BBG has interesting information on how netbooks have taken 20% of sales of standard laptops even as sales are up 1%. Why? Since foolish laptop makers have been chasing that sub-$999 price point for years, and now , where they've finally reached it, they can't bring it back down to reasonable levels thanks to sub-$500 netbooks.
When I worked at Laptop Magazine a few years ago, everyone was talking about sub-$1000 laptops. Everyone was talking about it and expecting a new sales renaissance thanks to these Wal-Mart notebooks. Unfortunately, they did too good a job. By selling of low-cost, low-power notebooks, they were basically able to enforce their "big notebook" sales by convincing people that once they had one laptop, they didn't need another.
Think about it: You have Dell a year or two ago. It's running XP Home. Everything is fine. Then you think I'd like to upgrade and look for a laptop. A few netbooks on the market actually run Vista pretty well, You buy one for $600 - half the price of the Dell - and ignore all performance limitations. You get a rickety little machine that barely runs Vista but seems to do everything you need it to do can't do anything better, so you're stuck until next year. The manufacturers have shot themselves in the foot.