One of the things that people expected from Apple during the recent announcement was a netbook. A mini Macbook Air would have been a game-changer in the netbook wars. It never came out.
Steve Jobs himself, when asked about netbooks, said “that’s a nascent market that’s just getting started.”
On the other hand, I have some idea why Apple hasn’t joined the netbook market.
- An Apple Netbook will ultimately kill the Macbook Air. The netbook will become the lightest Apple laptop that will diffuse the attractiveness of the Macbook Air — small and light. The netbook will naturally have an Intel Atom 1.6GHz which is indistinguishable from the Intel Core 2 Duo 1.6GHz of the Macbook Air to most people.
- Apple will be forced to enter the $400-$600 price-point for the netbook, something that would be very hard for them to develop given the somewhat expensive manufacturing process they employ. The Mac OSX alone costs $150. In comparison, the 32GB iPod Touch alone costs $399. If Apple price the netbook near the $800 range, it could also eat away the $999 Macbook market.
- Apple maybe looking into other form-factors — something in the line of the rumored Mac Tablet (or that networked HDTVs). They might be pre-occupied with that to look into the netbook market.
What do you guys think? Can Apple squeeze in a netbook in its laptop lineup?