Digitimes is reporting that Taiwanese vendors have failed to meet their netbook shipment goals in the first quarter.
According to a rough estimate provided to the site by channel vendors, Asus sold around 900,000 units, well under the estimated million mark, while MSI sold some 200,000 Wind series netbooks. Acer was expected to ship around two million Aspire Ones in Q1, but sources claim its channel sales were lower.
The same sources point out netbook sales in developed markets are already starting to slow down, while emerging markets aren't too interested in netbooks anyway. In spite of the economic crisis, this trend could have a bit more to do with the actual products than economic woes. Basically, vendors aren't offering anything revolutionary in the netbook segment, they still use the same hardware as they did last year and they're still stuck with the same Microsoft/Intel restrictions. On the other hand, the fact that a mid-range netbook costs as much as an entry level 15.4-incher doesn't help in developing markets.
Vendors such as MSI and Acer are reportedly focusing on thin and light notebooks instead, and are looking to curb investments in netbook development. (What development? They're all identical, and have been for the past 10 months. sub.ed.)
As Intel is aggressively pushing its CULV platform, you probably shouldn't expect any significant changes in the netbook market over the next few months.