After the explosion of netbooks we witnessed these past two years, we may now see a reduction in their numbers. Quoting sources at notebook makers, the folks at DigiTimes report that both HP and Dell have "significantly reduced their investments" in 10" netbooks—the most popular type on the market right now.
Because of lower-than-expected profits from Pine Trail netbooks, HP is reportedly going so far as to consider pulling out of the 10" netbook market altogether and focusing on 11.6", AMD-powered systems. We can't see any such AMD-based ultraportables on HP's website yet, however; the smallest machine with that kind of hardware looks to be the 13.3" Pavilion dm3z.
DigiTimes goes on to point out that the netbook arena has gotten much less crowded in recent months. While Acer, Asus, and Samsung still have strong footholds, the site adds that "most of the second-tier and white-box netbook vendors" have left the market—allegedly as a result of price cuts first-tier vendors carried out in the second half of last year.
We saw a similar shift in the netbook market about a year ago, when word got out that Asus planned to phase out netbooks with 9" displays. Today, searching for netbooks at Newegg shows two 7" systems, four 9" ones, and a whopping 92 netbooks with 10" panels. Many of those 10" machines indeed seem to be from Acer (including its subsidiary Gateway), Asus, and Samsung, but we're seeing quite a few MSI netbooks listed, as well.