Remember netbooks? Yes, the once-popular devices which eventually fell out of favor once tablets like Apple's iPad and Amazon's Kindle took the mobile world by storm.
But all is not lost for the trusty netbook, which still rules the education market. Indeed, according to ABI Research analysts, nearly fifteen million computing devices will be shipped to the lucrative sector in 2013.
And wouldn't you know it? Netbooks are anticipated to be the largest proportion of computing devices shipped into the education market, at least for this year.
Of course, the inevitable reality of the new mobile market will eventually catch up with the education segment, as the rapid popularity of media tablets and the encroachment of cheaper laptops with far better performance capabilities and lower price points begin to rout the netbook’s appeal.
"While some may believe netbooks are on the cusp of extinction, we project nearly six million netbooks will be shipped into the global education market this year," confirmed senior analyst Josh Flood.
"[Nevertheless], Acer and Asus [recently] announced the production halt of netbooks in 2013, following a number of other hardware computing OEMs that include Dell, HP, and Samsung. Global annual netbook shipments are predicted to decline by over 50% in 2013 from last year. The smaller, lower cost, lower performance laptop seems to have its days numbered."
As Flood notes, netbooks originally opened the door for education institutes and other organizations to purchase suitable computing hardware at a very reasonable price, while simultaneously offering numerous advantages to young children.
"Firstly, developing the necessary skills to operate a computer which is literally imperative in today’s world. Furthermore, subjects and modules can be tailored to the learner’s knowledge, understanding, and instant feedback can be provided to the learner.
"Although the education sector is now, and going to be, one of the netbook’s main markets, we are also seeing media tablet/hybrid tablets beginning to emerge and surpass netbooks. Ultimately, the netbook’s market share in education will diminish and media tablets will become the dominant computing device," he added.