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MacBytes
Jan 21, 2009, 09:10 AM
http://www.macbytes.com/images/bytessig.gif (http://www.macbytes.com)

Category: Opinion/Interviews
Link: Despite tough economy, Apple doesn’t have to compete in low end netbook arena (http://www.macbytes.com/link.php?sid=20090121101038)
Description:: Many pundits are pushing for Apple to release a netbook (small, inexpensive subnotebooks made for basic computing tasks), especially with the tough economic climate. However, "Macsimum News" Editor Dennis Sellers thinks Apple should stay the course and avoid the bargain bin niche of computer sales

Posted on MacBytes.com (http://www.macbytes.com)
Approved by Mudbug

zombitronic
Jan 21, 2009, 09:50 AM
It seems to me that a netbook is nothing more than a weaker laptop with a smaller screen. You can't just tuck it away in your pocket like an iPhone, so the smaller screen doesn't really add to the portability. Personally, I'd rather just have a laptop. Would someone like to explain their desire for something like this?

akm3
Jan 21, 2009, 10:48 AM
It seems to me that a netbook is nothing more than a weaker laptop with a smaller screen. You can't just tuck it away in your pocket like an iPhone, so the smaller screen doesn't really add to the portability. Personally, I'd rather just have a laptop. Would someone like to explain their desire for something like this?

It is just another form factor between iphone and laptop. Apple really shouldn't compete in that market, which is all about who can do it cheaper, in my opinion. They have two great platforms.

I would rather see then scale up the iPhone rather then try to scale down the Mac if they wanted something in that size.

wonderbread57
Jan 21, 2009, 10:53 AM
Personally, I'd rather just have a laptop. Would someone like to explain their desire for something like this?

It's cheap

Tallest Skil
Jan 21, 2009, 10:54 AM
It's cheap

Buy an MSI Wind.

I'm glad we finally have a news article to back what I've been saying for a while:

Apple. Doesn't. Care. And now it's the only company that can AFFORD to continue to not give a crap about what people "want".

SkyBell
Jan 21, 2009, 10:57 AM
Buy an MSI Wind.

I'm glad we finally have a news article to back what I've been saying for a while:

Apple. Doesn't. Care. And now it's the only company that can AFFORD to continue to not give a crap about what people "want".

My question is, how long can they sustain that?

dukebound85
Jan 21, 2009, 10:57 AM
Buy an MSI Wind.

I'm glad we finally have a news article to back what I've been saying for a while:

Apple. Doesn't. Care. And now it's the only company that can AFFORD to continue to not give a crap about what people "want".

kinda against any point of having a company eh? lol

Tallest Skil
Jan 21, 2009, 11:01 AM
My question is, how long can they sustain that?

They have 25 billion now and are going to be making another billion this quarter, so even if they make NO money next quarter, they can last a while.

kinda against any point of having a company eh? lol

Hence the quotation marks. Apple doesn't make the products that people want, because they don't really want them. Apple makes the products Steve believes people need.

I now defy anyone to question that people needed what the iPod became.

bobsentell
Jan 21, 2009, 11:03 AM
Apple. Doesn't. Care.

With only 9% of the OS market, it shows.

SkyBell
Jan 21, 2009, 11:03 AM
Which amazes me how they've managed to survive. Somehow they've convinced people they know what "they need", and whatever they come out with is what they "need."

Seriously, how did that happen?

I now defy anyone to question that people needed what the iPod became.

robanga
Jan 21, 2009, 11:04 AM
Netbooks are cheap, fit in a large purse or very slim briefcase or pack and fit very nicely on a little coffee shop table. Thing is... I ( and I am willing bet more than a few others..) would pay $ 799 for a Mac netbook.

Tallest Skil
Jan 21, 2009, 11:04 AM
Which amazes me how they've managed to survive. Somehow they've convinced people they know what "they need", and whatever they come out with is what they "need."

Seriously, how did that happen?




Reality Distortion Field. :D It's hard to deny that it works, even if we are nearing the very end of the iPod halo.

guzhogi
Jan 21, 2009, 11:05 AM
It seems to me that a netbook is nothing more than a weaker laptop with a smaller screen. You can't just tuck it away in your pocket like an iPhone, so the smaller screen doesn't really add to the portability. Personally, I'd rather just have a laptop. Would someone like to explain their desire for something like this?

Maybe someone who just wants to use MS Word, send e-mails, and casually surf the web?

robanga
Jan 21, 2009, 11:06 AM
Which amazes me how they've managed to survive. Somehow they've convinced people they know what "they need", and whatever they come out with is what they "need."

Seriously, how did that happen?




Good marketing...the same way the media sells a new President as the savior of all :)

dukebound85
Jan 21, 2009, 11:08 AM
Which amazes me how they've managed to survive. Somehow they've convinced people they know what "they need", and whatever they come out with is what they "need."

Seriously, how did that happen?




called the cult of apple lol

i really dont know of any company that has the same type of fan base that must have the latest and greatest from the company as apple does

heck im guilty of it to an extent as evidenced by me being on this very forum dealing with apple rumors lol.

IJ Reilly
Jan 21, 2009, 11:15 AM
I now defy anyone to question that people needed what the iPod became.

Then why the hell are people buying them?

Your argument eats itself.

Silencio
Jan 21, 2009, 11:28 AM
With only 9% of the OS market, it shows.

Profits >>> Market share. Apple doesn't have the economies of scale of a Dell or HP -- plus Dell and HP don't have to spend money developing their own OS and software -- so they'll never successfully be able to compete strictly on price, and Jobs and the rest of Apple leadership don't want to sell cheap junk just to try to take a couple of more percentage points of market share. What good is market share if you're losing money doing it?

Apple's market share has naturally risen over the past few years (and gaining 5 percentage points in their share of such a huge market is quietly significant) because they serve their core markets pretty well and their systems at their chosen mid-range and high-end price points are seen as good value for the money by many people. I too wish Apple could lower their prices at least a bit across the board, but I'm not prepared to argue with their success just yet.

Tallest Skil
Jan 21, 2009, 11:32 AM
Then why the hell are people buying them?

Your argument eats itself.

Hang on... that sentence reads wrong...

I'm saying that no one can argue against the fact that there was a market for the iPod, even though it isn't what people wanted when it first came out.

rdowns
Jan 21, 2009, 11:58 AM
It seems to me that a netbook is nothing more than a weaker laptop with a smaller screen. You can't just tuck it away in your pocket like an iPhone, so the smaller screen doesn't really add to the portability. Personally, I'd rather just have a laptop. Would someone like to explain their desire for something like this?


My step father got one on my recommendation. He spends 6 weeks in Florida each winter and didn't want to lug his desktop with him. Needed something small and cheap to check emails and pay his bills online.

It's a good solution for lots of people who simply need a cheap box to do basic tasks.

zombitronic
Jan 21, 2009, 11:59 AM
Apple. Doesn't. Care. And now it's the only company that can AFFORD to continue to not give a crap about what people "want".



My question is, how long can they sustain that?

kinda against any point of having a company eh? lol

There's a famous quote by Henry Ford about this topic:

“If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.”

dukebound85
Jan 21, 2009, 12:03 PM
There's a famous quote by Henry Ford about this topic:

“If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.”

funny you quote ford considering its state at the moment!

zombitronic
Jan 21, 2009, 12:27 PM
funny you quote ford considering its state at the moment!

Unfortunately, Henry Ford has been dead for over 60 years. And unfortunately for the Ford Motor Company, all they've been doing for quite some time is giving the consumer "faster horses." If they had embraced new technology years ago, i.e. electric motors, they may not be in their current state.

The same can be said about netbooks. They're just "faster horses," in their own sense. Smaller laptops. Nothing new or innovative.

IJ Reilly
Jan 21, 2009, 12:53 PM
Hang on... that sentence reads wrong...

I'm saying that no one can argue against the fact that there was a market for the iPod, even though it isn't what people wanted when it first came out.

Nobody knew that they wanted one before they saw it, I think you mean.

Tallest Skil
Jan 21, 2009, 12:55 PM
Nobody knew that they wanted one before they saw it, I think you mean.

Yeah, that's it. :cool: Something like that, at least.

Sehnsucht
Jan 21, 2009, 01:09 PM
It's cheap

Since when has Apple been all about the bargains? Since never! Has there ever been a dirt-cheap, "Wal-Mart Mac?" Nope. There won't ever be an "affordable" Mac. ;)

bobsentell
Jan 21, 2009, 02:29 PM
If they had embraced new technology years ago, i.e. electric motors, they may not be in their current state.


Actually, electric motors came out the same time as the car and the problem with them then is the same as the problem now...battery capacity.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electric_car

myjellyass
Jan 21, 2009, 02:30 PM
Apple specializes in bringing innovative ideas at premium prices. Netbooks are essentially laptops with the technology (and innovation in an Apple sense) taken out.

Mac desktop and laptops have been successful because they are high end, but expensive. The Air is successful because it's portable, but expensive. As Apple have eluded to in the past, they'll have some amazing ideas to bring to Netbooks but what's probably holding them back is that they won't come as cheap as other Netbooks and seeing as that is pretty much the determining factor in that market, they won't do well.

Each company has it's own consumer base. How many people have you seen buy the cheaper but lower spec Macbook? I'm guessing very few-because that's not what most Apple customers are looking for.

bobsentell
Jan 21, 2009, 02:38 PM
Actually, for me the only thing keeping me off the mac is the price. Why spend $2,700 for the base model 17" Macbook Pro when I can get a 18" PC notebook, fully loaded, for the same price? To me, it's about value for the money. And the only reason I would get a Mac is to use features that aren't available on a PC. Even then the moment I got a Mac, I'd be installing a Windows partition and using it more than the Mac side.

And before you fanboys get on me, I don't care if Mac is better than Windows. We are talking price here. I think think making a cheaper Mac will be a good way to get more people to Apple products. They need to extend their customer base. If people get used to using a cheaper Mac, they may be more apt to buying a more expensive model. $999 is a lot to spend on a system you aren't familiar with.

edgew8
Jan 21, 2009, 03:35 PM
I don't think Leopard would run too well on a netbook anyway.

notjustjay
Jan 21, 2009, 03:43 PM
It seems to me that a netbook is nothing more than a weaker laptop with a smaller screen. You can't just tuck it away in your pocket like an iPhone, so the smaller screen doesn't really add to the portability. Personally, I'd rather just have a laptop. Would someone like to explain their desire for something like this?

The smaller form factor DOES add to the portability. And that doesn't just go for netbooks. Why else do you think there's still such a fondness for the 12" PowerBook? The only advantage it had over its 15" and 17" siblings was its small size.

The netbooks take it a step further. They're even smaller, and half the weight (2.5 pounds). They have a battery life to match (6+ hours) And most of them are also incredibly cheap ($300 range). AND they run a full Windows XP install, and they can run just about any software (within reason of course).

Up until recently, you were not able to get those three things (small size and weight, full PC capability, and extremely low cost) in one product. You had to pick only two. Small and cheap, but limited proprietary OS (e.g. Psion or Palm PDAs, or Windows CE devices). Small and powerful, but ridiculously expensive (e.g. the Fujitsu or Sony ultra-portables).

Netbook usage scenarios:
You're going on a family vacation. You want something to check email on the road and dump photos off your memory card. You're going on a business trip to give a PowerPoint presentation. You're going to your brother's house for the day and you want to be able to pop online quickly. You want something to take short notes at school. You need a cheap little PC for that one app you can't run on your Mac.

Of course you could do all that with your MacBook. But it's heavier, bigger, and if you're like me, you second-guess -- do I *really* want to take this with me today? What if it gets stolen? Where will I stash it? A netbook will give you the battery life you want, is small enough to tuck into your briefcase or luggage or hide in the car, and only costs $300 so even if your car or hotel room is broken into, you're not out that much. Keep your expensive laptop and your personal files safely at home.

zombitronic
Jan 21, 2009, 03:45 PM
Actually, electric motors came out the same time as the car and the problem with them then is the same as the problem now...battery capacity.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electric_car

True, but with enough money flowing into something, anything can be improved. Laptop and mobile battery capacity has been improved over the years because people put the time and energy into research and development. My argument would be that if more time and energy had been put into battery development many, many years ago, Ford may have an amazing (and affordable) product to deliver now, while times are hard.

chewietobbacca
Jan 21, 2009, 03:54 PM
The smaller form factor DOES add to the portability. And that doesn't just go for netbooks. Why else do you think there's still such a fondness for the 12" PowerBook? The only advantage it had over its 15" and 17" siblings was its small size.

The netbooks take it a step further. They're even smaller, and half the weight (2.5 pounds). They have a battery life to match (6+ hours) And most of them are also incredibly cheap ($300 range). AND they run a full Windows XP install, and they can run just about any software (within reason of course).

Up until recently, you were not able to get those three things (small size and weight, full PC capability, and extremely low cost) in one product. You had to pick only two. Small and cheap, but limited proprietary OS (e.g. Psion or Palm PDAs, or Windows CE devices). Small and powerful, but ridiculously expensive (e.g. the Fujitsu or Sony ultra-portables).

Netbook usage scenarios:
You're going on a family vacation. You want something to check email on the road and dump photos off your memory card. You're going on a business trip to give a PowerPoint presentation. You're going to your brother's house for the day and you want to be able to pop online quickly. You want something to take short notes at school. You need a cheap little PC for that one app you can't run on your Mac.

Of course you could do all that with your MacBook. But it's heavier, bigger, and if you're like me, you second-guess -- do I *really* want to take this with me today? What if it gets stolen? Where will I stash it? A netbook will give you the battery life you want, is small enough to tuck into your briefcase or luggage or hide in the car, and only costs $300 so even if your car or hotel room is broken into, you're not out that much. Keep your expensive laptop and your personal files safely at home.

Agreed, and that's why I carry my netbook around on any traveling where I need a computer that isn't business related

And the answer to how Apple has survived: it's all about the marketing. Good marketing means you can convince anyone they need something

myjellyass
Jan 21, 2009, 04:15 PM
I think the new article shows why Apple don't need to/want to release a Netbook (yet): http://www.macrumors.com/2009/01/21/apple-reports-1-61-billion-profit-for-q1-2009/

Nobody knows how long this "financial crisis" is going to last so maybe Apple hopes they can ride it out, and evidently it's not doing too much damage so far! No matter if you think they should or shouldn't it would certainly be a big step and (possibly with the exception of Apple TV so far), Apple likes to go into new areas in a big way and stay for the long haul. They probably don't see Netbooks being a viable long term investment.

zombitronic
Jan 21, 2009, 04:48 PM
I think the new article shows why Apple don't need to release a Netbook (yet).

And here's why they won't:

Q: What about the netbook (<$500) segment?
A: We're watching it, but we don't feel that they offer good products...underpowered, poor software, cramped keyboards, etc. We've got some ideas, but we will not provide the inferior experience that we believe other companies are providing.

bobsentell
Jan 21, 2009, 09:28 PM
I think Apple's reasons for staying out of the netbook market makes since. Most of your average users look at the netbook as a step backwards. It's really only for entry-level notebook users. All the netbooks I've seen are really poor in quality.

Even though HP offers a quality netbook, they don't heavily market it. I think they may even see this as a fad that won't last long. Especially since you can almost get a notebook with a larger screen and faster performance for not all that much more in cost.

Apple may be ignoring the netbook market with the intent of seeing it disappear on it's own.

bobsentell
Jan 21, 2009, 09:33 PM
True, but with enough money flowing into something, anything can be improved. Laptop and mobile battery capacity has been improved over the years because people put the time and energy into research and development. My argument would be that if more time and energy had been put into battery development many, many years ago, Ford may have an amazing (and affordable) product to deliver now, while times are hard.

Maybe. Battery tech has improved, I just doubt it would have made much difference. Ford would still be in this condition even if they had an EV. This is a recession that effects all businesses. I think Ford could offer an electric car that has a range of 1,000 miles and a recharge time of 30 minutes and still have a hard time selling it. Times are tough, and people are saving their money, not spending it.

Apple is probably figuring that in order to enter the netbook market, it would cost money, which isn't an option right now. I guess they figure the netbook market will only last as long as the recession will.

macnulty
Jan 22, 2009, 06:41 PM
It seems to me that a netbook is nothing more than a weaker laptop with a smaller screen. You can't just tuck it away in your pocket like an iPhone, so the smaller screen doesn't really add to the portability. Personally, I'd rather just have a laptop. Would someone like to explain their desire for something like this?

Yea, a really cheap windoze machine because of the once a year pain-in-the-ass time that I would have to use windows.

macnulty
Jan 23, 2009, 11:35 AM
Agreed, and that's why I carry my netbook around on any traveling where I need a computer that isn't business related

And the answer to how Apple has survived: it's all about the marketing. Good marketing means you can convince anyone they need something

Not, its not a good salesman who "sells a refrigerator to an eskimo", the good salesman (marketing) makes a customer.

gothiquegirrl
Jan 23, 2009, 12:18 PM
Actually, electric motors came out the same time as the car and the problem with them then is the same as the problem now...battery capacity.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electric_car

Don't you wish Solar electric cars were affordable to all?