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post #81 of 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by backtomac View Post

I agree that in a handheld device, where the ability to run x-86 apps isn't that beneficial, ARM is a worthy if not superior chip.

But netbooks still are 'real' computers and the ability to run office and especially word processor app is pretty important. Now if cloud computing and Google docs takes off then ARM looks all the more attractive in a netbook.

I guess I see netbooks as a more general purpose computer than perhaps others do.

As general-purpose computers, they are very poor. Far too many compromises.

Anyone buying one of these products thinking they can get away with one as a desktop replacement would undoubtedly not be happy with the purchase over the long haul.

That runs counter to Apple's approach, which is based on the notion that if you make the ownership experience a pleasing one, you'll earn repeat business.
post #82 of 103
The only way I would buy a netbook would be if it came with powerful server support that would turn the netbook into something more like a terminal. (AMD has something like that planned for gaming) The netbook acts only as the input and display device while all real calculations are completed on the server.

A service like that would eliminate any hardware requirements and would be the perfect solution for almost anyone while on the road. (provided there is fast internet access available, probably some sort of 4G solution)
post #83 of 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by FuturePastNow View Post

Microsoft is attacking the netbook market directly with Win 7. Every time they talk about it, they talk about it running on netbooks. So they're doing serious damage control on that front.

They are doing just that plus all of the netbooks that are selling well come with XP or Vista. Microsoft is getting its money no matter what you buy. Windows 7 is going to change the game though. It will be on netbooks, and PC's both old and new.
post #84 of 103
Apple says they are watching the Netbook space, and they have some ideas for this market, and they cant do a device for less than $500 that is not completely junk... none of these statements imply that Apple will NOT come out with a netbook device sometime soon.

In fact, ALL these points actually directly point to Apple having very strong strategy in this space. Then why is there a reason for the delay?

It is clear that the cheapest way to sell Netbooks would be to sell them subsidized by 3G Data Plans. It is also clear that most mobile operators will have to be dragged kicking and screaming to the table. No US mobile operator would like to have devices like Netbooks that can easily take away revenue from Voice Calls, and text messages (using VoIP and IM). That is the only reason why Apple is not able to offer these technologies in the current iPhone. The way I see it, Apple is establishing itself as a major player in the mobile space, and once it gets really big, it can offer the mobile partners deals they just cannot refuse. Arguably, Apple is already close to that point, but a few more nails in the coffin (of the mobile operators) will definitely help. This is exactly the same strategy that Apple used with the Music Labels - to get them to remove DRM. I see this as being the only strategy that would work with Mobile networks as well.

It is very clear that Apple has a massive technological edge when it comes to the Netbook space. They clearly have the edge in terms of targetting the Tablet form-factor - which would be even more attractive and useful - because it will target both the eBook space and the Netbook space, and will be even more portable than Netbooks.

I think Apple will also wait till they can perfect some other components of the spectrum. For instance,

- combine LED Touchscreen with eInk technology, to have eReader and Tablet on single device.
- incorporate Solar Panel into the screen to capture some of the energy wasted in backlit LCDs.
- create a multi-touch gesture library, to enable using a Tablet without a keyboard. It is one thing to use a phone with just Touch, but using a full blown computer with only Touch needs a lot more improvements to the technology.
- incorporate OpenCL style technologies and propreitary chips to get massive performance edge and unbeatable battery life.
- extend the App Store model to multiple platforms - including AppleTV, Tablet and desktop Macs. Allow regular software to be sold via AppStore. AppStore should morph into a trusted mechanism for software delivery and maintenance/upgrades. Allow 3rd Parties to "link" to the AppStore - so if you click "BUY" from a random website, you will be taken to the AppStore, where you can complete the purchase in a safe and reliable manner, and download from a trusted source. The AppStore should also be involved in cases where software is installed from CD/DVD - the AppStore should be able to verify CheckSum of the CD against its internal lists, and warn the user in case of unapproved/modified software. This is the best way to keep the Apple ecosystem protected from Trojans, viruses, etc. This should also bring down the cost of software significantly by reducing piracy.
- improve stability and features of MobileMe, factoring in increased demands from a general purpose portable Tablet
- Leverage BackToMyMac+MobileMe technology to make the Tablet a seamless adjunct to the desktop Mac - not just a replacement. This should help offset some of the margin cannibalising that would be caused by releasing a cheap Mac - some people would switch to using a Mac as their desktop computer just because PCs wont be able to sync with the Tablet as seamlessly.
- Improve BlueTooth stack on Mac OS X to support many more devices - printers, cameras, scanners, GPS antennae. Create an entire ecosystem of products around the Tablet. Create a handshake protocol over BlueTooth (limited to Apple products only), and license it to 3rd parties - similar to the current "Made for iPod" program. This should allow greater margins than would be possible with just the Tablet. This will also be the best way for Apple to retain control over the entire user experience and ensure that everything just works.

While all this is being perfected, Apple will keep a very close watch on the market - in case it appears that some other rival gets an edge in the market, or a high market share, then Apple can launch their product as a preemptive strike. If the market is mostly fragmented, and no clear winner exists, then Apple can afford to perfect their product and then launch it when they are ready.

It is quite clear that this is Apple's market to win/lose. It is more important to get things perfect, than to rush with a half baked product. While 11 million seems like a lot of Netbooks, Apple knows that getting its strategy right in Netbooks is the best way to REALLY grow Mac OS. And they need to figure out ways to do this without giving up margins, and without getting into a race to the bottom. If they can do this perfectly, then they can easily target 10M Netbooks a year at $800 a pop. And in a couple of years, they could be targetting 30M Netbooks at $500 a pop, and still retain their margins.
post #85 of 103
I'd rather have an iPod touch.
post #86 of 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by Neil Anderson View Post

I'd rather have an iPod touch.

If only they would allow a dock-connected keyboard! A fair number of people want text entry on a portable media/internet type device.
post #87 of 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by FuturePastNow View Post

Heh. Well now I have to repost a comment I made on a different forum a month ago (I feel a little bad for copying-and-pasting myself, but only a little):



Nothing I've seen since I wrote that has changed my opinions.

Your reply totally ignores Apple's obvious answer to netbooks (mentioned in the article): iPhone and iPod Touch. That's what I bought instead of a laptop.
post #88 of 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by jeff94svx View Post

Your reply totally ignores Apple's obvious answer to netbooks (mentioned in the article): iPhone and iPod Touch. That's what I bought instead of a laptop.

of course he had to ignore that, because he couldn't have cut and... oh never mind

you're right of course. the ipod touch/iphone IS apple's netbook strategy. a bigger screensize, real bluetooth support and there it is: apple's netbook. i think a lot of people expect or at least want to see mac osx's desktop on a small screen. what apple figured out is that the user experience just doesn't translate in a satisfying way. the ipod/iphone's osx on the other hand should scale up nicely to a larger screen.

now don't expect to run ms office on it, but with a basic word processing & spreadsheet package like what we had in the newton, you could get work done. i think fast text input is really the only hurdle right now and IMO that could be overcome with better bluetooth support, even on the current iphone.
post #89 of 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrpiddly View Post

A service like that would eliminate any hardware requirements and would be the perfect solution for almost anyone while on the road. (provided there is fast internet access available, probably some sort of 4G solution)

Uh...yeah, and I'd be rich provided I had several million dollars in my bank account.
post #90 of 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post

I never made a BMW analogy?

Sorry.
I referenced to Virgil-TB2's post but didn't point that out exactly.
post #91 of 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by Carmissimo View Post

Netbooks are not really good machines to be doing significant work on. They're too underpowered, generally have smallish, hard-to-use keyboards, screens too small for working with video editing, doing higher-end photo work in programs like Photoshop, etc. and usually don't come with a lot of memory. In other words, they're really best suited to surfing the net, checking email, playing the odd video, etc. But here's the thing. The iPod Touch happens to be a very good device for such uses and it has netbooks beaten on several fronts. Battery life is better because it's a significantly smaller device. It's far easier to lug around than a netbook and has a killer app associated with it thanks to the App Store which makes buying and loading programs onto the device a very easy and fairly inexpensive process.

I hate to be a bit of a hater (especially as this is my first post) and you're entitled to your own opinion (maybe your setup works for you) but this does smell a bit like 'defending the purchase'. You measure a Netbook's lack of worth on how it cannot cope with the high-end photo work (which is FUD) & video editing your desktop is capable of, stating that its only suitable for browsing, emailing etc. Can the Touch or iPhone do video editing or Photoshop-level photo manipulation?
It seems like an unfair roundabout comparison (Apples vs. Oranges vs. Papaya?!).

In addition, as great as Apple's interface is, the Touch is horrendous as a data-entry device next to a Netbook which, despite the smaller keys on all but the 10" models, is still a full 102-key-plus device. Even your average Blackberry whips the Touch on this productivity front. Could you even comprehend typing the entire post I am replying too with any great speed or precision on your Touch (who knows, maybe you did)?

Netbooks are colloquially called such because of their on-the-go TRUE productivity which previously could only be touched by hardware that cost over £1000/whatever the conversion is these days. Hell, I could sit on the loo and write a novel if I wanted, something I couldn't comprehend on what amounts to a fancy PDA.

Could anyone safely say that (dire economic collapse accepted) Apple definitely wouldn't release a Netbook if they saw a place in the market? After all, they have shown that they'll quite happily introduce new products that overlap their existing markets then gradually phase the older ones out (ignore what's said through the company PR/keynotes/etc because that's just marketing).

Finally, don't take this as an insult, but I don't think any Apple 'regular' falls comfortably into the realm of 'typical consumer'.
For one, Microsoft's huge (yet admittedly shrinking) market share and the penetration of what can be considered the 'typical' PC defines the 'typical consumer'.
Secondly, a typical consumer (or even a Mac consumer) would not care about being able to run Photoshop or Final Cut on any device, being the heavy duty industry apps that they are.

For the record, no, I don't own any Apple devices apart from a iPod Classic (80GB) but work with them a lot at work (mostly when the rich people at the top of the company can't get their MacBooks working with the Windows network )
post #92 of 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by Carmissimo View Post

As general-purpose computers, they are very poor. Far too many compromises.

Anyone buying one of these products thinking they can get away with one as a desktop replacement would undoubtedly not be happy with the purchase over the long haul.
.

Most people use netbooks to complement a desktop machine they already have. At $300-400 its a doable purchase for many people.

Those who try to use it as a desktop replacement would likely be disappointed unless they have very modest needs.
post #93 of 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by jeff94svx View Post

Your reply totally ignores Apple's obvious answer to netbooks (mentioned in the article): iPhone and iPod Touch. That's what I bought instead of a laptop.

I'm happy that's working out for you, but I honestly don't see the comparison unless the *only* thing you do is browse the web and listen to music. The iPhone is a very limited device, and many of its limitations are design choices imposed by Apple (no cut and paste? No 3rd party web browsers? No apps in the background?).

Netbooks have their own limitations, mostly due to size and slow CPU, but they're still general-purpose multitasking computers.
post #94 of 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by backtomac View Post

Most people use netbooks to complement a desktop machine they already have. At $300-400 its a doable purchase for many people.

Those who try to use it as a desktop replacement would likely be disappointed unless they have very modest needs.

And Apple knows this, and is offering them the iPod touch instead. It is also true, that excepting students, a large number of people who are buying Macs are also adding it as a second computer to the PC or Mac that they already have.

The big picture is that most people in the US already own a computer, and a Windows PC at that. As they contemplate what to do next, they have three big choices: 1) add a mobile net-access device (i.e, netbook, iPod touch); 2) add/replace it with a Vista PC; 3) add/replace it with a Mac.
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post #95 of 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by ahmlco View Post

Personally, I disagree with the entire premise. Netbooks are not eroding PC notebook or desktop sales to any significant degree.
...
Second, from my perspective a large number of netbook owners are buying them as SECOND machines, argmenting their existing notebook or desktop use with an additional small and light portable device. A use for which they would not have purchased a notebook anyway.

In which case netbooks are working to expand the market, not shrink it.

The computer market is largely a replacement/second computer market in the US/Europe/Japan. During this recession, the question is will buyers:
1. replace the PC they have with a comparable Vista PC?
2. or replace with a comparable Mac?
3. or delay replacing the PC and add a low-power netbook? (or iPod touch?)
4. or do nothing?

You think netbooks are drawing from option 4, the "do nothing" pool. Most think that netbooks are drawing people from option 1. Some Apple analysts think that netbooks are drawing people from option 2.
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post #96 of 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by mark2005 View Post

And Apple knows this, and is offering them the iPod touch instead.

But if the netbook is a poor general purpose computer then the iPod Touch is worse. Much worse.

As someone else pointed out, the iPhone and Touch are weak at data input. The touch screen interface has its advantages, but typing isn't one of them, at least not yet.

And I say this as someone who has an iPhone. Its a wonderful device but I don't see it (or the Touch) as a competitor to a netbook or vice versa.
post #97 of 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by backtomac View Post

And I say this as someone who has an iPhone. Its a wonderful device but I don't see it (or the Touch) as a competitor to a netbook or vice versa.

Well, it handles email and web surfing reasonably well. If we had mobile office or mobile iWork then it would reduce the need for a tweener device more although it is too weak as a notebook replacement whereas a netbook can act as a lightweight notebook replacement.
post #98 of 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by vinea View Post

Well, it handles email and web surfing reasonably well. If we had mobile office or mobile iWork then it would reduce the need for a tweener device more although it is too weak as a notebook replacement whereas a netbook can act as a lightweight notebook replacement.

It does web surfing and email pretty well, I agree.

I think that instead of mobile productivity apps on the phone that a cloud version of iWork or Google docs makes more sense.
post #99 of 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by Optimaximal View Post

In addition, as great as Apple's interface is, the Touch is horrendous as a data-entry device next to a Netbook which, despite the smaller keys on all but the 10" models, is still a full 102-key-plus device. Even your average Blackberry whips the Touch on this productivity front. Could you even comprehend typing the entire post I am replying too with any great speed or precision on your Touch (who knows, maybe you did)?

No, I wouldn't call it a horrendous data entry device. The iPhone/Touch keypad in landscape mode is larger than the BlackBerry keypad. This can depend on various factors. I do type posts into AppleInsider on my iPhone. Primarily the problem with typing is input design and formatting.

AppleInsider is designed and formated for a normal computer browser. AppleInsider is not designed for mobile devices. The page is too big, the buttons and words are too small. Using websites or apps that are properly formatted for the device data-entry is tolerable. The same with the BlackBerry, it only works with software that is properly designed for its user interface.


Quote:
Could anyone safely say that (dire economic collapse accepted) Apple definitely wouldn't release a Netbook if they saw a place in the market? After all, they have shown that they'll quite happily introduce new products that overlap their existing markets then gradually phase the older ones out (ignore what's said through the company PR/keynotes/etc because that's just marketing).

Looking at the netbook as it currently is. Releasing a netbook in difficult economic times is like pouring petrol gas on a raging fire.

Quote:
Secondly, a typical consumer (or even a Mac consumer) would not care about being able to run Photoshop or Final Cut on any device, being the heavy duty industry apps that they are.

While I agree that a typical computer user is not running expensive professional software such as photoshop or FCP. But as a typical computer user, people use their machines for whatever they are capable of doing. Already you run into performance constraints with average laptops. A typical user will only find more constraints as the hardware capability decreases.
post #100 of 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by Optimaximal View Post

I hate to be a bit of a hater (especially as this is my first post) and you're entitled to your own opinion (maybe your setup works for you) but this does smell a bit like 'defending the purchase'. You measure a Netbook's lack of worth on how it cannot cope with the high-end photo work (which is FUD) & video editing your desktop is capable of, stating that its only suitable for browsing, emailing etc. Can the Touch or iPhone do video editing or Photoshop-level photo manipulation?
It seems like an unfair roundabout comparison (Apples vs. Oranges vs. Papaya?!).

In addition, as great as Apple's interface is, the Touch is horrendous as a data-entry device next to a Netbook which, despite the smaller keys on all but the 10" models, is still a full 102-key-plus device. Even your average Blackberry whips the Touch on this productivity front. Could you even comprehend typing the entire post I am replying too with any great speed or precision on your Touch (who knows, maybe you did)?


You're missing the point. What I'm saying is that since the netbook isn't really a good desktop replacement, there is a case to be made that a less expensive, more portable device like the iPod Touch makes more sense for many of the functions that the netbook is suited to.

This isn't the case for everybody but in my case, I don't do a substantial amount of data input with the Touch. It meets my mobile needs and I do more demanding work on my desktop system.

The Touch is a fun device that does enough to serve as a good alternative for me to opting for a netbook. It cost me $229 Cdn. whereas an entry-level netbook would have cost around $300. Sure there are trade-offs but I prefer the advantages and can live with the shortcomings of the Touch compared to your typical netbook.

Ideally Apple will come up with a sort of Big Brother to the Touch with a bigger screen and bluetooth (to add a keyboard) which, I would think, would pretty much eliminate any real advantages the netbook possesses. But even if Apple doesn't, quite a few people like me probably will, and may already have, opted for the Touch instead of a netbook. It is a viable alternative for a segment of the buying public. A second device as described would, I would think, pretty much be all the response to this market segment Apple would need to deliver.
post #101 of 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by jeff94svx View Post

Your reply totally ignores Apple's obvious answer to netbooks (mentioned in the article): iPhone and iPod Touch. That's what I bought instead of a laptop.

Have fun writing more than a 50 word email on it.
post #102 of 103
True enough about any extended text input using an iPhone or iPod touch.

There are a few styluses available that look intriguing. As a long time Palm user and horrible typist, using a stylus with an on-screen keyboard can speed text input dramatically, especially if you're not struggling with Palm's Grafitti.

Wasn't the MacBook Air Apple's response to ultra-light laptops?

The Air doesn't directly address the netbook fad as far as the footprint is concerned, but it IS an Apple answer to it. At the release, Jobs scoffed at smurf-sized keyboards and screens. As an adult male with adult sized fingers and gradually degrading eyesight, I tend to agree.
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post #103 of 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffharris View Post

Wasn't the MacBook Air Apple's response to ultra-light laptops?

The Air doesn't directly address the netbook fad as far as the footprint is concerned, but it IS an Apple answer to it. At the release, Jobs scoffed at smurf-sized keyboards and screens. As an adult male with adult sized fingers and gradually degrading eyesight, I tend to agree.

Yes - the fact is, Apple already makes a netbook in the shape of the Air. Of course, it's not a *cheap* netbook, but it fits all the other criteria.

It's interesting that a lot of netbook makers are beginning to inch their products up in size towards the Air - the Acer eeePC S101, for example. I suspect that Dell's forthcoming Adamo might fit somewhere between the Air and the low-cost netbooks, too. The space between the current low-cost netbooks and the Air will probably be where Apple eventually enters the market, at a guess.
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