Thanks Steve Jobs for Muddying the Waters about Netbooks and MIDs

Just when you thought things in the mobile space were all going to settle in on the name Netbook to describe the devices that mostly come with a 9/10 inch screen, run Intel’s Atom processor at 1.6GHz, operate on either Linux or XP, etc.. etc… Steve Jobs comes along. He does a “suprise appearance” at on an earnings call and muddies up the waters. Apparently on the recent call, Jobs said the Netbook market was “nascent,” and that:

There are some customers which we chose not to serve. We don’t know how to make a $500 computer that’s not a piece of junk, and our DNA will not let us ship that. But we can continue to deliver greater and greater value to those customers that we choose to serve. And there’s a lot of them.”

He also added that Apple had some pretty interesting ideas about that space if it did evolve.

Going further about Netbooks, Jobs said, “”You know, one of our entrants into that category if you will is the iPhone, for browsing the Internet, and doing email and all the other things that a netbook lets you do. And being connected via the cellular network wherever you are, an iPhone is a pretty good solution for that, and it fits in your pocket.”

That did it. Now everywhere you look on the InterTubes you see posts saying the iPhone is Apple’s Netbook. Heck, even we picked up on it. Well, I don’t quite think things are lining up so conveniently, even though the headline writers are off riding horses that have already left the barn. Had Steve Jobs been talking about MIDs, I think his comparison would be apt. But as you can see from the list Intel posted today of MIDs that are actually shipping, they aren’t really making any significant impact as of the moment.

And if that wasn’t enough, in the middle of all this, John Markoff of the NYTimes updated his post in a way that got things running fast and furious on the Apple Mobile Device/Tablet/Netbook/MID rumor mill by saying this:

UPDATED: That would seem to confirm findings that a search engine company shared with me on condition that I not reveal its name: The company spotted Web visits from an unannounced Apple product with a display somewhere between an iPhone and a MacBook. Is it the iPhone 3.0 or the NetMac 1.0?

Oh, my. Here we go again. Confusion run rampant. Thanks, Steve. We needed that.