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Apple netbook rumors swirl around every few weeks and with MacWorld breathing down our necks in just a few short days they are rearing their ugly head once again.  It is clear from all the constant netbook blathering that the Apple faithful want a netbook, a […]

apple-logo1Apple netbook rumors swirl around every few weeks and with MacWorld breathing down our necks in just a few short days they are rearing their ugly head once again.  It is clear from all the constant netbook blathering that the Apple faithful want a netbook, a small, cheap Mac to haul around in an expensive case.

I hate to burst your bubble but we’re not going to see Steve Jobs anyone offer an Apple netbook at MacWorld.  Apple has stated over and over again they will not do one and here are five reasons you won’t see one at MacWorld:

  1. Apple can’t build one.  Now before you get your undies all twisted that’s not me talking, that’s Steve Jobs himself.  “We don’t know how to make a $500 computer that’s not a piece of junk”.  One thing that all netbooks share is a very low price point so there you have it, Apple can’t make one.
  2. OS X deserves a better home.  Apple firmly believes that OS X is the best thing since sliced bread.  You’ve seen the “I’m a Mac” ads so you know that’s true.  There is no way that Apple is going to put OS X on anything cheap like a netbook.
  3. The iPhone is better than a netbook.  Apple has already told us that the iPhone gives us the “real Internet”.  There’s no way they are going to offer up the “fake-Internet” just to sell a “piece of junk”.
  4. Netbooks have small touchpads. You’ve seen the gigantic touchpads on all the new MacBooks and Pros.  Apple has seen the light and shown it to us and that is how we know that multi-touch is mandatory for a mobile computer.  Have you seen the tiny touchpads on netbooks?  No multi-touch, no Apple netbook.
  5. Apple is a firm believer in the “Charlie Brown” marketing philosophy.  This philosophy is not compatible with super cheap notebooks.  Apple knows that offering a cheap notebook just once would be the same as Lucy letting Charlie Brown kick the football…
  1. Apple already has a netbook; it’s called the Macbook Air. And no they aren’t planning to make a cheaper alternative to it. If you look at Apple design, all their laptops are equipped with no compromise, full size keyboard and oversized touchpads, for giving the user the best experience; a netbook cannot provide that at any price.

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  2. And don’t forget how much of a pain it would be to have to carry around the refrigeration/air conditioning unit that would be required just to keep the little netbook cool.

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  3. Devil’s Advocate:
    I’m no Apple fanboy, but here are some counterpoints to consider.
    1. I wouldn’t be so sure of that. It wasn’t that long ago that they “Couldn’t Make a Cell Phone”. An iPod Touch with a hard drive and a keyboard is probably better than half of the low-end netbooks out there.
    2. Nobody seems to mind the scaled down OS on the iPhone.
    3. You may be right, but add a bigger screen and some real keys and you’d be surprised how many people might bite.
    4. The touchpad can be made bigger simply by removing the buttons (kinda like they did on the macbook).
    5. What makes you think that Apple would make it cheap? $800 for a netbook sounds like the Apple Tax in full effect.

    Still – You’re probably right.

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  4. You’re right on, James…

    Unfortunately, in this case, as it would be fun to have a little MacMiniBook, notice I didn’t use the ‘nb’ word… ;-)

    Althought would really like to have an Apple version of my lil’ P1610… ;-)

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  5. Heh– right before the October 2008 notebook even, Kevin did an article called, “3 Reasons why and how we’ll see an Apple netbook soon” that I didn’t really agree with at the time. It’s interesting to hear the other side.

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  6. “Apple already has a netbook; it’s called the Macbook Air. And no they aren’t planning to make a cheaper alternative to it. If you look at Apple design, all their laptops are equipped with no compromise, full size keyboard and oversized touchpads, for giving the user the best experience; a netbook cannot provide that at any price.”

    While its great for what it does, I do not believe that I could honestly say that the Air is equipped with “no compromise”. Try, for instance, changing out the battery on an Air mid-flight.

    And, I can say that my NC10, which is great at what it does, provides me with a wonderful user experience. No, its not an Air, but it only cost me 1/3 the price of an Air. And, it does not need to be sent back to the manufacturer or an authorized service center when the battery needs changing or replacement.

    Unfortunately, all of these devices reflect the compromises that were made when they were designed, and I cannot think of many that truly pushed the envelope, although I personally find the ThinkPad X300 series to be a stand out. Perhaps the Air is Apple’s answer to ultra-mobile computing with a keyboard? Only time will tell.

    –Ken

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  7. “multi-touch is mandatory for a mobile computer. Have you seen the tiny touchpads on netbooks? No multi-touch, no Apple netbook.”

    All current Eee PCs have multi-touch pads…

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  8. gee wiz, James… Youre bringing me down. I’m really hoping for one of these apple microbooks :)
    I’m still keeping my fingers crossed…

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  9. If Apple ever did produce a “netbook-like” device they should call it the Mini-Pad. :) Much smaller than a MaxiPad.

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  10. Netbooks sales, at least in the US, are up due to the low cost along with people looking more realistically at their technology needs in our current economy. It’s really an excellent time for netbooks as they meet the needs of the majority of users while delivering a low price point.

    i just don’t know where Apple can really take the netbook concept while creating the typical premium Apple experience for users and profit margins themselves. They’ve teased us with the idea of an Apple netbook with the Air (a subnotebook) and the iPod Touch (an internet tablet). However, i don’t really see them releasing a true netbook for at least a couple of years. By then, we’ll see netbooks more efficient and powerful, much more diversity in the field, hopefully a rebounding economy, and possibly a collaboration between Apple and Intel as we saw with the Air.

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