The above chart speaks for itself.
The article makes a case that the iPad contributed to this, but it’s simply too soon to conclude anything like that.
I believe netbook growth keeps slowing as people find out what they really are: cheap cheap laptops. I don’t think the majority of people knew what they were getting. They expect these things to do what a desktop or laptop does, and are finding out it’s too slow and ill-equipped for the job. As it turns out, you really do get what you pay for.
A netbook may still be fine for a tech or gadget geek who’s prepared to deal with its limits, but not for the consumer who thinks they’re getting a good ol’ laptop when they’re not. I think the word is getting out, and the netbooks’ wild ride is over.