Are netbooks shrinking Apple's slice of the portable market?

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  • Reply 101 of 186
    teckstudteckstud Posts: 6,476member
    Apple will release a Netbook and say they invented the thing- like the cellphone, smartphone, glossy screen , MP3player etc, etc. Apple is not leading on this and should be. Evreybody is into smaller not larger.

    Who wants to lug around a big thin slice a pizza when a bagel will do much easier?
  • Reply 102 of 186
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by TenoBell View Post


    An extremely small number of people are going to bother doing this. To the point its inconsequential when looking at over all netbook and macbook sales.



    You're completely missing the point. Haven't you ever noticed the rabid loyalty commanded by the Duo, the Powerbook 2400, the 12" Powerbook, and now the MacBook Air? People want extreme portability and lightness. Yet Apple's only offering in the space is the Air, at $1799, and it carries a lot of compromises that are hard to stomach at such a price (USB ports especially!). Meanwhile, "netbooks" offer a good 80% of its functionality for less than $400 - sometimes less than $300. You lose some performance and some screen space. Meanwhile, you gain some ports and it's smaller and lighter, and a LOT cheaper.



    I'm willing to bet you'd see a much larger market OVERALL if Apple were to release a similar computer with Mac OS X on it, even at a "premium" of $599 or so. A "MacBook Mini", as it were.



    Let's look at your generic netbook:

    - Intel Atom 1.6Ghz, with HyperThreading. Dual-core parts early next year.

    - Intel GMA950 graphics. NVidia chipsets next year.

    - 1GB of memory

    - 80/160GB hard drive or small SSD. Fast, cheap, large SSD's entering market now (RunCore).

    - 802.11g. Sometimes 802.11n, sometimes Bluetooth. Sometimes an ExpressCard slot.

    - 3 x USB 2.0 ports, 10/100 Ethernet, VGA. Usually a webcam.

    - 1024x600 screen, either at 9 or 10 inches

    - Less than three pounds; battery life of anywhere from 3 hours up to 7 hours (!)



    The CPU is similar in performance today to a Core Solo, but that is soon to change. Graphics are equivalent to the Mac Mini and previous MacBook, and also set to improve imminently. Memory can be expanded cheaply. Hard drive is the same as the MacBook Air, and we should see VERY fast, large, cheap SSD's penetrate the market imminently which changes that whole equation - the new RunCore parts are cheap, large, and screaming fast. Wireless is similar - my Eee has 802.11n and Bluetooth 2.1, for instance. More USB ports than an Air, and still includes ethernet. Screen resolution is lower, but that's entirely up to the manufacturer - the HP MiniNote 2133 had a 1280x768 display on a miniscule 8.9-inch screen.



    In other words, this isn't a toy. This is equivalent to a standard Mac of a year or so ago, with the sole exception of screen/keyboard size.



    Let's take my personal favorite, the Eee 901, and make a couple additions:

    Eee 901: $400 at ZipZoomFly

    2GB Memory: $22 at Crucial

    64GB SSD (75MB/s read, 55MB/s write): $199 at MyDigitalDiscount



    Okay, we're slightly over $600, but what do we (I) have?

    - 1.6Ghz Intel Atom, which I can attest is plenty fast to run OS X. Boots in 30 seconds, for example.

    - 2GB memory

    - 68GB of VERY fast solid state storage, which costs MUCH more at Apple. No moving parts!

    - 802.11n, Bluetooth 2.1, Webcam - same as any MacBook model

    - 10/100 Ethernet, VGA, 3 x USB 2.0

    - Intel GMA950 graphics. Weak, but enough to handle all of Apple's various video technologies (Quartz, OpenGL, etc). You'll never notice it until firing up a 3D game.

    - 5 hours of real, usable battery life, in a 2.2lb package.



    Put that in a sleek case and sell it with OS X. Lighter than Air. For $600 or so, Apple could easily release a system similar in design to a last-generation MacBook, just with a smaller screen and keyboard. An entry "MacBook Mini", just like the Mac Mini is about a generation behind and a cheap entry Mac.
  • Reply 103 of 186
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by tawilson View Post


    And at the end of all those statements ", until it is economically viable to do so and there is big enough market for such a thing".



    It's basic business acumen.



    Exactly why I believe we will see an Apple netbook - just not yet. There are still a few pieces that need to fall into place, but they're all coming fast:

    - Dual-core Atom - early '09

    - Better graphics - Intel and NVidia, early to mid '09

    - Fast, large, cheap SSD - today from RunCore, everyone else in early '09

    - High-resolution 10" screen - it's been done before, but not on any current netbooks



    Once those pieces come in, Apple will have everything they need to do a low-cost, small, no-compromises netbook.
  • Reply 104 of 186
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by GQB View Post


    You're seriously suggesting that trying out a couple of apps or browser clicks on various systems gives you any idea what living with that OS for the next 2 years will be like?

    Please.



    I wasn't at all. I was comparing the only OSs offered on 10 netbooks and it was a few flavors of Linux or a few flavors of Windows, and none of them stood out from the other on a $400 netbook. And my opinion about those OSs all had previously been that they're all equally unproven on this format in the long run so I'd be foolish to think twice about it. I don't love or hate either enough to hold it over the other parameters I mentioned. My opinion is that if it matters to someone on a netbook, then fine, but the OS isn't a factor for most people I've spoken to about it. Didn't say they literally are no different from each other, just that they have so much in common and are such a common experience to me. They're all non-OSX and all require babying for viruses and malware.





    Quote:
    Originally Posted by GQB View Post


    The OS is about security and stability. Tell that 'no difference' story to someone who's spending $$ and hours every year keeping malware and viruses at bay.

    Ask anyone with a teenage boy how long a Windows machine can survive unrestricted browsing without needing to be reformatted.



    Doesn't make me run to Linux, knowing how often my friends have to jump through hoops to make things happen that are transparent on my Macs, as great an OS as it is. As I said, the security and stability factor was a wash between the OS flavors available. I dislike them both equally but It's a $400 netbook, (not a $2,400 workhorse) of which there are no Mac equivalents.
  • Reply 105 of 186
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by diamondsw View Post


    t that in a sleek case and sell it with OS X. Lighter than Air. For $600 or so, Apple could easily release a system similar in design to a last-generation MacBook, just with a smaller screen and keyboard. An entry "MacBook Mini", just like the Mac Mini is about a generation behind and a cheap entry Mac.



    You are right, such a machine, made by Apple would be awesome. And would certainly perform well in the market.



    BUT



    Apple can't do that without taking sales away from the Air and the Macbook, which are much more profitable lines.



    C.
  • Reply 106 of 186
    How many gadgets do you folks need to remind you how truly unproductive you are, but just can't help but contact the rest of the global gossip crowd and get a shout out?
  • Reply 107 of 186
    I agree that Apple needs to enter the entry-level market. It is not enough to have an overpriced, outdated Mac Mini and a $1300+ Macbook. They need something smaller and cheaper in the $500-700 range. Initially, with the first 7" EEPC thing or whatever I though this "netbook" segment was a joke for little children to have a computer. But now there are new models coming out from a dozen companies, and some of the disadvantages and problems have been corrected in addition to finally having decent features. Some of the new models have much better keyboards, trackpads, and build quality than the first generation. Two examples would be the Lenovo Ideapad S10 and the Asus N10JC.



    Check out these specs of the Asus N10JC:

    1.60Ghz Atom N270

    160GB 5400RPM or SSD

    Nvidia 9300M GS 256MB (yes, discrete GPU)

    2GB DDR2

    10.2" 1024x600 LED backlit display

    HDMI, Expresscard, SD, Ethernet, Webcam, 6-cell battery

    2.5-3.5lbs depending on battery

    $500-600

    considering a major purpose of netbooks is for web browsing and email, I think either a built-in 3G mobile broadband card or Expresscard slot is very important. Who wants a big fat USB dongle hanging off their laptop? Although I'm sure WiFi will suffice for many considering the ~$60 month cost from AT&T/Verizon/Sprint/Etc.



    Now, despite the progress, one major point of contention still is the lack of a decent CPU. Most netbooks are using the Intel 1.6Ghz single-core Atom N270, which while very power efficient, is a bit slow. I'd much rather have a ~1.2Ghz Core 2 Solo ULV (ultra low voltage, single-core), although obviously these chips are meant for "ultra-portables" so they are 3X more expensive than the Atom (~$200 vs ~$60). Perhaps a good compromise will be future dual-core Atom chips made for netbooks. Right now, the only dual-core Atom chips are for so-called "net-tops" (cheap desktops) and are not as power-efficient.



    Another problem at the moment is that the current netbook Atom platform uses a standard power-hungry chipset which negates a lot of the power efficiency advantage of the Atom CPU. The 1.6Ghz Atom N270 used in all of these netbooks uses a 945GSE chipset. The combined power consumption of both is 11.8W TDP, while a laptop platform based on a 1.2Ghz Core 2 Solo U2200 with the 945GM chipset has a 15.8W TDP. Thats a difference of only 4 watts! So in fact you wouldn't lose very much battery life switching to the faster CPU. Although the clockspeed is 1.2Ghz versus 1.6Ghz for the Atom, the chip architecture is completely different and much faster. Unfortunately, as I mentioned before, The Core 2 Solo ULV chips are $150 more expensive than the Atom so I doubt we'll see many netbooks with them.



    Overall, I would LOVE to see an Apple netbook similar to Asus machine I listed above, but with an awesome aluminum case and super-thin.
  • Reply 108 of 186
    kolchakkolchak Posts: 1,398member
    Apple just lost a sale. After mulling it over, I bought an MSI Wind. It's better than my old Powerbook G4 in almost every way, with more features and less weight and bulk. The only shortcomings are battery life, but I don't do that much away from an outlet anyway, and the lack of an optical drive, which I've used maybe all of 15 times in the last five years on the Powerbook. With 2GB of RAM and 120GB of HD space, it cost less than $350. Having helped a friend set up a Hackintosh, I'm fairly familiar with what it will take to install Leopard on this. Maybe Apple will bring out an Atom netbook at MW Expo, but even if they do, it would be Silverthorne-based. That's not worth $600 to me, which is probably what Apple would charge. Moorestown won't be available until late next year or even 2010. If they do rev 2 with Moorestown at $600, then I'll replace the Wind, which is damn near disposable at the price I paid.



    DIY Macnetbook, here I come. Although I don't think I'll go as far as one German user, who finished the job by disassembling the lid and cutting an Apple logo in it to emulate a genuine MB/MBP.
  • Reply 109 of 186
    MacProMacPro Posts: 19,454member
    I have a small, light and very reliable 'mac book mini' I use for web and mail ... running Leopard ... It's an iBook G4
  • Reply 110 of 186
    adjeiadjei Posts: 738member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by teckstud View Post


    Apple will release a Netbook and say they invented the thing- like the cellphone, smartphone, glossy screen , MP3player etc, etc. Apple is not leading on this and should be. Evreybody is into smaller not larger.

    Who wants to lug around a big thin slice a pizza when a bagel will do much easier?



    When did Apple claim then invented any of those?
  • Reply 111 of 186
    kolchakkolchak Posts: 1,398member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post


    I have a small, light and very reliable 'mac book mini' I use for web and mail ... running Leopard ... It's an iBook G4



    Every time somebody writes something like that, it just looks silly. To call a 5-pound computer "light" compared with netbooks that weigh half that makes it look like you have no idea what you're talking about. Small? iBooks are bigger than my Powerbook and I know for a fact that the PB feels like a bulky brick compared with the netbook. By the way, that 2 1/2 pound, $300 netbook probably outperforms your iBook in almost every way, with faster CPU and video, built-in webcam, more USB ports, more RAM, more disk space, card reader, etc.
  • Reply 112 of 186
    tenobelltenobell Posts: 7,014member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by nikon133 View Post


    You are forgetting netbooks are selling only for a year. While they sell extremely well, number of already owned notebooks is huge. Give netbooks another year of current sales and you'll see change easily.



    I did not forget that. I did say netbooks are new and their future popularity remains to be seen.





    Quote:
    Originally Posted by lfmorrison View Post


    Clearly, I cannot speak for others, but for my most recent personal computer purchases, the OS that happened to be installed on the computer have seemed like almost an afterthought, rather than being the one of the first things I needed to decide. The software I use on a regular basis is equally available on most platforms.



    If I don't like the stock OS, I know that I can always modify it, or outright replace it with something that better suits my tastes.



    Looking at sales data, for most people the OS on the machine is not an afterthought. For most people you invest in one platform or another.



    How exactly do you modify Windows or OS X if you don't like its functionality?



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jlandd View Post


    But it is a trend already. I have zero Windows software and I will certainly never buy any for the Asus for two reasons: #1, give me Firefox and I don't need anything else.



    Most people invest in 3rd party software. Their is no significant market in a computer that will only be used on the internet and never have software loaded on it.



    Quote:

    The fact that you see a mix of Apple laptops, Windows laptops, iPhones, Blackberrys and netbooks shows that different people have different needs, and these are serving a need, not so much gaining ground on platforms that are losing ground. It's adding to the market.



    Their is clearly a need for notebooks and mobile phones. Netbooks is currently still a solution looking for a problem. Netbooks sales are completely eclipsed by smartphone sales.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Johnny Mozzarella View Post


    Not true.

    I know a Mac user who has a PowerBook G4, 15" MacBook Pro and an iMac.

    He wanted something ultra-portable for when he travels.

    His choices were a MacBook Air for $1700 or an Eee PC for $399.



    He went with the Eee PC even though he would have preferred an Apple solution.

    He would have gone with a iPod Touch if he could use it with an Apple BT keyboard.



    Apple cannot necessarily make a business model out of one persons example.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by diamondsw View Post


    You're completely missing the point. Haven't you ever noticed the rabid loyalty commanded by the Duo, the Powerbook 2400, the 12" Powerbook, and now the MacBook Air? People want extreme portability and lightness. Yet Apple's only offering in the space is the Air, at $1799, and it carries a lot of compromises that are hard to stomach at such a price (USB ports especially!). Meanwhile, "netbooks" offer a good 80% of its functionality for less than $400 - sometimes less than $300. You lose some performance and some screen space. Meanwhile, you gain some ports and it's smaller and lighter, and a LOT cheaper.



    I'm willing to bet you'd see a much larger market OVERALL if Apple were to release a similar computer with Mac OS X on it, even at a "premium" of $599 or so. A "MacBook Mini", as it were.





    I have seen people complain on the internet about the 12" power book. Complaining on the internet does not necessarily translate into sales in the wider market. No at this point their isn't much evidence that an Apple netbook would increase sales.
  • Reply 113 of 186
    dave k.dave k. Posts: 1,306member
    If you think there isn't a market for Netbooks, you are nuts!!

    If you think the iPhone and iPod touch competes with Netbooks, you are nuts!!



    These Netbooks are a very good stop gap measure between a cell phone and a full size notebook. There are many, many users that these machines would be perfect for.



    By this time next year, every major PC vendor will have a Netbook in their line up.



    Lenovo's IdeaPads series

    Dell's Inspiron Mini 9 series

    HP's Mini 1000 series



    You can buy a Lenovo IdeaPad right now for $405.00. I can only imagine prices getting cheaper Apple should be concerned about these devices (especially in education).



    Dave
  • Reply 114 of 186
    kolchakkolchak Posts: 1,398member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by TenoBell View Post


    I did not forget that. I did say netbooks are new and their future popularity remains to be seen.



    Netbooks really aren't anything new. They've been around and selling in moderate numbers for years. The manufacturers have just been calling them "subnotebooks" and "ultralight laptops" until recently, and the prices have been too high for mass adoption. That has changed.



    Quote:

    How exactly do you modify Windows or OS X if you don't like its functionality?



    The same way people have always done it, with shareware and haxies.



    Quote:

    Most people invest in 3rd party software. Their is no significant market in a computer that will only be used on the internet and never have software loaded on it.



    I helped a non-tech-savvy friend choose a Windows laptop a little while back. She needs to run a specific Windows app for her home business. Other than that and Microsoft Office, she hasn't installed anything else on the laptop. That's probably the case for most people. Office runs fine on netbooks. Bloated though it is, it's still not very demanding on the CPU.



    Quote:

    I have seen people complain on the internet about the 12" power book. Complaining on the internet does not necessarily translate into sales in the wider market. No at this point their isn't much evidence that an Apple netbook would increase sales.



    How about a little substitution:



    "I have seen people complain on the internet about the Macbook Air. Complaining on the internet does not necessarily translate into sales in the wider market. No at this point their isn't much evidence that a Macbook Air would increase sales."



    Makes just as much sense and yet Apple built it anyway, mostly to middling sales. Some people claimed it would compete with and cannibalize Macbook sales. It has not. It has its niche, which is not the same market the Macbook is aimed at. Just like a Macnetbook wouldn't serve all the same functions as a Macbook or an Air. If people need the power of a full notebook, they'll buy one. If they don't, you're not going to get them to shell out $1300 or more. Netbooks are available for as little as $300 today. That $1000 difference is a huge chunk of change and even more so for the casual user who isn't really picky about what esoteric features they might get for the difference in price. You also underestimate the value of more portability. Laptop users who need full laptops with big screens are willing to put up with the bulk and weight. Casual users are much happier with something that's not so big and clunky.



    Oh, and in case you think most people don't want OS X on a netbook, one of the first things I did was download MSIWindOSX86 for the MSI Wind. There were over 400 peers on that torrent. And that's not the only technique for putting OS X on this netbook, plus there are other netbooks that OS X can be installed on. Are you saying thousands of people per day obviously wouldn't translate to any meaningful sales?
  • Reply 115 of 186
    jlanddjlandd Posts: 873member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by TenoBell View Post


    Looking at sales data, for most people the OS on the machine is not an afterthought. For most people you invest in one platform or another.



    You keep forgetting the fact that Apple doesn't sell one, so Apple fans can't buy one. I'm heavily invested in OSX up and down the line. Our Asus required no compromise in that regard. Why would it?





    Quote:
    Originally Posted by TenoBell View Post


    Most people invest in 3rd party software.





    People who want 3rd party software generally don't get a netbook to put it on, and people who buy netbooks either have no other application aspirations other than what's bundled (and MSWorks is on many of them) or it's their third tier computer. Either way, a netbook neither wants nor requires any software purchases.





    Quote:
    Originally Posted by TenoBell View Post


    Their is no significant market in a computer that will only be used on the internet and never have software loaded on it.



    I guess we'll just have to disagree on it all, because with all due respect this may have been true in 1993, but it's not in 2008.





    As noted, the profit margins are so slim on these that Apple wouldn't be doing itself a favor entering into the $400 fray. When they release whatever it is they release for $600 it will be because it works for them, not us.
  • Reply 116 of 186
    kolchakkolchak Posts: 1,398member
    Looking around the net and various forums, I see that the MSI Wind with OS X can actually run Photoshop CS4 fairly well. Try that on an iPhone on steroids. It can also drive a 24" LCD at native 1920x1200 resolution, mirrored or with extended desktop. Again, I'd like to see an iPhone try that. These little notebooks are more than enough computer for anyone who's not a graphics, audio or video pro or a computer geek.
  • Reply 117 of 186
    tenobelltenobell Posts: 7,014member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Kolchak View Post


    Netbooks really aren't anything new. They've been around and selling in moderate numbers for years. The manufacturers have just been calling them "subnotebooks" and "ultralight laptops" until recently, and the prices have been too high for mass adoption. That has changed.



    Ye, but we are talking about the current $200 - $500 variety that are a new market.







    Quote:

    The same way people have always done it, with shareware and haxies.



    Again this is not anything to build a business model upon.





    Quote:

    I helped a non-tech-savvy friend choose a Windows laptop a little while back. She needs to run a specific Windows app for her home business. Other than that and Microsoft Office, she hasn't installed anything else on the laptop. That's probably the case for most people. Office runs fine on netbooks. Bloated though it is, it's still not very demanding on the CPU.



    Seeing as software is a multi-billion dollar industry. No most people are not only installing MS Office.







    Quote:

    Oh, and in case you think most people don't want OS X on a netbook, one of the first things I did was download MSIWindOSX86 for the MSI Wind. There were over 400 peers on that torrent. And that's not the only technique for putting OS X on this netbook, plus there are other netbooks that OS X can be installed on. Are you saying thousands of people per day obviously wouldn't translate to any meaningful sales?



    I did not say most people did not want OS X on a netbook. I have not said Apple should not build a netbook.



    My point is that its still unknown if netbooks are a viable long term and profitable category. Will 400 people on the internet translate into the hundreds of thousands of sales that make it worth Apple's effort to make a netbook?
  • Reply 118 of 186
    tenobelltenobell Posts: 7,014member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jlandd View Post


    You keep forgetting the fact that Apple doesn't sell one, so Apple fans can't buy one. I'm heavily invested in OSX up and down the line. Our Asus required no compromise in that regard. Why would it?





    How am I forgetting that Apple doesn't make a netbook when this whole discussion is about how Apple does not make a netbook?





    Quote:

    People who want 3rd party software generally don't get a netbook to put it on, and people who buy netbooks either have no other application aspirations other than what's bundled (and MSWorks is on many of them) or it's their third tier computer. Either way, a netbook neither wants nor requires any software purchases.



    For the most part the MacBook Air performs as anyother notebook. It is not hampered in its ability to run 3rd party software.



    This goes back to the crux of the situation. Are netbooks a long term profitable category?



    Quote:

    I guess we'll just have to disagree on it all, because with all due respect this may have been true in 1993, but it's not in 2008.



    Again seeing as software is a multi billion dollar industry that only continues to grow. Under what situation are their major computer sales where no 3rd party software is used?
  • Reply 119 of 186
    nikon133nikon133 Posts: 2,600member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by hmurchison View Post


    A tablet should simply have something like Macspeech Dictate on it for very fast text input.



    There are a variety of modalities for text input. The clever device allows for a multiude of options. From touch to OCR to keyboards and speech.



    The more power we get in a portable package the more options we can do well.



    Speech recognition outdoors, in public places..? Good luck with that.
  • Reply 120 of 186
    aplnubaplnub Posts: 2,605member
    I want a subntrebook from apple. If someone was making a low voltage subnotebook (netbook) for under $800 I would hackintosh it. If apple made a 10" subnotebook with ultralow or low voltage, I would buy it first. Apple will have to address this gap as portables as the future. Mid towers are not so don't expect anything there.



    Removable batery is a must in this category. The MBA has to big a footprint and too power hungry a processor.
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