34 Comments

Summary:

No matter how long and hard fans call for a Mac Netbook, the folks at Apple want to remove all doubt that they absolutely, positively will not produce one at this time. Every exec at Apple has taken repeated opportunities to make that point glaringly clear. […]

apple-logoNo matter how long and hard fans call for a Mac Netbook, the folks at Apple want to remove all doubt that they absolutely, positively will not produce one at this time. Every exec at Apple has taken repeated opportunities to make that point glaringly clear. The latest example was COO (and acting Steve Jobs) Tim Cook during the company’s recent financial conference call. If there was any, even slight, remaining doubt whether Apple will make a netbook, Cook’s definition of the genre should put an end to that:

When I’m looking at what’s sold in the Netbook market, I see cramped keyboards, junky hardware, very small screens, bad software. Not a consumer experience that we would put the Mac brand on. As it exists today, we’re not interested in it nor would it be something customers would be interested in the long term. We are looking at the space. For those who want a small computer that does browsing/email, they might want an iPhone or iPod Touch. If we find a way to deliver an innovative product that really makes a contribution, we’ll do that.

So there you have it. While many have struggled with the proper way to define the netbook, Apple has boiled it down to the simple: a cramped keyboard, very small screen, junky hardware and bad software. That’s funny; it only took some of us 69 seconds to be impressed with a junky netbook running Mac OS X.

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  1. Glad you are NOT running Apple! Netbooks are junk, I own two of them!

    1. Hmm… hate to hear that you own two and find them junky Paul. I’m assuming they don’t meet your mobile computing needs? Care to share why? Just curious because they are meeting the needs of tens of millions of folks based on sales numbers. I realize they’re not for everyone of course…

  2. Well, that’s Apple. Everything is junk except their products.

  3. I beg to differ. Apple is barking up the wrong freakin tree. If netbooks are”junky” why don’t you make one that costs more and can do more??

    Noone likes to lug big notbooks anymore. Apple….look at machines other than the old Eee PC 701/702. My 1000HE runs Ubuntu Jaunty very well. Jaunty is NOT junky software…. :-P

    1. They already make an ultra-portable that costs more and can do more: The Macbook Air costs a LOT more, has a multi-touch trackpad, and offers comparable battery life with a more powerful processor (and it’s lighter than the 1000HE). Cook also cited the iPhone and iPod touch as alternatives.

    2. > Noone likes to lug big notbooks anymore

      Let’s not exaggerate here. The notbook (sic) market is still significantly larger than the netbook market.

  4. When I read about this statement last night, it confirmed in my mind that Apple defines itself as snooty.

  5. Netbooks, tablets. More unnecessary electronic toys for the box manufactures to peddle off to us. Thanks for not jumping into this latest fad Apple.

  6. I have an iPhone and still need a netbook to function. I really find it funny that they think people who want a smaller package should just make do with an iphone.

  7. I purchased a netbook about a month ago and I love it. It will never replace my expensive, powerful fullsize laptop, but I never think twice about throughing my 2lb mini 9 in my bag while I travel. I don’t even notice it in there. The $199 price tag was just a plus.

    Apple needs to get off their high horse. These are great little machines for email, web browsing, media, etc.

    Yeah, the itouch, or iphone is a great device with a great user experience(I own an iphone) but when I have a choice between browsing the web on my iPhone or my Mini with an 8.9 inch screen, I will choose the mini everytime.

  8. Apple is a little out of touch when it comes to mobile computing. They don’t even have a tablet yet… Let alone a touchable mac of any and they are boasting how PC is copying their innovation.

    1. Depends on your definitions. The iPhone is a tablet device and, unlike netbooks, is mobile, not just nomadic.

    2. Totally agree. The Air is quite nice and semi ultra portable, but it still requires a decent sized bag or protection BECAUSE of the LARGE lcd. Netbooks can do alot of what most people who bought the Air do with them and:

      Have more USB ports
      Have a end user REPLACEABLE battery
      Do not require a bag big enough to carry a 13 or 15 inch laptop when you want more than the just the computer.

      They MADE a netbook….it was called the 12 inch G4 Powerbook. In fact, my 1000HE fits nicely in the bag I USED to carry the Powerbook in. I am still looking for a case or bag that will let me have a minimal setup but for now I am happy with my Brenthaven.

      All I am saying is….bring out a 12 inch MacBook or MacBook Pro AND…..get away from the Aluminum as it hasn’t changed much except for the unibody since I had my 12 inch powerbook

  9. Y’all are reading it wrong. Apple always disparages the products in a given space before they introduce something. The narrative is consistent: everything in [insert product space] is sucky. We would never do anything that sucky. We would do something that was gloriously non-sucky. Voila! iPod/iPhone etc.

    His whole answer fits that perfectly:

    “For us, it’s about doing great products. And when I look at what is being sold in the netbook space today, I see cramped keyboards, terrible software, junky hardware, very small screens, and just not a consumer experience, and not something that we would put the Mac brand on quite frankly. And so, it’s not a space as it exists today that we are interested in, nor do we believe that customers in the long term would be interested in. It’s a segment we would choose not to play in.”

    Translation: Everything in the netbook space is sucky. We don’t do sucky.

    “That said, we do look at the space and are interested to see our customers’ respond to it. People that want a small computer so to speak that does browsing and e-mail, might want to buy an iPod Touch or they might want to buy an iPhone. And so, we have other products to accomplish some of what people are buying netbooks for and so, in that particular way we play in an indirect basis.”

    Translation: Right now you should buy an iPhone or an iPod Touch.

    “And then of course, if we find a way where we can deliver an innovative product that really makes a contribution, then we will do that and we have some interesting ideas in the space. The product pipeline is fantastic for the Mac. We are – as we look back over the last four plus years, 17 of the 18 quarters of the last four-and-a-half years, we’ve exceeded the market rate of growth.”

    Translation: But for the future, we’re working on something that will blow the existing netbooks away, just like we did with the iPod and iPhone. We are Apple. You will be assimilated.

    The key phrase is “we have some interesting ideas in the space.”

    1. I agree.

      Remember these paraphrased or totally made up quotes from Apple?

      “No one wants to watch video on a tiny screen.”

      “We don’t see much of a market for an Apple cell phone.”

      “We believe a simple universal pricing structure for the iTunes store is the best thing for consumers.”

      And now, finally:
      “Netbooks are for losers. We pee all over netbooks.”

      These quotes, again, may not be 100% accurate.

  10. @David:

    Nice reading in between the lines.

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