Intel: First Time PC Buyers Don't Get Netbooks

Entry level computers for first-time computer buyers are usually inexpensive, no-frills, and usually just perform basic functions. The same descriptors could be applied to netbooks, Intel says that the little machines aren't appealing to those buying his or her first PC.

"I don't think first-time buyers are going to buy netbooks," Sean Maloney, Intel's general manager of sales and marketing, Intel Technology Summit on Wednesday in San Francisco, quoted by Reuters. "The first time you buy something you want the real deal. It's consistent not just in China, but all around the world."

"Netbooks are predominantly... a second or third purchase from someone who's already got a notebook," he said, according to Engadget. "The first time you buy something, you want the real deal. It's a human behavior thing... it's [the same] all around the world."

"If you're going to spend your hard-earned money for the first time, you're going to put a computer in your house," Maloney added.

This doesn't represent any change in stance at Intel, as it always maintained that netbooks were always a supplementary purchase for those who already owned a computer.

Netbooks are adequate machines for those only looking from a computer the ability to surf the internet and email – and this represents a large portion of internet users. Regardless of whether or not netbooks are attractive or viable first PC purchases, Intel's probably going to be pleased as long as it's one of its chips.

Marcus Yam
Marcus Yam served as Tom's Hardware News Director during 2008-2014. He entered tech media in the late 90s and fondly remembers the days when an overclocked Celeron 300A and Voodoo2 SLI comprised a gaming rig with the ultimate street cred.
  • chaohsiangchen
    We can see how Intel and most netbook makers come to realize that netbook is auxiliary computer for non-intensive mobile computing, instead of a genre of its own with very limited use. People buy netbooks because they need a new laptop on the cheap, light and easy to carry. In most caes, that's what most consumers want.

    However, Intel's analysis is focused on developed market and China. Netbooks are very hot products in India and other developing economy due to its relative reasonable performance and lower price.

    Now I want to see more VIA NANO and AMD jumping into the market.
  • sot010174
    Well, a netbook for me is a upgraded PDA. Me as a computer technician use it as a great network debug tool. I've done countless ipconfigs, pings, puttys, vncs and I keep all network infos in treedbnotes. Can't live without it now. Have I said that I replaced paper notebooks at college with it?
  • ethanolson
    Now all they need is one of those long-life (3-year) batteries like HP has (but not in their netbooks for some dumb reason).
  • maigo
    I agree with Intel, I like my netbook but I'm not typing on it now
  • td854
    Do "first time pc buyers" even exist in this day and age?
  • aspireonelover
    I'm using my netbook now :)
    But I'm not the "first time" pc buyer. I'm like the 22nd time pc buyer.
    I use the netbook for internet browsing AND Let's just say, I wanna save the environment :D
    btw intel, I totally agree with you
  • matt87_50
    breaking news: when people are only going to have one PC, they pick the more functional one. wow... insightful....
  • lifelesspoet
    td854Do "first time pc buyers" even exist in this day and age?Yep, my brother, and he Just bought an aspire one netbook. To be fair, he was incarcerated for the last 14 years. There are a few holdouts in the world, mostly them that grew up before the internet got big and figured they didn't need it. There are also developing countries where low power netbooks make a lot of sense for first time purchases.
  • cabose369
    I own a netbook and I will tell you they are honestly the most useless things ever.

    They don't format web pages properly, you can't watch youtube videos without them chopping up, they are slow...

    Honestly, Netbooks are a WASTE OF MONEY!!!
  • QEFX
    I still cannot understand how a netbook is useful, but maybe that's just me.

    Not enough CPU power to run a real app (photoshop, mathmatica, DB2, etc.), not enough GPU power to run a real game, not enough screen space to watch movies (I'm sorry I like a big screen with real speakers to watch movies not a 8" microscreen), and a keyboard so small you can't properly type on it. So it's good enough to check you e-mail, watching low-res youtube clips and some web surfing (some pages don't like the small screen) ... I can do that on my phone or PDA, which cost me less. Or I can buy a real, but low end, laptop for $100 more and actually have a real machine.

    P. T. Barnum must be enjoying all this.