or Connect
AppleInsider › Forums › Mac Hardware › Future Apple Hardware › Netbook sales are for real: I hate to stir it.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Netbook sales are for real: I hate to stir it. - Page 4

post #121 of 133
OK, what would an Apple netbook look like? Forget about what it costs for a minute....

Apple's philosophy has been that they design the products they, themselves want. It could very well be that those folks don't desire the netbook as they are currently known.

I look at the MacBook Air that I type this on (with its amazing uptime of 159 days, woohoo) and can see that they could shave off the margin around the keyboard and reduce the display size and it would be on its way to a "netbook." But again, we would be back to talking about cost. The MacBook Air is not cheap.

When Apple intro'd the Air, they said that they didn't like the other ultra portables because they had cramped, small keyboards, small screens and not enough "oomph."

So I think Apple's paradigm of a physical, tactile keyboard pretty much eliminates what we know of the netbook phenomenon. This leaves something multi-touch Ã* la iPhone...

I think if Apple does enter this segment of the market they are going to do something that re-invents the netbook category.
You think Im an arrogant [expletive] who thinks hes above the law, and I think youre a slime bucket who gets most of his facts wrong. Steve Jobs
Reply
You think Im an arrogant [expletive] who thinks hes above the law, and I think youre a slime bucket who gets most of his facts wrong. Steve Jobs
Reply
post #122 of 133
Quote:
Originally Posted by FuturePastNow View Post

And yet, every one of your machines spends a lot more time waiting on *you* than the other way around.

A refrain often seen in these sorts of discussions but really means nothing. The only time that CPU cycles mean anything is when they are doing work for me. What you need to realize is that a computer is a modern day slave, it is only useful if it responds timely to a given command.

One of the things that makes the iPhone so attractive is that it is always with you and quick to respond. I really believe those are two key components to it's success. Part of that responsiveness comes from an excellent user interface that maps well to the hardware. It takes a lot of processing power to deliver that interface but I don't really care what the processor does when I slip her back into my pocket other than I don't want the battery to run down.

In a nut shell there is no reason to focus on wasted CPU cycles when it comes to personal computing. What the PC does when you are away isn't a big deal, what is is the ability to support your workload. That of course varies from user to user but in almost all cases grows with time.

One of the reasons that I could see Apple being very successful with a paper back book sized tablet running iPhone OS is it's always on instantly ready nature. With iPhone I can go from hearing the bong indicating mail to reading said mail in seconds, you can't do that with most netbooks. This is one of the reasons I see netbooks as kind of a joke, people want an extremely portable "laptop" for use on the go but then realize that the device isnt any more convienent that a 13 - 15 inch laptop. This is one of the reasons I see room in Apples line up for more than one sub 8 inch screen device. A slightly larger screen iPhone would be especially hot. The idea being maximum utility in a cell phone package. The really good thing here is that no matter the size, ARM has chips coming that will allow for better performance and longer run times. This is exactly what is needed to provide a platform that is more than competitive with devices using desktop processors and operating systems. Apple needs to refactor the small device market in the same way they did the iPhone and iPod markets.


Dave
post #123 of 133
Quote:
Originally Posted by DHagan4755 View Post

............

I think if Apple does enter this segment of the market they are going to do something that re-invents the netbook category.

They almost have to as so much of what passes for netbooks is useless hardware. It is no wonder there is a high return rate on netbook hardware as the usability factor is zero. Apples goal must be to deliver the important usability elements of iPhone onto larger devices. One of those is a constant connection to the cell network. Be it tablet or clam shell having the Internet every where is very important even if it is slow.


Dave
post #124 of 133
RE wasted cycles

8Mhz processors would likely spend much of THEIR time waiting on user input, so its kinda moot.

back in the 8bit days I yelled "COME ON!!" at machines when they were unresponsive.

I still do that with todays machines. t'was ever thus.
I don't see how an anti M$ stance can be seen as a bad thing on an Apple forum I really can't!

nagromme - According to Amazon: "SpongBob Typing Tutor" is outselling Windows
Reply
I don't see how an anti M$ stance can be seen as a bad thing on an Apple forum I really can't!

nagromme - According to Amazon: "SpongBob Typing Tutor" is outselling Windows
Reply
post #125 of 133
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

A refrain often seen in these sorts of discussions but really means nothing. The only time that CPU cycles mean anything is when they are doing work for me. What you need to realize is that a computer is a modern day slave, it is only useful if it responds timely to a given command.

OK, an excellent point. Computers are just our silicon slaves, although they do burn electricity for no purpose when we're not using them.

But there will always be more powerful computers; they're called desktops, and workstations, and full-size laptops. They're doubling in processing power roughly every 18 months and you will always be able to buy them.

A mobile device for surfing the internet, whether it takes the form of a mini-laptop or a small tablet, is never going to be able to compete on processing power. I don't see how that is an argument against netbooks given their primary usage as mobile internet devices.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

They almost have to as so much of what passes for netbooks is useless hardware. It is no wonder there is a high return rate on netbook hardware as the usability factor is zero. Apples goal must be to deliver the important usability elements of iPhone onto larger devices. One of those is a constant connection to the cell network. Be it tablet or clam shell having the Internet every where is very important even if it is slow.

The return rate for Linux netbooks is high because people don't like change and don't want to learn a "new" operating system. Can you link to anything that shows a high return rate for the Windows XP netbooks?
post #126 of 133
wizard69, I like the way you're thinking about this.

Apple could release an answer to a netbook if they wanted to, using the iPhone/iPod touch platform.

Pros:

1) Hardware cost can be higher than the competition's, because the initial price is subsidized by a contract; cell phone reception + wireless = a true "net"book, almost always connected.

2) No issues with Mac application compatibility or performance, or with scaling the Mac interface down to a small screen-- it would actually be an upgrade from the iPhone's screen.

3) No need for a cramped physical keyboard--it would actually be an upgrade from the iPhone's present keyboard.

4) Battery life should be good, given the larger physical size and the iPhone OS' optimizations for power conservation.

5) There may be a separate market of people who would like the iPhone UI scaled up to a larger size because of poor eyesight.

6) Given that the physical interface need be no more complicated than the iPhone's, the Apple netbook can actually be physically smaller and "sexier" than other netbooks.

7) There is an option to make a Kindle-style reader on a screen that is big enough to not guarantee eyestrain. In fact, it would be a much better platform for document handling generally.

Concerns:

1) Dave's point that there is a usability gulf between "pocketable" and "not pocketable" is well taken. The only real reason to field this thing is to hit a price point that a full Mac cannot reach.

2) Given 1), Apple might have trouble finding a cost/profit sweet spot in this market. They are aware that people are buying iPhones instead of laptops, but the question is, how many? and how many would be willing to give up "pocketability?"

3) Backward compatibility with iPhone apps? I'm not sure what all the technical difficulties would be. Similarly, if you got an app for your iBook (heh) would it run on the iPhone? Does Apple want to Balkanize this young platform?

4) And of course: Does Apple want to cannibalize sales of its popular and highly profitable Mac notebook line?

The MacBook Air is the long-promised "executive PowerBook." It's aimed at a completely different market.
"...within intervention's distance of the embassy." - CvB

Original music:
The Mayflies - Black earth Americana. Now on iTMS!
Becca Sutlive - Iowa Fried Rock 'n Roll - now on iTMS!
Reply
"...within intervention's distance of the embassy." - CvB

Original music:
The Mayflies - Black earth Americana. Now on iTMS!
Becca Sutlive - Iowa Fried Rock 'n Roll - now on iTMS!
Reply
post #127 of 133
Quote:
Originally Posted by Amorph View Post

wizard69, I like the way you're thinking about this.

Apple could release an answer to a netbook if they wanted to, using the iPhone/iPod touch platform.

I have to think Apple is working on something like this. Most likely an extension of the iPod line, the idea is to get the massive volume that a media player would get but to also extend the Touch environment for more capability.
Quote:

Pros:

1) Hardware cost can be higher than the competition's, because the initial price is subsidized by a contract; cell phone reception + wireless = a true "net"book, almost always connected.

Actually I'm hoping for optional carrier capability. Ideally the device would have a port/expansion slot for the RF modem to go with the carrier of your choice. Or no carrier if you want to go sans Mobile carrier. While I'd like to have a cell data option I also want options.

As to price I don't really think it will be all that bad. With the next round of chips we should be able to get a good system for only a little more than the price of an iPod Touch + the RF solution that the user chooses. Frankly I'd rather have the option of no contract too.
Quote:

2) No issues with Mac application compatibility or performance, or with scaling the Mac interface down to a small screen-- it would actually be an upgrade from the iPhone's screen.

Exactly. Though I would appreciate an upgrade to iPhone's user interface. We certainly don't want the overhead of a desktop interface. The main thing is the need for real multitasking and the support for all the hardware in the device.

In any event iPhone has already demonstrated that apps will not be an issue if the platform is compelling. More so it ought to be able to run current iPhone apps so will have a reasonable head start. Of course apps for the native screensize will come too.
Quote:
3) No need for a cramped physical keyboard--it would actually be an upgrade from the iPhone's present keyboard.

I'm mixed on physical keyboards. If the keyboard reduces screen size it is a no go.
Quote:

4) Battery life should be good, given the larger physical size and the iPhone OS' optimizations for power conservation.

Given that the PC board wouldn't be much larger than the iPhone's the battery could be very large indeed. This will be the result of the next generation of SoC that will come out, small and high performance.
Quote:
5) There may be a separate market of people who would like the iPhone UI scaled up to a larger size because of poor eyesight.

Well that is something that is more of a current issue for me but to be honest I'd rather Apple kept the same density on a larger display. The current screen is very sharp but I'd like to have 720P capable screen. That for media like movies but should also work well as an ebook reader.
Quote:

6) Given that the physical interface need be no more complicated than the iPhone's, the Apple netbook can actually be physically smaller and "sexier" than other netbooks.

Yeah! A kindle without the huge bezel. Well and a color screen.
Quote:
7) There is an option to make a Kindle-style reader on a screen that is big enough to not guarantee eyestrain. In fact, it would be a much better platform for document handling generally.

Yep. I'm not sure if people realize just how handy this device will be. The thing is, it can be a completely different solution depending on a specific persons usage.
Quote:

Concerns:

1) Dave's point that there is a usability gulf between "pocketable" and "not pocketable" is well taken. The only real reason to field this thing is to hit a price point that a full Mac cannot reach.

I disagree on the this, they real reason to field the device is that it will solve many user problems or meet specific wants. That and it will sell like hot cakes.
Quote:
2) Given 1), Apple might have trouble finding a cost/profit sweet spot in this market. They are aware that people are buying iPhones instead of laptops, but the question is, how many? and how many would be willing to give up "pocketability?"

I'm expecting or hoping for a family of devices. Ideally one would be paper back book size so pocketable is still possible.
Quote:
3) Backward compatibility with iPhone apps? I'm not sure what all the technical difficulties would be. Similarly, if you got an app for your iBook (heh) would it run on the iPhone? Does Apple want to Balkanize this young platform?

Some backward cmpatibility would be easy.
Quote:

4) And of course: Does Apple want to cannibalize sales of its popular and highly profitable Mac notebook line?

Nothing personal but the word cannibalize should not be used in this forum.
Quote:
The MacBook Air is the long-promised "executive PowerBook." It's aimed at a completely different market.

Well right from the beginning I thought the AIR was A joke and still think the concept has a ways to go. The important thing though is that these hand held devices will have many capabilities that attract many different users. They could be eBook readers for one, an Internet device for others, a communications device for excutives and a tablet for the medical industry. That is just a start.


Dave
post #128 of 133
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

Actually I'm hoping for optional carrier capability. Ideally the device would have a port/expansion slot for the RF modem to go with the carrier of your choice. Or no carrier if you want to go sans Mobile carrier. While I'd like to have a cell data option I also want options.

AT&T were well within their rights to demand an exclusive, given what they had to invest in their own network to make iPhone work. But that period should be winding down soon, and I don't think Apple will wed this or iPhone or anything else to a single carrier any longer than they have to.

Remember, Sprint and Verizon and the others turned Apple down cold the first time. This time? They probably know better.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

Well that is something that is more of a current issue for me but to be honest I'd rather Apple kept the same density on a larger display. The current screen is very sharp but I'd like to have 720P capable screen. That for media like movies but should also work well as an ebook reader.

Oh, I was assuming that the density would be the same. Since the iPhone's text rendering is resolution independent, that means you can have large, clear text on a large, clear screen with a flick of two fingers. The high density would simply make the text tack sharp as well. If you still have good eyesight, you can pinch two fingers together and see much more at once.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

Nothing personal but the word cannibalize should not be used in this forum.

Cannibalize, cannibalize, cannibalize, cannibalize.

Sorry, it's something to consider when speculating.


Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

Well right from the beginning I thought the AIR was A joke and still think the concept has a ways to go.

I know people who are very interested in it. It all depends on what you need out of a machine. Certainly it's not a bang-for-the-buck design, but its size and its performance relative to its size are desirable to some people. It will never be a market leader, but it fills a niche. A niche that almost certainly includes one Steve Jobs, natch.
"...within intervention's distance of the embassy." - CvB

Original music:
The Mayflies - Black earth Americana. Now on iTMS!
Becca Sutlive - Iowa Fried Rock 'n Roll - now on iTMS!
Reply
"...within intervention's distance of the embassy." - CvB

Original music:
The Mayflies - Black earth Americana. Now on iTMS!
Becca Sutlive - Iowa Fried Rock 'n Roll - now on iTMS!
Reply
post #129 of 133
Quote:
Originally Posted by Amorph View Post

[MacBook Air] will never be a market leader, but it fills a niche.

So did the Cube, and it wasn't around very long. The Air might be very popular is its price was the same as the low-end uni MacBook; $1299. Even then, I think uni MacBooks would sell more since they have better specs.
post #130 of 133
Quote:
Originally Posted by Undo Redo View Post

So did the Cube, and it wasn't around very long. The Air might be very popular is its price was the same as the low-end uni MacBook; $1299. Even then, I think uni MacBooks would sell more since they have better specs.

Yes, but it was a niche that included a whole heck of a lot less added functionality than the MBA. Consequently, it's niche was much smaller, and unsustainable.
A good brain ain't diddly if you don't have the facts
Reply
A good brain ain't diddly if you don't have the facts
Reply
post #131 of 133
Quote:
Originally Posted by Flounder View Post

Yes, but it was a niche that included a whole heck of a lot less added functionality than the MBA. Consequently, it's niche was much smaller, and unsustainable.

Exactly this. In terms of raw functionality most of what the Cube brought to the table was... looks. Looks, and silent operation if you got the right video card.

Miniaturization requires engineering, which costs money. The Air is very light, very thin, and surprisingly rugged. The portable market is long since used to paying premium prices for light and thin, never mind the ability to take a few knocks, because you gain the benefits every time you pick the machine up and carry it. If you're me and you're not bothered hauling a 17" PowerBook around then this is not worth paying for. If you're my mother and a 15" PowerBook becomes burdensome after a while, it is. All that matters is that there are enough people who find the Air's features useful or appealing enough to buy it. The Air has been around much longer than the Cube, so apparently there are.
"...within intervention's distance of the embassy." - CvB

Original music:
The Mayflies - Black earth Americana. Now on iTMS!
Becca Sutlive - Iowa Fried Rock 'n Roll - now on iTMS!
Reply
"...within intervention's distance of the embassy." - CvB

Original music:
The Mayflies - Black earth Americana. Now on iTMS!
Becca Sutlive - Iowa Fried Rock 'n Roll - now on iTMS!
Reply
post #132 of 133
Quote:
Originally Posted by Amorph View Post

Exactly this. In terms of raw functionality most of what the Cube brought to the table was... looks. Looks, and silent operation if you got the right video card.

Miniaturization requires engineering, which costs money. The Air is very light, very thin, and surprisingly rugged. The portable market is long since used to paying premium prices for light and thin, never mind the ability to take a few knocks, because you gain the benefits every time you pick the machine up and carry it. If you're me and you're not bothered hauling a 17" PowerBook around then this is not worth paying for. If you're my mother and a 15" PowerBook becomes burdensome after a while, it is. All that matters is that there are enough people who find the Air's features useful or appealing enough to buy it. The Air has been around much longer than the Cube, so apparently there are.

Actually, the MacBook Air has been around about two months longer than the Cube (13 1/2 months vs. 11 1/2 months). But your point is very good -- the reduced weight of the MBA vs alternatives is a tangible feature that has value to some people. That alone provides more sustainability than the Cube ever had.
post #133 of 133
Quote:
Originally Posted by Walter Slocombe View Post

The NC10?

have you hacked yours to run OSX? if so whats it like to live with day to day?

Yes.

I got Leopard running on it but several things did not work, i.e., audio out, wireless, ethernet. After 10 minutes of using it that way I decided WinXP isn't really so bad. The hassle of getting everything working with OS X on the NC10 is not worth the effort, IMO. When all you're using a computer for is web, email, and watching an occasional video, the OS is hardly even visible.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Future Apple Hardware
AppleInsider › Forums › Mac Hardware › Future Apple Hardware › Netbook sales are for real: I hate to stir it.