Originally Posted by Shaun, UK
I agree. A 10" unibody MB priced at £700 to replace the current white plastic MB would make sense - it completes the transition to all unibody laptops whilst also maintaining a sensible 'entry-level' price point and gives Apple a foothold in the netbook market.
The reason I don't want this to happen is that it will prevent the 13" aluminum Macbook dropping to that price, which basically means that Apple's 13"+ screen portables starts at £930. This is the lowest size of screen some will find usable and it just pushes the price points higher and higher.
The Mac Pro used to have an entry point of £1450 or so and it's now £1900. I'm sure the iMac used to be £700 at one point - the 17" model - and is now £950 entry level.
It doesn't make Apple look like a premium brand, just overpriced. Especially when they can't put in a Core 2 Duo unless it's shrunk like the MBA. 10" touch screen + shrunk Core 2 Duo + 9400M, no optical for £700 when the MBA with non-touch 13" screen + Core 2 Duo + 9400M, no optical = £1271, close to double the price?
I think the only way they can make it worthwhile is by using the Ion platform so that they can shrink the form factor without the cost of a special Core 2 Duo, save on heat and power so that they can use a smaller battery, which uses their battery tech. Plus a lowered price at least interests possible netbook buyers.
Suffice to say, if they put a Core 2 Duo + 9400M into a 10" touch tablet for £700, the MBA is finished. I doubt Apple would do that.
I'm sticking to the Ion-based 10" tablet for £599 at most. Depending on the costs of the parts, £499 would be a better price given that 10" netbooks are £299 but Apple probably won't start with that price. They can introduce a £100 price drop across the line over time. I don't think the device will be a Macbook style because it really defeats the point of a touch display. It's such an awkward setup to touch the screen as you have to support the display. Also, if they can fit decent keyboard onto a 10" model, people will ask why the 13" MBA has an advantage; if not, then Apple will be hypocritical for saying they don't like to compromise the keyboard and screen size when aiming for portability.