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School shoppers choose netbooks over Apple, for now

post #1 of 130
Thread Starter 
A new study suggests students prefer low-cost netbooks over Apple's MacBook, but some believe the Mac-maker's long-rumored tablet could take a large portion of low-end laptop sales.

In a survey of 300 students headed back to school, Retrevo, an electronics product review search service, found 34 percent said they intend to buy a "small lightweight netbook," while 17 percent stated they will opt for an Apple MacBook. Most respondents intend to buy a full-sized, full-powered PC laptop, with 49 percent aligning with a more traditional Windows configuration.

While the 17 percent total for Apple fares worse than competing netbooks, it should be noted that the share among students is twice that of overall U.S. sales.

It is the rising popularity of netbooks that has led market research analysts like Piper Jaffray's Gene Munster to speculate that the yet-to-be-announced Apple tablet would earn an additional $1.2 billion in revenue for the company. Munster, who predicts the product will launch in early 2010, does not believe Apple's secret device will be a netbook or will be marketed as a netbook. But he does suggest the core strengths of a low-cost PC -- Web browsing and checking e-mail -- will be basic features of Apple's new offering, thus cutting into the netbook market.

The Retrevo survey finds that most laptop buyers (36 percent) intend to spend between $500 and $750, followed by the $750 to $1,000 price range (24 percent). The low-end market of below $500 came in third (22 percent), with the costliest option of $1,000 and up in last (18 percent). Users rated the most important features, in order: battery life, screen size, weight, ability to watch movies, style, and gaming.

With regards to the in-the-making tablet, a new report Wednesday from BusinessWeek reconfirms reports that Apple tested a number of screen sizes in development of the device. The story states that Apple has two prototypes of the iPod touch-like device: one with a 6-inch screen, and one larger. It also suggests the products could debut as soon as September. However, AppleInsider's own sources have firmly stated that a 10-inch device will launch in early 2010.

Whatever form the upcoming device takes, the latest survey on the popularity of netbooks suggests Apple could make an impact in the $500 to $1,000 price range, where 60 percent of responding students intend to spend their money on a laptop. That range is exactly where numerous analysts expect the upcoming tablet to be priced. Consider, also, the rumor that surfaced last week that the device would have two models, with one of them marketed toward education.
post #2 of 130
did not expect them to buy the air. they don't need power to write essays or e-mail daddy for more money.
post #3 of 130
Announce the iTab, iPad, iSlab, MacBookTouch, or whatever in September for a January release. Stop these NetBooks now!
post #4 of 130
The statistics are interesting, but that Business Week story is total BS. Maybe there should be a rule that we don't take any rumour about new products from old "out of the loop" business publications seriously in future?

Has Business Week or any similar publication *ever* been right about a new product reveal? Seems to me they are pretty far off on every single prediction they make relative to anyone who's, you know ... in the actual computer business.
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post #5 of 130
Well really, what does the average college student need? Unless their major is in something multimedia or computer related, they probably only need something to surf the net, do their homework in a word processing or spreadsheet app, send/read e-mail, have a Skype video chat with their parents, etc. all of which can easily be done on a $300 netbook.

I bought my ASUS EEEPC 900HA netbook for $230 refurbished on eBay, and I consider it the best all-around portable computer I have ever owned.

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post #6 of 130
I have suggested to all college students that they go to school with a netbook and desktop computer. Sync the two when you get back to your room. You do not need huge power in the classroom. Just something to download your class notes, type notes, and record the lecture if you want. And its gotta fit on those tiny pull out desks they have. The netbook fits perfectly in this area. Apple makes no netbook, so it has to be a PC.

As for the desktop, I suggest they use what they want. Apple/PC, doesn't matter. The reason I don't suggest ONE laptop and that's it, is the fact that so many get stolen, or damaged over time. Expensive to replace, and a desktop is harder to steal. With two computers, given you do it right, you have a back up every night so if one computer dies, you aren't SOL in terms of your assignments. The cost isn't that bad either for the two (if you choose PC). My brother got a netbook and i7 PC for the same price as an iMac. He loves the two machines, one for the power and one for the portability. Its a great college system between the two! And was 1200 dollars. (Netbook: 400, i7: 800... he got a decent deal that should come around again soon.)

You could do the same by getting the white MB, and an iMac... but now you have spent roughly 2300 dollars. Syncing would be done manually, or via MobileMe, or some other pay for third party (unless someone can find me a free network sync tool for Mac. I've been looking for one for a while now actually!)

And if you take your class notes on your iPhone / iPod touch... I want to see your notes! Impress me.

(One note to those getting netbooks for school. Opt for the 6cell machines. They will last you all day. For those with a kick for gaming, wait till the ION netbooks fully arrive. Not fully a gaming or HD movie machine by any means, but much better than the 950 chip)
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post #7 of 130
Quote:
Originally Posted by jazzguru View Post

Well really, what does the average college student need? Unless their major is in something multimedia or computer related, they probably only need something to surf the net, do their homework in a word processing or spreadsheet app, send/read e-mail, have a Skype video chat with their parents, etc. all of which can easily be done on a $300 netbook.

I bought my ASUS EEEPC 900HA netbook for $230 refurbished on eBay, and I consider it the best all-around portable computer I have ever owned.

My Aspire One is my main computer. I love it, and it works well, quick. Was the best laptop purchase I ever made. Got it for 300.
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post #8 of 130
In a down economy this only makes sense that they would be looking to get a cheaper system. Apple snoozed and lost some potential sales by not addressing their competition's price points. They lowered prices a bit but not enough. Further every Macbook is a Pro system now so where's the cheap systems?
post #9 of 130
I really dont see the appeal of the [rumored] apple tablet...
But then again, I said the same thing about the iPhone...
post #10 of 130
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacTel View Post

In a down economy this only makes sense that they would be looking to get a cheaper system. Apple snoozed and lost some potential sales by not addressing their competition's price points. They lowered prices a bit but not enough. Further every Macbook is a Pro system now so where's the cheap systems?

Apple purposely avoids the cheap computer market. They didn't snooze. Instead, they've watched and avoided the netbook phenomenon with eyes wide open.

Its also important to note that while netbooks have a lot of minds-hare and perhaps even units sold, they are not terribly profitable for manufacturers. Apple has always stayed out of this type of market.

(Note: I'm not making an assertion either way whether this was the right decision on Apple's part.)
post #11 of 130
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacTel View Post

In a down economy this only makes sense that they would be looking to get a cheaper system. Apple snoozed and lost some potential sales by not addressing their competition's price points. They lowered prices a bit but not enough. Further every Macbook is a Pro system now so where's the cheap systems?

True, true- Apple will be making up for a lost segment. Wasted all that D&D on the Air which totally blows in relation to its cost.
post #12 of 130
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacTel View Post

In a down economy this only makes sense that they would be looking to get a cheaper system. Apple snoozed and lost some potential sales by not addressing their competition's price points. They lowered prices a bit but not enough. Further every Macbook is a Pro system now so where's the cheap systems?

Apple doesn't do low-end. Nor do they need to. Macs are selling in record numbers. Apple is actually selling MORE Macs in this recession.

When there's an actual PROBLEM with Mac sales, then the netbook factor can be discussed. 17% of 300 students said they're going for a Macbook. That figure sounds about right. Looks like 34% of students aren't really able to afford what they'd like to and 49%, more or less as expected, will choose Windows - some of whom we can assume would rather be on a Mac.

So what else is new.
post #13 of 130
Quote:
Originally Posted by Quadra 610 View Post

Apple doesn't do low-end. Nor do they need to. Macs are selling in record numbers. Apple is actually selling MORE Macs in this recession.

When there's an actual PROBLEM with Mac sales, then the netbook factor can be discussed. 17% of 300 students said they're going for a Macbook. That figure sounds about right. Looks like 34% of students aren't really able to afford what they'd like to and 49%, more or less as expected, will choose Windows - some of whom we can assume would rather be on a Mac.

So what else is new.

Is the MacBook Air selling well? Do we actually know that for a fact?
Haven't seen a commercial for it since last year with that stupid interoffice envelope commercial hyping its thinness.
post #14 of 130
Quote:
Originally Posted by dfiler View Post

Apple purposely avoids the cheap computer market. They didn't snooze. Instead, they've watched and avoided the netbook phenomenon with eyes wide open.

Its also important to note that while netbooks have a lot of minds-hare and perhaps even units sold, they are not terribly profitable for manufacturers. Apple has always stayed out of this type of market.

(Note: I'm not making an assertion either way whether this was the right decision on Apple's part.)


So true, the netbook is a device that costs about what a big iPod costs, and yet has the potential for way way way more support headaches. Plus cheap computers tarnish the brand

Apple doesn't want all the computer market, only the top portion. The profit to support cost ratio is the best there. Let the bottom feeders fight for the low end.

Sheldon
post #15 of 130
Quote:
Originally Posted by freeny View Post

I really dont see the appeal of the [rumored] apple tablet...
But then again, I said the same thing about the iPhone...

I was the same way. Windows Mobile seemed to offer the same or more than the rumoured iPhone include media integration. But I will say the iPhone changed how that was done.

Does Apple have another iPhone up its sleve or will it just be a Kindle meets iPod Touch. Only time will tell.

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post #16 of 130
This will be until they realize they cant fricken type papers on the damn things without cramping up.
post #17 of 130
Quote:
Originally Posted by Quadra 610 View Post

Apple doesn't do low-end. Nor do they need to. Macs are selling in record numbers. Apple is actually selling MORE Macs in this recession.

When there's an actual PROBLEM with Mac sales, then the netbook factor can be discussed. 17% of 300 students said they're going for a Macbook. That figure sounds about right. Looks like 34% of students aren't really able to afford what they'd like to and 49%, more or less as expected, will choose Windows - some of whom we can assume would rather be on a Mac.

So what else is new.

That's hilarious- who are to assume what other people can and cannot afford, or what they would rather have? Maybe its just that- I know its hard to imagine- there are those who actually do want a non-Apple computer? You make yourself sound awfully haughty and arrogant, which, using your words, "is more or less expected."
post #18 of 130
Quote:
Originally Posted by Quadra 610 View Post

Apple doesn't do low-end. Nor do they need to.
So what else is new.

Really- what's an iPod Shuffle then?
Isn't the MacMini supposed to be the "affordable" Mac?
Excuses , excuses- Netbooks are penetrating deeper and deeper into the public's consciousness- Apple missed the boat.
Instead Apple gave us - the Air????
post #19 of 130
Quote:
Originally Posted by teckstud View Post

Is the MacBook Air selling well? Do we actually know that for a fact?
Haven't seen a commercial for it since last year with that stupid interoffice envelope commercial hyping its thinness.

I don' think it is. Does it really need to? The Air doen't really seem to be a factor. Its price point seems to have made it a novelty. But who's talking about the Air anyway??

It really all depends on whether this buying habit of students *at this moment* will actually affect Apple's next quarter. It seems that students buying habits in this survey are very nearly the same as they always were. It isn't that students are choosing netbooks OVER Apple. They're simply buying fewer Macbooks for pretty obvious reasons.

Netbooks have been selling in great numbers for a while now. And really, they have absolutely nothing to do with Macbooks. Not even in the same calss in any way, shape or form.
post #20 of 130
Quote:
Originally Posted by camroidv27 View Post

My Aspire One is my main computer. I love it, and it works well, quick. Was the best laptop purchase I ever made. Got it for 300.

I love the portability and versatility of my netbook. It's bout the size and weight of an average hard-back book, so I can take it just about anywhere.

I can hold it by one corner with one hand and not feel like the plastic is going to break or that my hand is going to fall off. It's plenty fast for my needs.

Yet, when I want more of a desktop computing experience, I simply plug in my USB keyboard and mouse and hook it up to a monitor.

I run a dual boot setup with Win XP and Ubuntu Netbook Remix.

Best $230 I ever spent.

Malo periculosam, libertatem quam quietam servitutem.

(I prefer the tumult of liberty to the quiet of servitude.)

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(I prefer the tumult of liberty to the quiet of servitude.)

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post #21 of 130
Quote:
Originally Posted by OwlBoy View Post

This will be until they realize they cant fricken type papers on the damn things without cramping up.

USB Keyboard + USB Mouse + monitor = problem solved

Malo periculosam, libertatem quam quietam servitutem.

(I prefer the tumult of liberty to the quiet of servitude.)

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post #22 of 130
Quote:
Originally Posted by teckstud View Post

Really- what's an iPod Shuffle then?
Isn't the MacMini supposed to be the "affordable" Mac?
Excuses , excuses- Netbooks are penetrating deeper and deeper into the public consciousness- Apple missed the boat.

Um . . . The Shuffle is an MP3 player. Not a computer.

The Mini is a desktop system. Not a notebook.

No one is making any real money from netbooks, which is a problem.

Netbooks aren't a factor when it comes to Apple and Apple's market. Apple sells computers on margin, not volume. Apple "missed" the netbook market because it has no intention of being in it in the first place. And they were right.
post #23 of 130
Quote:
Originally Posted by iReality85 View Post

That's hilarious- who are to assume what other people can and cannot afford, or what they would rather have? Maybe its just that- I know its hard to imagine- there are those who actually do want a non-Apple computer? You make yourself sound awfully haughty and arrogant, which, using your words, "is more or less expected."

We've all heard 70% of the US economy is driven by consumer spending...but did you know the top 10% wealthiest consumers drive 50% of the US economy?

That's apple's target demographic.
post #24 of 130
Quote:
Originally Posted by iReality85 View Post

That's hilarious- who are to assume what other people can and cannot afford, or what they would rather have? Maybe its just that- I know its hard to imagine- there are those who actually do want a non-Apple computer? You make yourself sound awfully haughty and arrogant, which, using your words, "is more or less expected."

It comes down to income brackets and basic knowledge of Apple's pricing. Apple will always sell fewer Macs in comparison to PC sales. Macs are marketed and priced as Premium items. Apple functions at the highest tier of the market pyramid.

Just connect the dots. Apple's deomgraphic is NOT a reflection of the entire market. Hence, their 91% share of the $1000+ notebook market.
post #25 of 130
Quote:
Originally Posted by jazzguru View Post

I love the portability and versatility of my netbook. It's bout the size and weight of an average hard-back book, so I can take it just about anywhere.

I can hold it by one corner with one hand and not feel like the plastic is going to break or that my hand is going to fall off. It's plenty fast for my needs.

Yet, when I want more of a desktop computing experience, I simply plug in my USB keyboard and mouse and hook it up to a monitor.

I run a dual boot setup with Win XP and Ubuntu Netbook Remix.

Best $230 I ever spent.

If you have a standard desktop you use, I would suggest using Synergy so your mouse and keyboard can control the other machine as if it were just a second display. I'm glad you love your netbook, so do I. At home though, I have it sitting next to a desktop, but still its extremely usefull for skype and IM and email while I play games or watch videos and other things. For home network troubleshooting, its awesome too.

I too have XP and Ubuntu running on my netbook. One of these days soon I'll ditch XP and run just Ubuntu.

Now, if Apple made a netbook and sold it for 499 or 599, it'd sell VERY quickly. Knowing Apple, won't happen.

Till then, try putting OS X on your netbook. I did it once, and besides the WiFi, everything worked GREAT!
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post #26 of 130
Quote:
Originally Posted by jazzguru View Post

USB Keyboard + USB Mouse + monitor = problem solved

Spend that money for $400 15.4" notebook with a dual core CPU, 4GB RAM, adequate storage and many more other options and they a portal computer that is also usable for long durations. But to each their own, if a netbook suits your needs then go for it. Personally I'd go for a $400 notebook or a used $300 notebook over a netbook anyday. But to each their own, if a netbook suits your needs then go for it.
post #27 of 130
Quote:
Originally Posted by Quadra 610 View Post

Um . . .

No one is making any real money from netbooks, which is a problem.

Netbooks aren't a factor when it comes to Apple and Apple's market. Apple sells computers on margin, not volume. Apple "missed" the netbook market because it has no intention of being in it in the first place. And they were right.

Exactly! Well said.

You can see the Dell's, HP's and MS' of the world slowly realizing they have chosen the wrong business model, ie., "volume over margin." And now they are all scrambling to do a weak copy of Apple's proven and very successful approach. MS wraps a substandard Vista in Aero, Dell repackages substandard laptops with pink or orange plastic covers. All in lame attempts to add value so they can charge more.

It may be too late for these "leopard's" to change horses in mid-stream!
post #28 of 130
Quote:
Originally Posted by Quadra 610 View Post

Apple "missed" the netbook market because it has no intention of being in it in the first place. And they were right.

Right and everbody that's buying a NetBook now will simply go out and buy in addition an Apple tablet when it becomes available. Wrong.
post #29 of 130
And this magical "Tablet" isn't aimed at the netbook market. It won't cost $230, unless there's some sort of subsidization involved. A Tablet is not a netbook. it's not an anything, but a Tablet. It's an entirely different animal that will open up an entirely new segment of mobile computing. It's got nothing to do with netbooks because it won't compete with most cheap netbooks.

Apple has thus far (and is poised to continue) bypassed the cheap netbook market entirely without so much as batting an eyelash.

Does it bother you that the netbook market is large, but Apple doesn't want to be involved? Is there something wrong with Apple being selective??

Apple is expected to have a blowout Q4, and to top it off, a lot of that will come from Mac sales. If only 17% of students will contribute to that . . . oh well.
post #30 of 130
delete.
post #31 of 130
Quote:
Originally Posted by Logisticaldron View Post

Spend that money for $400 15.4" notebook with a dual core CPU, 4GB RAM, adequate storage and many more other options and they a portal computer that is also usable for long durations. But to each their own, if a netbook suits your needs then go for it. Personally I'd go for a $400 notebook or a used $300 notebook over a netbook anyday. But to each their own, if a netbook suits your needs then go for it.

That's exactly it - it comes down to preference. I want my portable computer to be REALLY portable, so I'm willing to sacrifice a bit of power for that.

In fact, I don't think I'd want a screen larger than 8.9" since it would require a larger form factor.

Storage-wise, my netbook has a 160 GB hard drive, so that's pretty adequate for me. One of these days I'll upgrade the RAM from 1 to 2 GB.

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post #32 of 130
That is a baloney. What kind of survey will just sample 300 persons. According to the U.S. Census Bureau 34 million people go to college in the United States. 16.5 million People are seeking a college degree and 17.5 million students are seeking their post-secondary degree.

300 out of 34 million. How can you make a conclusion based on such minute sample.

Don't believe it!
post #33 of 130
Quote:
Originally Posted by christopher126 View Post

We've all heard 70% of the US economy is driven by consumer spending...but did you know the top 10% wealthiest consumers drive 50% of the US economy?

That's apple's target demographic.

So you're basing whether or not someone is wealthy on whether or not they can afford an Apple computer (or vise versa)? Apple computers are expensive, yes, but the notion that only the wealthy are able to afford one, or for that matter, that the wealthy are Apple's sole customers is both naive and false.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Quadra 610 View Post

It comes down to income brackets and basic knowledge of Apple's pricing. Apple will always sell fewer Macs in comparison to PC sales. Macs are marketed and priced as Premium items. Apple functions at the highest tier of the market pyramid.

I think that's common knowledge, but thanks for the reminder.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Quadra 610 View Post

Just connect the dots. Apple's demographic is NOT a reflection of the entire market. Hence, their 91% share of the $1000+ notebook market.

I do not see the relevance of this, particularly to my post, which was in reference to your original post, in which you made a baseless assumption of the reason behind consumers' purchases given the actual data.
post #34 of 130
Quote:
Originally Posted by OC4Theo View Post

That is a baloney. What kind of survey will just sample 300 persons. According to the U.S. Census Bureau 34 million people go to college in the United States. 16.5 million People are seeking a college degree and 17.5 million students are seeking their post-secondary degree.

300 out of 34 million. How can you make a conclusion based on such minute sample.

Don't believe it!

Well, iPhone customer satisfaction surveys, for one.

But seriously, you don't really need a survey in 2009 to figure out that the 3GS is a great product and people are happy with it.

You do make a fair point, however. There might be a difference between the age/level of students with respect to this issue.
post #35 of 130
Quote:
Originally Posted by teckstud View Post

Right and everbody that's buying a NetBook now will simply go out and buy in addition an Apple tablet when it becomes available. Wrong.

There's nothing to indicate that people who buy sub-$400 netbooks would constitute much of the target market for an Apple tablet, which will likely cost substantially more (assuming it will even exist in the first place).
post #36 of 130
Quote:
Originally Posted by iReality85 View Post

I do not see the relevance of this, particularly to my post, which was in reference to your original post, in which you made a baseless assumption of the reason behind consumers' purchases given the actual data.

What was my assumption, exactly?
post #37 of 130
Quote:
Originally Posted by iReality85 View Post

So you're basing whether or not someone is wealthy on whether or not they can afford an Apple computer (or vise versa)? Apple computers are expensive, yes, but the notion that only the wealthy are able to afford one, or for that matter, that the wealthy are Apple's sole customers is both naive and false. :

Reread my post and don't be such a twit.
post #38 of 130
Here, I fixed the title while adding 25% more foreboding:

"School shoppers choose netbooks over Apple, for now.. DUN DUN DUNNNN!!!!!!!!"
You win, I've switched sides.
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post #39 of 130
I agree with Quadra610 in that some percentage of people are getting what they can afford and not what they want. If prices were equal then more people would be buying Apple, no question.
post #40 of 130
Quote:
Originally Posted by iReality85 View Post

So you're basing whether or not someone is wealthy on whether or not they can afford an Apple computer (or vise versa)? Apple computers are expensive, yes, but the notion that only the wealthy are able to afford one, or for that matter, that the wealthy are Apple's sole customers is both naive and false.

It's just the nature of the Premium market.

It should be obvious it's not comprised of "only the wealthy", but it doesn't take a whole lot to see who Apple's main demographic is and who would most likely constitute the bulk of Apple's market.

I didn't create it. It's just the way the divisions in the market happen.

Why are you feeling so insulted over this?
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