Originally Posted by Murphster
See the kindle is a different product, it is a reading device and not an input device. The form factor is perfect for something that does not require much interactive (bar turning a page).
People do not buy netbooks to hold them up in front of their face and read things off, they buy netbooks to take their most used apps on the road with them easily.
My whole point is that it just does not make any logical sense as a product, it does not really meet a demand or a need. Good products always meet a need. A traditional netbook from Apple will meet a need because there are lots of people buying netbooks and many of them might well buy one running OSX.
Well I think it can make sense provided that reasonable input is available. The iPhone keyboard in landscape mode is not so bad for replying to e-mail; a keyboard twice as big would actually be fairly practical.
So far as I can tell, the only need netbooks meet is price, rather than size. Apple is not interested in bottom feeding (or hasn't been so far), and frankly I don't think their business model, and especially their US-based R&D, can be supported by a cheap netbook. Expensive ultraportables with tiny keyboards and screens have been around for some time, but have always been a niche, or a Japan thing.
The only thing that's changed is that now they are cheap
. So the "need" is price
. If Apple wants to reach into lower price segments of the market their easiest bet is to lower the price of the plastic MacBook even further, which should be easy enough given current component costs.
The pad concept which you dismiss is interesting. Yes, it would be more of a reader / viewer / browser device than an input device, but it would replace books and magazines while also giving you computer features such as browsing, e-mail, and document viewing and minor editing. It would also be a portable HD video player and a GPS.
All in the size of a thinnish soft-cover book. It would be a fantastic travel companion, shopping assistant, map, news reader, etc. And with bluetooth keyboard support it would also be a reasonable input device for actual work.
Is there a market for it? I think so. I could be wrong but so could you. I have no idea how you can be so sure, since nothing like it has yet appeared.