I think this misses a few key points:
Yes, netbook sales growth is high — primarily because this is their first year of noticeable growth. It’s easy to grow an impressive percentage from near-zero.
And Apple’s making a lot more on each $1600 laptop with healthy margins than these netbook vendors make on their $400 econoboxes with maybe $50 margins. The article did briefly mention this:
As always with Apple, though, the question comes down to one word: margins. The netbook market is blowing up right now precisely because it’s a low-margin, high-volume space. But Apple is a high-margin, low-volume company, which makes it a poor fit for a “Wal-Mart product” like the netbook. But as of the third quarter of this year, we live in a Wal-Mart kind of world, where everyone has to learn to live with lower margins, and lower volume.
Not “everyone” has to accept low margins. Apple’s doing just fine. So are Bose, Lexus, and Prada.