Originally Posted by mdriftmeyer
In 3 Quarters time, the markets will have recovered around 3,000 points on the NYSE and only after 2 Quarters time the notion of targeting a netbook will be nothing but a loss.
I hate to break it to you, but these price points are addressed 2 quarters and sometimes longer prior to the products pending release.
This is DOA by Intel and AMD. It sure as hell is DOA by Apple.
I'd like you to be right about the timetable for economic recovery, but I've been studying markets and economics (and following Apple) for decades (since the beginning), and I'm mighty afeard you're wrong about your prediction about the markets. Everything I see tells me this will be at least the longest recession since WWII. As for most severe, I can't say -- nor can anybody, 'cos nobody still knows how much more funny credit paper is still waiting to surface like other noxious things that float to the surface of polluted waters.....
About netbooks, I can't say. Clearly there's a lot of space between the Touch and the Air in terms of device size/weight/screen estate, price points, functionality, UI metaphors and OS choices for new products. I simply don't understand people here saying Apple won't make $600 devices because they won't make money on them.
They make a freaking ton of money -- more than on computers, folks, TODAY -- selling sub-FOUR hundred dollar devices (I'm including the iPhone, for which I realize they probably get another hundred fifty plus from back from the cellcos) -- and another ton on content.
They already sell devices from $49 to $4000 plus, and in the iDevice line there's lots of nice fairly even steps as you move from Shuffles to Nanos, Touches, Classics, etc. And there's Apple TV in that low range. Once you hit iBooks and iMacs, the price-point blanketing steps start again. The only big gap from there is between the iMac and Mac Pro -- the point where now a second generation of fans is still clamoring for the mythical Mid-Range Mac, which WILL stay mythical until and unless Apple makes a serious run at the SMB market, given that tethered computers are more and more becoming niche products, so a whole new market is the only reason to venture there.
And now is not exactly the time to try and convince SMB's that more expensive desktops are in their best interest. Biz owners are more concerned with keeping their doors open for the next year -- not on the long-term TCO benefits of Macs that last five years in that environment and require less IT support -- nor the argument that their employees want Macs. Their employees are feeling lucky to have jobs at all more than about their OS's.
Back to the low end, then, there is a HUGE gap, i.e., between about $400 to $1000 there's nada but the aging Mini. And there's plenty of bux to be harvested $6-700 at a clip. Especially if each device sold generates large incremental add-on media revenues and app sales. And brings new classes of buyers into the A, Inc. integrated product eco-system.
Making something scaled up from the current iDevices, then, is a natural and much more likely than something scaled down from a full OS X computer, on which they'd have trouble making Apple-like margins.
And it would clearly be fast enough with available hardware -- the fastest internet access and smoothest streaming video in my house is neither on my Mac or my PC, but my Touch. and even at the Touch's size, the internet experience is really quite as satisfactory, and in some ways better. So I'm not much involved with all the Atom/Arm etc. talk in this thread.
It also most certainly won't be called a netbook - just as their first music box was not called the Apple MP3 player. Nor will it cover the same range of functions as an EEE running XP. And will probably create one or more new classes of things to do on a digital device that will get general interest magazine covers.
It will absolutely do a few cool and showy tricks netbooks don't to create marketing buzz in a new Reality Distortion Field.
I lusted, for example, for widgets, but haven't invoked one in over two years, and Spaces sound cool, but I have no real use for them and get by with my cluttered desktop space just fine.
Meanwhile, a free copy of SuperDuper plus a leftover copy of backup.app from my single and likely never again subscription to then .Mac meets all my backup needs as well or better than Time Machine would. Nor, while I learned them all, do I ever use Cover Flow nor a single iLife or iWork app (tho old, near featureless TextEdit gets plenty of invocations when I don't want to give all those CPU cycles, bytes and slow start-up times to Word, and while I'm always ready to use Numbers for the occasional temporary quick spread sheet, in real life I haven't really been making any).
And I suspect I am hardly alone in this general tendency.
But all these "innovations" have sold a ton of product for Apple. And once people have the products, their real strengths do create Apple fans who don't look back.
So a beautiful, unique new iDevice should have a ready and lucrative market. It will be marketed as solving problems or doing new things no current devices do, not as an Asus killer, even if it turns out to be one. I'm not sure what Apple will emphasize, but e.g., as a mobile sales tool, a 6x8 or 5x9 screen (more likely the latter to fit current Apple notions of what screen proportions should be) would bring a briefcaseable lightweight device to many new locations. And make for a more satisfying and shareable video experience. But these would not be reasons enough to create the device.
For example, there has also not been much talk of gaming in this thread. Given the brisk pace of Touch and Phone game sales, the clever use of accelerometers, etc., this seems like an obvious major use that today's netbooks can't touch. And would also impact PSP's, DS's, etc., and even steal some Wii sales.
As an iDevice, and a Jobs/Ivie shepherded creation, I also suspect it will lack a physical keyboard, even if in this case it might support a pluggable one. It won't be a huge iPhone, but Skype and video chat/conferencing are certainly possible (without really cannabalizing the iPhone market). And it might be a unique form factor camera/vidcam with a Huge Viewfinder and instant visual gratification at a nice size.
It will have to do light document and image processing - e.g., bring mobilized, even lighter weight versions of newish iLife and iWork type apps - and would have, likely, hooks for bloggers, facebookers, twitterers, youtubers - and absolutely MobileMe'ers. And must solve the puzzling/vexing copy/paste issue.
There are just so many ways to go here I can't imagine Apple not going in some of them. As well as they are selling, XP netbooks are still inherently small, slow, butt-ugly UI, compromised PC's with little cachet. This device might be designed as more of a Mac Companion - with unique strengths, but also with the ability to synch files, projects and more (maybe wirelessly) with Mac notebooks (and other Macs on an Airport network), where work brought to a certain level could be massaged further by Snow Leopard machines. Or even as the ultimate home theatre/network remote controller.
So, c'mon. Something's coming along some of these lines and if not by January, certainly by June. How can it not??