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Apple Netbook Speculation Heats Up

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We must be getting close to MacWorld. Speculation that Apple is working on a Netbook is heating up. (Remember the good old days when this speculation centered on Apple created a Tablet?) As usual much of this speculation comes from analysts who look at numbers, market conditions, trends, and other data, and then toss a dart at their computer screen.

AppleInsider is fueling the latest round of speculation, reporting that Analyst Ezra Gottheil feels like Apple no longer has the luxury of staying out of the Netbook market due to larger economic concerns and the rise of Netbook popularity. I don’t think I buy the reasoning, but hey, you never know. Gottheil pulls a price point of $599 out of the air thinking that that level might set Apple apart and continuing in its tradition of selling its wares at a premium.

Will it happen? Maybe yes, maybe no. One thing is certain. More speculation will follow.

Warner Crocker is a professional theatre director, producer and playwright and also a Tablet PC enthusiast. He is also a Microsoft MVP for Tablet PCs. Send email to Warner. You can follow him on Twitter or Google+

7 Comments

  1. aswfreak12

    12/07/2008 at 8:28 am

    Why buy an apple Netbook when you can get an iPhone for around the same price, and does more?

  2. Gavin Miller

    12/07/2008 at 8:43 am

    awsfreak, the obvious answer I guess is for usability. Of course the iPhone can do a lot but you can’t type up work or work on databases, spreadsheets, photo editing etc. on an iPhone easily.

  3. Sumocat

    12/07/2008 at 9:05 am

    Yeah, I’m sure the market will force Apple to release a low-cost notebook, same as they did with desktops. How much does their cheapest desktop cost? $599? Yep, sounds like a $599 notebook is just around the corner.

  4. GoodThings2Life

    12/07/2008 at 11:05 am

    Why buy a netbook when you can buy a Macbook Air which you can conveniently store in a manila envelope because it’s so ridiculously small and light already? [/sarcasm]

  5. devin

    12/07/2008 at 12:29 pm

    I’ll validate your post: here’s the “more speculation” part!

    Apple is not going to release a cheap laptop. They may create a low-cost product offering that would fall into the netbook category, but it will not be a netbook as the term is currently defined. The current definition of a netbook is very broad and encompasses low-cost, low-performance, ultra-portable, and most importantly for Apple, encompasses low-quality. Apple will not release a low-quality offering.

    I believe that Apple will redefine the entire netbook category and create something that is not synonymous with cheap, or even laptop. Their product will be something completely different and revolutionary like the iPhone: “netbook” is just a marketing term after all – there’s a lot of innovation to be had here.

    Releasing a cheap notebook would ruin the rest of their product line-up.

    Check out my blog for a more detailed breakdown…

  6. aswfreak12

    12/07/2008 at 5:57 pm

    Devin, I have to agree that I believe Apple coming out with a netbook would encroach on its Air sales.

    However you seem to be unconfident that Apple could produce a high-quality netbook at a competitive price. What would keep apple in it’s Ferrari postition would be to make a netbook for it’s existing customer base, the Mac fans, and keeping it a high quality, low cost solution to the netbook fad, so that mac fans can enjoy what PC users can, functionality.

  7. devin

    12/07/2008 at 10:47 pm

    I feel that Apple should be able to create a high-quality, low-price option, but not in the current form of a low price laptop. I got these ideas from a certain Apple executive when he said that if Apple created a $500 machine it would be junk. I guarantee that they’ve already looked at the netbook market and spent time discovering what they could build given a $500 dollar pricing limit. They called it junk. Instead, they tipped off that “they have some great ideas” if they were ever to enter that segment of the market. After the great job they did with the iPhone, I tend to think this suggests that they have ideas that could help reinvent the whole category.

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