The netbook business, new as it is, is entering a period of significant change. New enabling technologies, devices and services that are coming to market in the coming months will bolster the capabilities of the now-constrained devices, expanding the market and introducing a period of experimentation in the sector. New pricing schemes and service options will emerge as wireless operators, leveraging their network services to create new relationships with their customers, begin pursuing this market more aggressively.
A new ecosystem of businesses seeking to help build out this sector and benefit from it is already forming. In the center of this ecosystem is the customer base, whose experiences with these products are based so far on first-generation technology options. The industry has yet to learn what products customers will prefer, who they want to buy them from, and how much they will be willing to pay as newer, more capable products emerge. Their responses will become apparent in the upcoming holiday season when a spate of new and differentiated products will hit the market.
Participants in this industry will be closely watching consumer netbook shopping behaviors during the season and awaiting 2009 fourth-quarter sales figures as they shape their strategies for 2010.