  2. A new heart
  3. Focus on a new OS
  4. A new approach
  5. Do these new netbooks have a future?

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