Apple netbook announcement imminent, analyst predicts

applenetbook.jpg

Apple is going to cannibalize sales of its most successful product by releasing a low-end notebook with razor-thin profit margins, according to analyst Ezra Gottheil of Technology Business Research Inc. From Computerworld:

Apple Inc. will introduce two netbooks at the MacWorld Conference and Expo next month that will be tied to the company’s App Store, as is its iPhone, an analyst said today.

“I don’t have any inside information,” said Ezra Gottheil of Technology Business Research Inc., as he spelled out his take on Apple’s next hardware move. “This is just by triangulation.”

You don’t say!

Nonetheless, I would love a Mac netbook, and hope it’s true. On the other hand, MSI’s Wind now runs OSX perfectly, so there’s no reason to live without the utility of such a thing, even if it isn’t made of Cupertino fairy dust.

So, here’s a question: what could Apple add to the industry standard netbook formula to make it special?

Apple will unveil netbooks next month, says analyst [Computerworld]

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20 Responses to Apple netbook announcement imminent, analyst predicts

  1. Julian Bond says:

    Take the MacBook Air. Add a bunch of ports. Cut the price in half. Call it a NetBook. Done.

  2. Anonymous says:

    “Was it really presented as a definite like that “… Apple WILL “. Isn’t that a lie if it turns out that they don’t? Surely analysis usually use terms like “might” and “may” rather than “will”…”

    Writing articles for the web is not about the truth, it is about drawing eyeballs, which usually means presenting rumor as fact, as a done deal, to elicit comments exactly like yours.

    Its a shame future tense and present tense are all confused that way, but I think a lot of editors are actually encouraging it, rewriting headline tags to be tighter, more in the present, and therefore, wrong.

  3. acb says:

    If they’re tied to the app store, they will be locked down as tightly as the iPhone is, making it impossible to install software except through the app store. Which means that they won’t cannibalise the sales of Apple’s “serious” (i.e., open) computers, unless Apple decide to lock those down as well.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Can someone explain why everyone here likes netbooks so much?

  5. Anonymous says:

    A quite beautiful netbook to come, the Gdium Liberty 1000
    It’s french actually, that’s why it is not very well known.

  6. Anonymous says:

    What will apple add?

    * DRM, lockdowns and general control freakery.

    * Removal of any basic netbook functionality that might conflict with apple’s business model.

    * Extremely high prices.

    * The inability to write any negative reviews of the product without receiving tons of hatemail from fanboys.

    * Millions of dollars worth of advertising.

    But hey, it’ll probably look really really pretty.

  7. quadragon says:

    “So, here’s a question: what could Apple add to the industry standard netbook formula to make it special?”

    Oh, about $150.

  8. GadgetGav says:

    Was it really presented as a definite like that “… Apple WILL “. Isn’t that a lie if it turns out that they don’t? Surely analysis usually use terms like “might” and “may” rather than “will”…

  9. Tensegrity says:

    What can Apple ad to netbooks? Billboards of silhouetted hipsters cavorting about

    @14 reason #1: cheap; reason #2: portable

  10. styrofoam says:

    Does the wind have proper audio drivers yet?

  11. wrybread says:

    “So, here’s a question: what could Apple add to the industry standard netbook formula to make it special?”

    My vote would be a usable keyboard. I have an Asus eee 1000H and almost never use it because the keyboard is so scrunched. Not sure how something as small as a netbook could have a keyboard big enough to be useful, but Apple with their focus on design might be able to pull it off.

  12. Ari B. says:

    Since we’re talking about magical Cupertino fairydust and all, I’d love a detachable PDA, a la the Newton.

  13. zuzu says:

    Apple Inc. will introduce two netbooks at the MacWorld Conference and Expo next month that will be tied to the company’s App Store, as is its iPhone, an analyst said today.

    I’m doubtful this will be a netbook in the “it only costs $300″ sense.

    There were rumors before about an iPhone-like device that was as big as Apple’s bluetooth keyboard, with the idea being that if you needed a “real” keyboard it would pair via bluetooth, but most of the time you’d use the multitouch screen and virtual keyboard like the iPhone.

    Think of it as a bigger iPod Touch (like the Newton) that has Bluetooth and perhaps uses an Intel Atom series processor and more RAM to do more beefy tasks. But it still runs the quasi-OSX operating system that runs on the iPhones. Except maybe it has cut-and-paste and can run a special version of the iWork apps.

    At any rate, I’ll be surprised if it costs less than $700, which isn’t really “netbook” territory.

    If there’s two versions, my guess would be either single or dual core Atom processors, or whether 3G tethering / data with AT&T is included or not.

  14. arkizzle says:

    Full-body keyboard and a project’o'screen..

  15. Tubman says:

    Apart from the obvious gap in the market created by the mystifying absence of a netbook with a non-removable 3-cell battery, the areas in which Apple might seek to make a difference would be upping that screen res to, say, 1280×800, while lopping around a third off the thickness and weight. Oh, and bringing the price point up to around $700.

  16. darwindmg says:

    How about: they just released a major upgrade to their entire notebook line, so maybe they WON’T be releasing a cheap new laptop to cannibalize sales.

    There have been rumors of a larger multi-touch device, so there might be a hybrid Net-screen iNewton on the horizon. But it won’t be cheap and would have to be significantly different from existing Macs otherwise it would have no purpose (aka The Cube).

    Remember that patent sketch of a small handheld docking with a monitor? And now we have those new Cinema displays with docking cables… hmmm.

  17. caipirina says:

    my bet would be some new and unique battery solution.

    But we sure can bet it would have the new DRM video out.

    I believe it when I see it …

  18. krylon says:

    I can’t imagine Apple being able to come up with a feature set/price point that will appeal to either it’s core audience or switchers. In other words, their netbook will cost 300$ more than the competition and therefore be out of my pricerange.

  19. DEEPEYES says:

    Um, iPod Nano colors? Ok, I’m shallow…

  20. Tubman says:

    Just to add to Tensegrity’s post, the cheapness and portability re-enforce each other: because netbooks are so cheap you’re more likely to take them with you anywhere and everywhere without much fear of loss/damage/theft, and because you’ve always got one around you use it more, which makes it seems a better deal.

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