|Apple makes fun of netbooks|
The end of 2012 marks the end of the manufacture of the diddy machines that were - for a time - the Great White Hope of the PC market.
If you believed ABI Research in 2009, then next year netbooks (initially defined as machines with Intel Atom processors and screens less than 10in diagonally - though the definition became fuzzier over time) will sell 139m. (The original ABI press release with the forecast, linked from the Wikipedia page on netbooks, and still there until May 2011, has disappeared. But you can get a flavour of its optimism from the URL of the press release (which contains the phrase "an era begins") and the research paper it was offering in late 2010 which had forecasts for netbook sales through to 2015 and the names of 23 vendors (including - quiz question - Nokia.)
Still, there's an eWeek article from July in which ABI says that "consumer interest in netbooks shows no sign of waning, and the attraction remains the same: value rather than raw performance."
Actually, the number sold in 2013 will be very much closer to zero than to 139m. The Taiwanese tech site Digitimes points out that Asus, which kicked off the modern netbook category with its Eee PC in 2007, has announced that it won't make its Eee PC product after today, and that Acer doesn't plan to make any more; which means that "the netbook market will officially end after the two vendors finish digesting their remaining inventories."