NPD Group has also studied the confusion around notebooks versus netbooks. Netbooks are not as powerful and can dissapoint buyers.
Although netbook and notebook sound the same, they are not. According The NPD Group, many consumers believe the two have the same functionalities. NPD's Netbooks II: A Closer Look
report, found that 60 percent of consumers who purchased a netbook
instead of a notebook thought their netbooks would have the same
functionality as notebooks.
That confusion about functionality is leading to some
dissatisfaction. Only 58 percent of consumers who bought a netbook
instead of a notebook said they were very satisfied with their
purchase, compared to 70 percent of consumers who planned on buying a
netbook from the start.
Satisfaction was even harder to ascertain among 18- to 24-year-olds,
one of the main demographics manufacturers were hoping to win over with
the new products. Among that age group, 65 percent said they bought
their netbooks expecting better performance, and only 27 percent said
their netbooks performed better than expected.
One marketing aspect that has interested buyers is the portability
factor. It's been the key marketing tool for netbook manufacturers,
and consumers agree that it is a great feature. Sixty percent of them
said that was a main reason they bought their netbooks. However, once
they got home, 60 percent of buyers said they never even took their
netbooks out of the house.
"We need to make sure consumers are buying a PC intended for what
they plan to do with it," said Stephen Baker, vice president of
industry analysis at NPD. "There is a serious risk of cannibalization
in the notebook market that could cause a real threat to netbooks'
success. Retailers and manufacturers can't put too much emphasis on
PC-like capabilities and general features that could convince consumers
that a netbook is a replacement for a notebook. Instead, they should
be marketing mobility, portability, and the need for a companion PC to
ensure consumers know what they are buying and are more satisfied with
Nearly 600 adults from NPD's online panel who were identified as
netbook owners completed this survey between April 27 and May 4, 2009.