The netbook is on life support and the industry is just about to pull the plug, according to a forecast by IHS iSuppli.
For 2013, netbook shipments are expected to fall to 3.97 million units, down 72 percent from 14.13 million in 2012. In 2010, netbook shipments hit a high of 32.14 million.
IHS iSuppli's bet is that the netbook will be extinct by 2015 as units drop to 264,000 in 2014 before going to zero.
It's obvious what happened---Apple's iPad. The netbook wasn't powerful enough to be a real laptop, but did have a run for budget conscious tech buyers looking for good enough computing. These devices also weren't portable enough to compete with tablets. In other words, the netbook was just a transition device to the post-PC era.
IHS iSuppli noted:
From the supply end of production, the major original equipment manufacturers of notebooks will have already terminated netbook production at this point. Whatever production is left is expected to be limited, or manufacturers will simply be shipping last-time builds to satisfy contractual obligations to customers.