Over the weekend, I read that Woot was offering Acer's netbook for a shade under $300. Without thinking, I thought to myself, "what a deal!" When I remembered that I got my MacWind for about $350 through Live.com and Ebay (deal still works by the way). Then I saw on LA Times' Frys ad on Friday selling a full-sized laptop for $399.
Now, Laptoping's post about Asus coming out with $200 netbooks next year. Is this a good thing? In the short-term, if the post's information is correct, it would be a boom for mobile warriors. However, I truly wonder how this would affect research and development of laptops going forward.
We can leave it to innovations to command premiums but these netbooks are very capable computers. It is just something to think about. From the perspectives of the likes of HP and Dell, a wholesale move by consumers towards these cheap (by that, I mean price) would seriously stunt revenue growth. The condition of the global economy will only spur buyers towards lower end laptops and, more likely, netbooks.
In fact, we may see low-end laptops taken off the market and the growth of high-end netbooks - $400-$600 range. Maybe that's isn't a bad thing after all.
Impact: Good for the pocketbooks of mobile warriors. Good for wireless adoption if more wireless providers want to subsidize netbooks with wireless subscriptions. A potential bad thing is innovation may slow for laptops but work on low-powered chips may increase.