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

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  • Reply 161 of 186
    nikon133nikon133 Posts: 2,600member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by TenoBell View Post


    The problem with netbooks is that they are not really smaller notebooks, but they are behaving like smaller notebooks. Its a moving target. Notebooks will continue to get more powerful and software will continue to be more demanding of hardware. To stay at a $500 and below price point netbooks will always be behind the curve.



    Smartphones are different because they have OS and apps specifically tailored to their form factor and limited hardware.



    Give me a break



    Netbooks are smaller than normal notebooks, even a 13" models. Much lighter, too. And being small they usually have good shell integrity even if not made after highest standards (magnesium, aluminium...).



    And they are behaving like normal computers - something smartphones never will. Maybe not for you or me, but for majority of everyday casual users, netbooks are already fully functional devices.









    Quote:
    Originally Posted by TenoBell View Post


    It can be argued that Apple already has a netbook with the iPhone and Touch. They have their own appropriate OS, they are designed to be used on the web, and have over 13,000 applications.



    That number does not mean much. 13000 applications - but of what complexity? I believe Palm OS platform has significantly more applications available, many of them actually being useful... I do have Palm Tungsten T2 and am using it a lot, but it can't replace computer (for me). Can you dump photos from your digital camera to your iPhone, edit them, sort them..? Can you dump video from your camcorder? Can you really type? Can you bring your work with you - documents, spreadsheets, presentations... and work on them in any reasonable manner?
  • Reply 162 of 186
    tenobelltenobell Posts: 7,014member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by nikon133 View Post


    Give me a break



    Netbooks are smaller than normal notebooks, even a 13" models. Much lighter, too. And being small they usually have good shell integrity even if not made after highest standards (magnesium, aluminium...).



    And they are behaving like normal computers - something smartphones never will. Maybe not for you or me, but for majority of everyday casual users, netbooks are already fully functional devices.



    Netbooks as the name implies are meant for extreme light duty work and mostly internet. Notebooks especially the full line of MacBooks are at the point of being full desktop replacements. From a processing standpoint can run most all desktop software.



    Newer smartphones such as the iPhone and Android have desktop API's designed for their hardware. A combination that allows for very good software optimized for the platform. Netbooks are running desktop OS and software designed for more capable machines.





    Quote:

    That number does not mean much. 13000 applications - but of what complexity? I believe Palm OS platform has significantly more applications available, many of them actually being useful... I do have Palm Tungsten T2 and am using it a lot, but it can't replace computer (for me). Can you dump photos from your digital camera to your iPhone, edit them, sort them..? Can you dump video from your camcorder? Can you really type? Can you bring your work with you - documents, spreadsheets, presentations... and work on them in any reasonable manner?



    The number means a lot, even if you don't really understand what it means. Their have been 300 million iPhone apps downloaded in 6 months. Palm has never achieved that type of success. As Palm recedes into obscurity I'm sure much of its software is abandon ware at this point.



    By the end of 2008 Apple is expected to have sold nearly 20 million iPhone and 35-40 million of the Touch. Collectively would make the iPhone OS the largest modern mobile platform in the world.



    You can dump photos, video, and documents from your computer to the iPhone. But the point of a smartphone is not to use it as a computer. A smartphone is a portable communication device.



    The point of a smartphone is voice/text communications, email, and portable organization of contacts and calendars. Everything else is just extras.
  • Reply 163 of 186
    nikon133nikon133 Posts: 2,600member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by TenoBell View Post


    You can dump photos, video, and documents from your computer to the iPhone. But the point of a smartphone is not to use it as a computer. A smartphone is a portable communication device.



    The point of a smartphone is voice/text communications, email, and portable organization of contacts and calendars. Everything else is just extras.



    There you go. Smartphone is portable communication device. Netbook is extremely portable personal computer, equalling processing power of low-cost entry level notebooks and desktops in much more compact form.



    And you can't - at present - copy photos from your camera or clips from your camcoder to your smartphone in any reasonable way. You can't edit or organize them. You can't email them while you are on the go, from your hotel room or Starbucks. You can not carry your work with you. You can't... you can't... because, as you said, smarphones are just that - smart phones. Communication devices. And netbooks are computers. Them two are different leagues and I don't think one can replace the other. In individual cases - if person does not require anything I've mentioned above, you can do with smartphone on the run just fine. But if you need computer features, you can't substitute them with smartphone. Same as you can't really substitute phone with netbook.



    Apple might choose to make or not to make netbook, but they can not replace it with iPhone or Touch. I'm waiting to hear about any significant number of people who wanted netbook - and selected iPhone as such.
  • Reply 164 of 186
    I tried to imagine Apple producing a computer, which would take advantage of the software and hardware of the iPhone - to produce a larger format machine ... but one that would not compete against Apple's notebook computers.



    The best I could come up with is a Carputer.



    A self-contained 7" multi-touch screen, which did media-playing, navigation etc. would be miles better than what we currently get. Quality Auto manufacturers like BMW and Audi create really weak electronic systems. And they charge a lot for the privilege. Auto manufacturers really don't have a clue how to do this stuff.



    Doubt whether we will see this. But I think it is more likely than a low-price netbook.



    C.
  • Reply 165 of 186
    rbrrbr Posts: 631member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by cameronj View Post


    Correct me if I'm crazy, but I believe it's mathematically impossible to grow your sales faster than industry average and lose market share.



    Am I nuts?



    You may or may not be nuts (just kidding), but the answer to your question is that, yes, Apple, Inc. can grow faster than the industry average and yet lose market share because Apple's bottom line is driven, in large part, by non-computer products. iPods and iPhones make up a surprisingly large part of revenue. Someone else can probably quote you numbers.



    So, yes, it is possible. It is also possible that it is costing Apple potential growth by them not entering the market. Several of the "old line" PC makers had taken positions similar to Jobs' with respect to netbooks and have had to re-evaluate their position on the matter in response to market forces which have led them conclude that netbooks are not "a flash in the pan".



    Cheers
  • Reply 166 of 186
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,672moderator
    I thought the idea of an Apple netbook basically being a dock for an ipod touch or iphone was very good. Apple just need to bundle a feature with the iphone that allows a desktop-style interface when docked with access to the filesystem.



    The iphone or ipod touch would go where the trackpad is and the touch would work as a notebook trackpad. The dock could have a DVD player for movie watching and the iphone simply decodes it for playback.



    It won't be able to run OS X apps but neither can Linux, which some netbooks use. With thousands of apps on the app store, you should be able to get by. The iphone also has 3G built in so great for always on internet.



    With the ipod touch starting at £169, if they make a shell for it at around £130, they could hit the £299 price point. I wonder if it would run off the iphone battery or have its own and charge the iphone. They can figure something out.
  • Reply 167 of 186
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Marvin View Post


    I thought the idea of an Apple netbook basically being a dock for an ipod touch or iphone was very good. Apple just need to bundle a feature with the iphone that allows a desktop-style interface when docked with access to the filesystem.

    ....

    It won't be able to run OS X apps but neither can Linux, which some netbooks use. With thousands of apps on the app store, you should be able to get by. The iphone also has 3G built in so great for always on internet.



    With the ipod touch starting at £169, if they make a shell for it at around £130, they could hit the £299 price point. I wonder if it would run off the iphone battery or have its own and charge the iphone. They can figure something out.



    You are close in some respects but far away in others.
  • Reply 168 of 186
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by TenoBell View Post


    Netbooks are a fast growing segment because they are cheap. A $500 computer is going to sell more than a $1000 computer.



    That's half the reason; the other half of it is that powerful computers have reached a saturation point. And by that I mean a dual-core processor with a couple gigs of RAM is in the hands of everybody who wants it. It's likely to be many years before that is not enough power for "normal" people to do SOHO work and web browsing.



    So why not grab a second computer that is cheap, ultraportable, and doesn't need to handle heavy tasks?
  • Reply 169 of 186
    rbrrbr Posts: 631member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Marvin View Post


    I thought the idea of an Apple netbook basically being a dock for an ipod touch or iphone was very good. Apple just need to bundle a feature with the iphone that allows a desktop-style interface when docked with access to the filesystem.



    The iphone or ipod touch would go where the trackpad is and the touch would work as a notebook trackpad. The dock could have a DVD player for movie watching and the iphone simply decodes it for playback.



    It won't be able to run OS X apps but neither can Linux, which some netbooks use. With thousands of apps on the app store, you should be able to get by. The iphone also has 3G built in so great for always on internet.



    With the ipod touch starting at £169, if they make a shell for it at around £130, they could hit the £299 price point. I wonder if it would run off the iphone battery or have its own and charge the iphone. They can figure something out.



    Actually, the current generation of netbooks are capable of running OS X. If you search, there are some pages about running Leopard on MSI Wind (U100) netbooks, among others.



    The general idea, however, is to have a device that is small enough to take with you all the time without having to think about it the way you do with most of the current five to six pound laptops. It is not intended as a desktop replacement and the screen on them is small by many standards (9 or 10 inches), yet is large when compared to the smartphones that have proven to be a pain in the rear trying to navigate the internet (none of them do so well, in my experience, including the iPhone), typing on a keyboard that is large enough to touch type on and a screen that is large enough to actually read things. Ten inches is small compared to many laptops, but is pure luxury compared to a phone.



    Although the current generation of netbooks have very limited graphics capabilities, NVidia plans to introduce their 9400 series chip for the netbooks in mid '09 that will increase the graphics/video capability of these machines enormously without seriously affecting the battery life for use with video, including HD and limited gaming use.



    In most instances, Netbooks are intended to supplement other hardware, rather than replace it.



    HP have even introduced a "designer" clutch style mini that is very stylish and should be attractive to the ladies.



    There should be a lot going on in this segment as the manufacturers explore the ways their customers would like to use these devices.
  • Reply 170 of 186
    jlanddjlandd Posts: 873member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by TenoBell View Post


    Netbooks are a fast growing segment because they are cheap. A $500 computer is going to sell more than a $1000 computer.





    Incorrect reasoning. I bought a $400 computer for someone because it did everything that person will need her computer to do. There was no purpose in buying any $1,000 computer, though I would have if it was the right thing to do. I didn't the get it because it was cheap. I bought it because it fit the bill. She didn't need the size, power and capacity (RAM and HD) of any $1,000 option. Price was not any kind of factor in why I didn't bother with the $1,000 computers. I wanted a netbook so I got one.



    A $500 computer is going to sell more than a $1,000 one? Gee. Dell seems to advertise a whole lot of $500 computers yet I've never seen one actually in use. I have seen some $1,000 ones in use. I don't know anyone dumb enough to use that as their sole criteria.



    A $500 computer is going to be a different animal than a $1,000 one, however you slice it, by quality or by category, and they'll serve different purposes. Netbooks are a fast growing segment because they fill a need. Mp3 players are sucky, cheap music players compared to a home stereo, but they undeniably fill a need. People don't buy them BECAUSE they're cheap.
  • Reply 171 of 186
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,672moderator
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by oilerch50


    You are close in some respects but far away in others.



    Price perhaps as the iphone costs £350 + £140 = £499 price point. You can get a refurb or used Macbook for around that price. But it would be more a cost-effective iphone accessory rather than a netbook. Kind of an less risky way for Apple to get into the market as they already have tens of millions of iphones/ipod touches sold. Plus the contract version of the iphone spreads the cost.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by RBR View Post


    Actually, the current generation of netbooks are capable of running OS X. If you search, there are some pages about running Leopard on MSI Wind (U100) netbooks, among others.



    Yeah but one advantage with the iphone idea is that if you want to take something away to a business meeting but don't want to carry a netbook, the iphone just goes in your pocket and it has the same data on it.



    Plus you can't make phone calls on netbooks so you have to take a cell-phone and a netbook wherever you go.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by RBR View Post


    the screen on them is small by many standards (9 or 10 inches), yet is large when compared to the smartphones that have proven to be a pain in the rear trying to navigate the internet (none of them do so well, in my experience, including the iPhone), typing on a keyboard that is large enough to touch type on and a screen that is large enough to actually read things. Ten inches is small compared to many laptops, but is pure luxury compared to a phone.



    I imagine what would happen is the iphone dock when connected would bring up the iphone apps like Safari on the bigger screen and each app would be in its own window but resizable. This way, Safari would show full size and you'd have a full keyboard on the dock.
  • Reply 172 of 186
    rbrrbr Posts: 631member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Marvin View Post


    Price perhaps as the iphone costs £350 + £140 = £499 price point. You can get a refurb or used Macbook for around that price. But it would be more a cost-effective iphone accessory rather than a netbook. Kind of an less risky way for Apple to get into the market as they already have tens of millions of iphones/ipod touches sold. Plus the contract version of the iphone spreads the cost.







    Yeah but one advantage with the iphone idea is that if you want to take something away to a business meeting but don't want to carry a netbook, the iphone just goes in your pocket and it has the same data on it.



    Plus you can't make phone calls on netbooks so you have to take a cell-phone and a netbook wherever you go.







    I imagine what would happen is the iphone dock when connected would bring up the iphone apps like Safari on the bigger screen and each app would be in its own window but resizable. This way, Safari would show full size and you'd have a full keyboard on the dock.



    I can not imagine saddling any such device with an iPhone. The iPhone is a device "flawed at its core", to quote one reviewer. In my own experience with the iPhone, it is so crippled that it is of little use.



    If you need to make a phone call, use a phone, if you need access to the internet or other materials, use something else.



    The point of the netbook is that it is a device you do not need to think about taking with you the way you do with a laptop.
  • Reply 173 of 186
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,672moderator
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by RBR View Post


    I can not imagine saddling any such device with an iPhone. The iPhone is a device "flawed at its core", to quote one reviewer. In my own experience with the iPhone, it is so crippled that it is of little use.



    In what ways? Crippled by exclusive bad providers, a controlled app store, a not so good camera? It's not perfect but it's 'certainly not flawed at its core' to quote one reviewer (i.e me).



    What exactly is missing and what device would you prefer that makes up for it?



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by RBR View Post


    If you need to make a phone call, use a phone, if you need access to the internet or other materials, use something else.



    If you use the system described then you don't have to use something else though. If portability is key then it has advantages.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by RBR View Post


    The point of the netbook is that it is a device you do not need to think about taking with you the way you do with a laptop.



    You still need to think about it because you need to put it in something. It doesn't go into your pocket. Guys don't carry round bags and rucksacks all the time so you need to make a conscious decision to take anything larger than a pocket device.



    If Apple did come out with a proper netbook, people will still come up with reasons why it's crippled beyond usability vs other netbooks because nobody fits into every given category precisely.



    If they make it too low powered CPU-wise, people who encode video or audio will complain. If they make it too low-powered GPU-wise, people will complain that it doesn't run their 3D app or game well enough or video stutters. If it doesn't have an optical drive, people will complain that they want a netbook for watching movies but extra computing on the side. If they give you all these things, they'll make it too expensive and people will complain.



    Since people can already buy netbooks and modify Leopard to install on it, why does Apple need to make one? They're not going to be able to match an Asus or Acer for price and features. The only way they can make a sale is to make a bigger version of the iphone/ipod touch with maybe a 8" or 10 " screen that runs the desktop Leopard. It'll be more expensive but there will be a reason for people to buy it.



    The very fact that they said explicitly that one problem the MBA gets round is a small screen suggests that they have no interest in making a device with that size of screen right now. A netbook will also seriously affect Macbook Air sales. It's meant more for business users but if the netbook is powerful enough and a fraction of the cost then they'll go for that instead.
  • Reply 174 of 186
    rbrrbr Posts: 631member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Marvin View Post


    In what ways? Crippled by exclusive bad providers, a controlled app store, a not so good camera? It's not perfect but it's 'certainly not flawed at its core' to quote one reviewer (i.e me).



    What exactly is missing and what device would you prefer that makes up for it?







    If you use the system described then you don't have to use something else though. If portability is key then it has advantages.







    You still need to think about it because you need to put it in something. It doesn't go into your pocket. Guys don't carry round bags and rucksacks all the time so you need to make a conscious decision to take anything larger than a pocket device.



    If Apple did come out with a proper netbook, people will still come up with reasons why it's crippled beyond usability vs other netbooks because nobody fits into every given category precisely.



    If they make it too low powered CPU-wise, people who encode video or audio will complain. If they make it too low-powered GPU-wise, people will complain that it doesn't run their 3D app or game well enough or video stutters. If it doesn't have an optical drive, people will complain that they want a netbook for watching movies but extra computing on the side. If they give you all these things, they'll make it too expensive and people will complain.



    Since people can already buy netbooks and modify Leopard to install on it, why does Apple need to make one? They're not going to be able to match an Asus or Acer for price and features. The only way they can make a sale is to make a bigger version of the iphone/ipod touch with maybe a 8" or 10 " screen that runs the desktop Leopard. It'll be more expensive but there will be a reason for people to buy it.



    The very fact that they said explicitly that one problem the MBA gets round is a small screen suggests that they have no interest in making a device with that size of screen right now. A netbook will also seriously affect Macbook Air sales. It's meant more for business users but if the netbook is powerful enough and a fraction of the cost then they'll go for that instead.



    Marvin,



    With respect to you or anyone else who still has an iPhone and is pleased with it (I am glad if it suits their needs), my experience with the iPhone was that it was the worst of all worlds (needless to say, I do not still have it). Apple, not just AT&T, have either crippled it or failed to implement so many obvious requirements that they are too numerous to even bother trying to list.



    The "don't have to think about it" part of netbooks actually deals with the decision as to whether one wants to carry 5 or 6 pounds around as one typically does with a conventional laptop. At under 3 pounds, the netbooks really do change the equation. With 6 cell batteries, they have a sufficiently long battery life to be useful without constantly being on the prowl for electricity the way many laptop users are.



    Sure, you can throw a phone in your pocket whereas you could not with a netbook of any reasonable description, but what have you got when all is said and done?



    In the aggregate, I think the question should be whether the overwhelming majority of people's needs are met by iPhone like devices. I think it self evident that they are not.



    Plainly, we do not have the same opinions with respect to the utility of the iPhone. Frankly, I was very glad indeed to be rid of mine. It accomplished very, very little well. I returned it and have not regretted doing so for a moment. The only good thing I have to say about it is that it gave a brief glimpse of what a good device might be able to accomplish, but it was not one.



    P.S. Although the current generation of netbooks are not really intended to encode video, the ones expected in mid '09 using the NVidia 9400 series chip set for video should be able to do so and are believed to be capable of playing HD video without difficulty based upon demonstrations presented with some boxes put together for demo purposes.



    Cheers
  • Reply 175 of 186
    I think so. I bought an Acer Aspire One a couple weeks ago, and it been great so far, and a bigger screen and real keyboard that neither my iPod Touch or LG Dare have.



    It came with XP Home, I put Ubuntu on it too, and plan on adding OSX to it as well.



    It weighs less than 2.5 pounds and also has a small footprint, whereas the MBA is just a thinner MB, but with fewer ports and no DVD drive. The problem I have with the Touch or Dare, etc, is that the screen is the size of a postage stamp, good for quick things on the go, but just too small for anything serious.



    I don't give a rat's ass about thinness if it doesn't reduce the footprint, nor do I even need a $1000 computer anymore; most computers are dual/quad-cores with gigs of RAM and HD space. The OS is important to a point, but if most of the time is spent in a web browser, checking e-mail, music, videos, photos, and so on, it just doesn't not take an expensive computer anymore to do that and overall, it's pretty much OS agnostic.
  • Reply 176 of 186
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by guinness View Post


    I think so. I bought an Acer Aspire One a couple weeks ago, and it been great so far, and a bigger screen and real keyboard that neither my iPod Touch or LG Dare have.



    It came with XP Home, I put Ubuntu on it too, and plan on adding OSX to it as well.



    .



    A netbook with OSX hacked on it is getting more and more tempting.



    I could get one for each of my two kids fro less than a MacBook.



    I'm just not sure I have the time, expertise and patience to get OSX running on a netbook.



    But I don't see Apple ever entering this space so this may be the only option I want a cheap netbook running osx.
  • Reply 177 of 186
    A basic lesson in business mathematics.



    To work out the profitability of a line you need to do a multiplication.

    You multiply volume by profit per item.



    Total Profit = Unit Sales * Profitability Per Item



    Apple have always pursued real profitability over volume.

    Netbooks have tiny, tiny margins. It's hard to make $200 per sale on a $300 netbook.



    The only way to make a profit on a netbook is

    a) Sell tens of millions.

    or

    b) Create a "fancy designer netbook" with a very large profit margin.



    Hello? MacBook Air anyone?



    C.
  • Reply 178 of 186
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by backtomac View Post


    I'm just not sure I have the time, expertise and patience to get OSX running on a netbook.



    It's not very hard. You can install it from a large memory stick or a USB DVD Drive. Takes about an hour.



    C.
  • Reply 179 of 186
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by backtomac View Post


    But I don't see Apple ever entering this space so this may be the only option I want a cheap netbook running osx.



    They will enter this space though it won't be with a $300 it'll be more like $600 and it'll have one or two unique features which make us "have" to own one. There's little reason to add Core Touch API to Snow Leopard if multi-touch isn't going to have more influence on future products.



    Plus you have to look at the rumors a bit here and read between the lines.



    PA Semi acquisition

    Multi Year Imagination license

    rumored ARM Architecture license



    All points to more products beyond just the iPhone/iPod Touch.
  • Reply 180 of 186
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by backtomac View Post


    A netbook with OSX hacked on it is getting more and more tempting.



    I could get one for each of my two kids fro less than a MacBook.



    I'm just not sure I have the time, expertise and patience to get OSX running on a netbook.



    But I don't see Apple ever entering this space so this may be the only option I want a cheap netbook running osx.



    I having issues getting my downloaded OSX image showing up on my AAO - I've burned other OSX ISOs before on my Mac, and never had a problem with them showing up on my Windows boxes, but this AAO is the only other Intel machine I have, next to my Mac.



    From what I've read, running OSX on a PC is somewhat like running Linux on a PC/laptop that isn't 100% supported, some hackery is involved in getting Wifi or audio working, suspend and hibernate usually don't work, but other than that, it's usually not a problem, much like when I'm running Ubuntu on my Toshiba laptop. It sort of works, but ATI has terrible Linux drivers.



    However, Ubuntu does run really, really well on the AAO, had to modify the xorg.conf to change some of the screen sizing and font options due to the 1024x600 screen, but everything seems to work, like wifi, Compiz, suspend, hibernate, the card reader.



    And that's another thing I can't understand with Apple, is why they don't include a card reader in their laptops - it's one of the most useful things I have in both of mine, and it saves carrying around the various USB cables for my cameras, or having to use up my batteries, or having an ungainly external card sticking out the side.



    However, even I do never get OSX working for some reason or another, XP and Ubuntu do run very well on the Atom, especially Ubuntu with all the Compiz effects, and I'm just loving the fact that I have a full-fledged computer for the most part, that weighs 2.5 pounds, has a 160 GB HD to boot, and cost 350 bucks.
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