Will a Stronger Economy Hurt Netbook Sales?

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The netbook market is in large part being fueled by the economy, which is driving consumers and businesses to lower-cost computers, but when the economy starts to improve, that may slow the growth. Or perhaps not. Analysts differ in their opinions.

While netbooks are being positioned as secondary portable computers, the economic conditions are helping to drive the market, as well. End-users are looking for portable, low-cost computers because of the reduced disposable income, but while the economy is certainly a driving force behind the growth of the market, it's not the only factor.

"I think the thing is it's a complex issue," said Matthew Wilkins, principal analyst for compute platforms at iSuppli. "There's not one reason why a product is successful, very typically. It's a multitude of reasons. We're seeing how these products are being successful in western markets even though they were targeted more at emerging markets, and certainly how the low prices that they are achieving or are being sold for right now is allowing them to gain traction in the market."

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