Netbooks are junky, according to Apple. That’s what Tim Cook shared at the last Apple conference call and based on his commentary, I don’t expect a traditional netbook from Apple. Perhaps a large iPod Touch type of device, but not a smaller netbook with a “cramped […]

macbookNetbooks are junky, according to Apple. That’s what Tim Cook shared at the last Apple conference call and based on his commentary, I don’t expect a traditional netbook from Apple. Perhaps a large iPod Touch type of device, but not a smaller netbook with a “cramped keyboard.” Sounds good from the management side of the house, but the accounting department might be wishing otherwise.

The Apple Blog analyzed recent market share numbers from Gartner and IDC and both show that the netbook market is sustaining, and even growing, the presence of many hardware makers. Just not Apple. Acer shows the biggest gains in year over year market share at 51 percent from IDC. Gartner pegs Acer’s growth at 74.2 percent in the same time period. Granted, Acer sells regular notebooks in addition to netbooks, but they’re also the number one seller of netbooks in the world these days, according to DisplaySearch.

With the global economy in the doldrums, it’s equally likely that Apple’s growth has also slowed due to other cheaper alternatives. After all, no Apple notebook is regularly priced under $999, while there are scores of notebook PCs priced under $1,000. I have to wonder though: what would Apple’s market share look like if the company did have a computing device in the $500 to $800 range?

  1. About as good as Linux’s I’d say. The majority of people want Windows on their computers and the netbook market is proof of that.

    Also. an Apple netbook at $500 isn’t so cheap by the time you’ve added the cost of buying OSX-compatible versions of the software you already own or an additional Windows license to run in Bootcamp. At the end of the day you’re no better off, just a lot poorer.

    The big iPhone rumours seem equally silly to me. Why does anyone need something like that? If you’re going to lug something that large around it might as well run a proper OS that runs all your software. The only thing I can see these being any good at is running big iFart apps – hardly useful.

    1. I tend to agree, and I think these sentiments apply to the Crunchpad as well. I think these will both be niche devices, that won’t sell nearly as well as their creators (and fanboy bloggers) would hope.

  2. They put so much effort making their iPhones and iPods so cheap and high quality but they keep their laptops at such a high cost no wonder they are losing market share.

  3. Random iPhone Developer Thursday, July 16, 2009

    I find amusing the constant analyst hand-wringing about Apple’s lack of presence in the netbook space. Apple has sold about 40 million iPhones and touches, which (as far as I can tell) is way more than all of the netbooks sold so far. They have created a market niche out of thin air, and can continue to milk it with app sales, software updates, and hardware upgrades. That may not be a new thing for a smartphone market, but it certainly is in the media player arena. A few years ago, who would have thought that there would be a thriving business in iPod app sales? And the iPhone/touch price point is right in line with what netbooks are going for. I think the argument could be made that Apple is ALREADY competing in the netbook space, at least when it comes down to making consumers choose between one $300-400 purchase or another.

    Can you do everything on a touch that you could on a laptop (or even a netbook)? Of course not. But many people see netbooks as companions to “real” computers, and you could look at handhelds the same way. And clearly there are some advantages to a device that can fit in your pocket versus what is simply a shrunken laptop. It opens up a new part of the consumer market that even small netbooks can’t penetrate.

    Will Apple come out with some sort of tablet? Probably. Will it cost more than similar hardware in a netbook form factor by some random vendor? Probably. Will people still buy them? Probably. And yet it may not really compete in the netbook (or notebook) space either. But that’s just as well for Apple — one of the problems for the laptop makers is that cheap netbooks are cannibalizing their higher-margin machine sales. Odds are Apple is going to avoid that by creating a new market/form factor, just as they did with the touch. Why sell one or the other, when you can get a lot of people to buy both?

  4. Envy?

    Apple’s a company, a company’s aim is to make money. Why should Apple be envious of PC manufacturer’s shooting themselves with lower and lower margins?

    Example last quarter Apple profits up 15%, Dell down 63%.

    What analysts don’t do which is more accurate is to compare Apple’s computer market-share in the PRICE RANGE that apple competes in. In May 2008 NDP said Apple holds over 60% of PCs over $1000. That’s the fat profitable zone.

    And the big thing now are mobile computers like iPhones and iPod touches.

    Not counting these mobile computers which can run 60,000 applications but counting netbooks in “computer market share” is a semantic definition. It’s as if when automobiles first came out and researchers only counted ‘horse buggies’ as ‘vehicles’ and not automobiles. So the vehicle company selling thousands of automobiles but fewer horse buggies has ‘low vehicle market share’, but it’s just semantics, the company doesn’t care as like Apple it’s making bongs of money.

    Apple with no debt and 29 billion in cash reserves has more cash than Microsoft (25 billion).

  5. You know what Apple understands? Life after the department store. Check resale value. The Honda Civic is envious. Oh, and due to their design, the mac ages less than Joan Rivers cheeks, but, then again, the PC’s use the plastic cases…Oh, and the interface is pure magic, check the trackpad. The Mac is meant for the average desktop/laptop/portable device demographic, with their ingenious designs, clever minimalist marketing (they don’t show visuals of their devices in marketing), and aesthetically pleasing, high quality products. They focus on more than technical specs, they focus on the experience itself (Apple Store).

  6. Talk about pushing an agenda.

    What none of these groups like Gartner EVER track is revenue share. Let me repeat that.


    Hand-wringing is right, but we all no it’s just to pursue a hidden agenda to force Apple into an unprofitable business.

    Here’s an exercise for jkontherun…how about doing a quick back-of-the-envelope series of calculations and converting those unit numbers into revenue?

    Funny how Gartner and IDC never seem to produce reports like the revenue share of the companies they track, even while they put a $ figure to the industry as a whole.

    Then we’ll see how “poorly” Apple is doing. Netbook envy is like some baseball player blinded by his steroid use into thinking he’s doing good things for his body and sport.

    BTW, Kevin Turner talking about “Apple legal” giving him a call? Someone has been seriously punk’d and is too blind to see it. That to me seems to be representative of this peculiar need for obsessive validation on the part of Microsoft, i.e. always the unpopular kid wanting desperately to be liked. Like right, a major corporation is going to have an anonymous corporate lawyer flunky CALL a C-level executive to pretty please stop doing something. The fact that people who hate Apple’s business model latched onto this fishy story like an emaciated leech to a red-blooded cow sure says something.

  7. netbooks aren’t proof that people want windows more than OSX, necessarily. Netbooks prove that people want… netbooks. There are tons and tons of Mac owners that bought a windows netbook… because Mac won’t make them.

  8. 11.6″ screen
    Geforce 9400 IGP
    Via Nano CPU
    aluminium chassis

    charge £600 for it, i’d buy it like a shot!

  9. Lava, apple lawyers called me because i sold one netbook on ebay running osx and modified it to look like a apple. Yeah unbelievable but true i am a maitenance man at a highschool and here some lawyer is calling me from apple headquarters.


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