Netbooks killing off sickly Windows PC sales

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  • Reply 61 of 102
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by vinea View Post


    There will always be rich people.



    Apple markets Macs and the iPhone/iPod touch to SMART people.



    When it's YOUR money and money is tight, you think differently and spend differently. You spend smartly, or try to. The rich have different concerns and priorities.



    Smart people value a good, solid, reliable, trouble-free product that's well designed and has a history of retaining a high resale value. There are enough smart people who realize that a generic PC box running ANY variant of Windows is NOT trouble-free, even at work with a full-time IT staff. These are the switchers.





    We long-time Mac users have been ALWAYS been smart.
  • Reply 62 of 102
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by backtomac View Post


    But users are rejecting Linux. Apparently the windows netbooks sell better and are returned less.



    I don't know why, the lInux distros look great on a netbook to me. Much better than xp.



    People return linux netbooks because they aren't exactly like the windows PCs they're used to. Most people hate having to learn something new in order to perform tasks they're already familiar with. If people didn't feel they were being forced to learn the new UI of Vista and Office 2007 they wouldn't do it. Fact is many people would lose their jobs or not be able to get one if they refused to accept everything Microsoft dictates.
  • Reply 63 of 102
    backtomacbacktomac Posts: 4,579member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Bregalad View Post


    People return linux netbooks because they aren't exactly like the windows PCs they're used to. .



    I guess so. <shrugs shoulders>



    Linux doesn't seem *that* much different IMO. If you can operate a drop down menu it would seem to me that you could work a Linux netbook. The OEM has done all the hard work as far as installing the drivers to get the thing to run.



    I guess its a hassle to install a driver to get a printer to work but you still have to do that with xp as well.
  • Reply 64 of 102
    MacProMacPro Posts: 19,787member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by backtomac View Post


    ...



    I guess its a hassle to install a driver to get a printer to work but you still have to do that with xp as well.



    And good luck with that half the time
  • Reply 65 of 102
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jeffharris View Post


    Apple markets Macs and the iPhone/iPod touch to SMART people.



    When it's YOUR money and money is tight, you think differently and spend differently. You spend smartly, or try to. The rich have different concerns and priorities.



    Smart people value a good, solid, reliable, trouble-free product that's well designed and has a history of retaining a high resale value. There are enough smart people who realize that a generic PC box running ANY variant of Windows is NOT trouble-free, even at work with a full-time IT staff. These are the switchers.





    We long-time Mac users have been ALWAYS been smart.



    Agreed. My wife just made the switch from PC to Mac based one primary point - she was not going to work with Vista.



    A couple of things haven't been said so far (thanks for the great posts):

    1. Rich people get rich because they consistently spend less than they make - hence the idea that Apple appeals to "rich" people is absurd. The reliability factor and ease of use is a huge factor and this has been well pointed out in previous posts.



    2. Video - they is a huge push to video. I don't have a netbook and no idea of how well it handles this yet the MBP is amazing. Video will become more and more important for communication and entertainment.



    3. Smart people like things that work and pay extra for them. I drive a BMW and do so for a variety of reasons - it just works all the time and the engineering is excellent. I like things that work. I still drive my 17' G4 PowerBook (running Leopard...well, a fast trot actually) and expect to keep it around for a backup once I get a new MBP. Money is tight yet the service, design, ease of use, and reliability is what makes my life easy.



    4. And for something completely off topic, the reference to "Bush's 1%" needs to change to Obama 1% since we've upgraded from Bush 2.0 to Obama Alpha.
  • Reply 66 of 102
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by backtomac View Post


    I don't see ARM working here. Perhaps you feel differently.



    Atom works well here because it still is compatible with all the x86 apps. You can still work with MS office, surf the net and check email.



    ARM isn't going to have that x86 app availability. I guess MS could port a version of office to ARM but will they? I don't know.



    This is the whole point though. A part of the reason that Atom runs slower and consumes more power than ARM equivalents is that it needs to emulate x86 code (although it's also inherently slower.)



    The new ARM chips are over 100 times more energy efficient and about 20 percent faster at executing code at the same MHz than the Atom last I heard. They also take up far less space physically. Those are all huge benefits to a mobile device.



    Unless you need to run Windows, ARM has already beat Atom into the ground and it isn't even available yet!



    Remember also, that its' not necessary to run Windows just to open and edit Microsoft documents. The webOS, OS-X, Linux, etc. are all capable of doing this, and they all run on ARM.
  • Reply 67 of 102
    qrmqrm Posts: 9member
    Interesting thread(s)...



    There are several different arguments going on here. As for the viability of the Apple business model during the next year or so of recession, compared to its competitors is one, the future of netbooks and cloud computing is something different.



    Today, the argument goes, many people since satisfied with netbooks since those people do little more than read email, browse the Web, and manage relatively simple documents. But is that not because the clients required to do those tasks, using a 25 year-old paradigm (keyboard, mouse, graphic display) are well within the capabilities of netbooks and the bandwidth available is relatively up to the task.



    Few of us have the vision to see clearly the next paradigm--touch screens and voice recognition are merely glimpses of what is to come. How much of that paradigm will need be built into the OS, how much in the client software, how much in the client hardware remains to be seen. Today's move towards thinner client-side software/hardware may not be appropriate in the future--the only surety would be that the processing hardware will continue to shrink even as it continues to grow in capability.



    Another facet of this is the continued growth of the computing platform into the home entertainment arena. DRM notwithstanding, today's balance between the client and the cloud may not be appropriate or desirable in the future, should the industry find new ways of leveraging home processing power in order to reduce overhead in other areas (new and more powerful codecs to reduce bandwidth requirements for HD streaming?).



    All of this to say that I see the netbook as chasing yesterday's problem, not tomorrow's. And if Apple is known for anything, it is figuring out where the industry is going next. If Snow Leopard is meant to clean up OS X, where will the next cat take us? The only thing of which I am relatively certain is that my shiny new MacBook will be able to run it and that it will likely push its currently relatively idle Core 2 Duo and 9400M closer to their limits.
  • Reply 68 of 102
    ahmlcoahmlco Posts: 432member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Virgil-TB2 View Post


    The "coup" here is the fact that they have somehow developed a brand new computer platform that someone else will pay half the cost of, just to distribute for them. I mean, this is terribly smart of Apple to do this, but really it's another indication of the fact that they really *can't* compete on the low end.



    According to some recent numbers, 40% of the browser hits coming from Apple mobile devices are coming from the iPod Touch, a high-priced non-subsidized iPod. And starting at $229, it's at the low end even for a netbook.



    So you can check your email, do a little web browsing, play some games, listen to your music, and watch some TV and a movie or two, all on a pocket-sized device that costs less than the average netbook.



    Sounds to me like they're competing just fine.



    All they really need to add, IMHO, is a Touch with the screen size (and battery) bumped up from 3.5" to 5". That would be a killer media/book/game device.
  • Reply 69 of 102
    ahmlcoahmlco Posts: 432member
    Personally, I disagree with the entire premise. Netbooks are not eroding PC notebook or desktop sales to any significant degree.



    First, the type of person that is going to buy a netbook for his main computer is probably the same person who would have bought the cheapest notebook or desktop anyway. Machines that already run on the thinnest of margins. After all, does it make a major difference to Dell if they sell you an Inspiron mini 12 ($399) or their cheapest Inspiron 518 desktop ($329)?



    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.
  • Reply 70 of 102
    backtomacbacktomac Posts: 4,579member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Virgil-TB2 View Post


    This is the whole point though. A part of the reason that Atom runs slower and consumes more power than ARM equivalents is that it needs to emulate x86 code (although it's also inherently slower.)



    The new ARM chips are over 100 times more energy efficient and about 20 percent faster at executing code at the same MHz than the Atom last I heard. They also take up far less space physically. Those are all huge benefits to a mobile device.



    Unless you need to run Windows, ARM has already beat Atom into the ground and it isn't even available yet!



    Remember also, that its' not necessary to run Windows just to open and edit Microsoft documents. The webOS, OS-X, Linux, etc. are all capable of doing this, and they all run on ARM.



    Its not just windows.



    Many osx apps are intel only (x-86). And as time goes on its likely to be more.

    ^^^

    Should be 'some'
  • Reply 71 of 102
    vineavinea Posts: 5,585member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ahmlco View Post


    All they really need to add, IMHO, is a Touch with the screen size (and battery) bumped up from 3.5" to 5". That would be a killer media/book/game device.



    Something like a thin paperback? I'd like one.
  • Reply 72 of 102
    wigginwiggin Posts: 2,265member
    So a slightly different twist on the market share impacts. What about browser market share (vs OS market share) and the influence on web standards?



    If a healthly percentage of netbooks are running Linux (of which I know next to nothing), what does this mean to web developers who are using MS proprietary tech for their web sites? Will this push them to use official web standards more? Or are these proprietary technologies also available on Linux?



    One organization I work with recently had their web site completely redone, and the company they hired used so much proprietary crap that parts of the site are unusable on Safari. None of the new functionality was anything that isn't done by many other sites which work with Safari, so it's nothing special. Just proprietary.



    Besides MS technologies, what is the status for support for things like Java, Flash, etc? Will lower powered netbooks encourage these technologies to be less resource dependent, or will netbooks drive more use of JavaScript (like the iPhone)?
  • Reply 73 of 102
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    Instead, Apple has focused its interests in selling the iPhone and iPod touch to fill the demand for low-end, highly mobile devices in Mac market.



    Yet these are cheaper than netbooks.



    A netbook does not necessarily have to be a low-margin product. Apple could sell a $600 netbook that would probably match the MacBook in profit margin, and generate higher profit per unit than an iPod Touch. All the arguments about Apple not having to compete against cheap Windows notebooks on price would also apply to cheap netbooks, if Apple decided to release a netbook.



    I think all this talk about profits is missing a couple of points. Apple may be able to maintain profit margins going forward, the question is whether unit sales will be affected by its product mix. And if unit sales were to drop significantly, could Apple earnings per share drop (or even go into the red) as a result of declining revenue against operational expenses. Even if Apple's EPS were to drop over the next few quarters, it wouldn't mean anything bad for the company, only the shareholders and stock price. Apple the company and all of it's product lines would be absolutely fine.



    I think Apple probably imagines that it's typical customer would buy a MacBook and an iPhone/iPod Touch to go along with it, rather than a MacBook and a MacNetBook. The advantage of selling an iPhone/iPod Touch over a netbook is that it can't substitute for a real Mac. But again, ultimately it's also going to come down to product mix and unit sales. You can't extend this line of thinking indefinitely, otherwise you could argue for Apple to even drop the white MacBook. I guess some people here might think even that would be a good idea, but most probably wouldn't. The Apple Price-Demand curve is not infinitely elastic.



    The most significant aspect of Apple's product strategy is not limiting customer choice and funneling them towards unnecessarily expensive products, it's in providing greater utility value to offset somewhat higher price tag. And they have done that with everything from desktop computers to sub-$100 iPod Shuffles.
  • Reply 74 of 102
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by QRM View Post


    Today, the argument goes, many people since satisfied with netbooks since those people do little more than read email, browse the Web, and manage relatively simple documents. But is that not because the clients required to do those tasks, using a 25 year-old paradigm (keyboard, mouse, graphic display) are well within the capabilities of netbooks and the bandwidth available is relatively up to the task.



    Yes, but what's wrong with that (for the time being)? Even the highest-priced MacBook Pro uses the same 25-year old paradigm.



    Quote:

    Few of us have the vision to see clearly the next paradigm--touch screens and voice recognition are merely glimpses of what is to come. How much of that paradigm will need be built into the OS, how much in the client software, how much in the client hardware remains to be seen. Today's move towards thinner client-side software/hardware may not be appropriate in the future--the only surety would be that the processing hardware will continue to shrink even as it continues to grow in capability.



    Yes, Apple has definitely been ahead of the ball. Suddenly everyone wants to do an App Store, and every phone maker has touch screen phones with big screens. What a coincidence, huh? I would never advocate that Apple choose netbooks over developing brand new products, interfaces, applications, etc. I don't think it necessarily has to be an either/or thing though. Apple could bang out a netbook pretty quickly while still working on next-gen products, although I can still understand why they might choose otherwise.



    Quote:

    All of this to say that I see the netbook as chasing yesterday's problem, not tomorrow's. And if Apple is known for anything, it is figuring out where the industry is going next. If Snow Leopard is meant to clean up OS X, where will the next cat take us? The only thing of which I am relatively certain is that my shiny new MacBook will be able to run it and that it will likely push its currently relatively idle Core 2 Duo and 9400M closer to their limits.



    Well, not if that brand new thing obsoletes the ancient paradigm our Mac notebooks are based on. Ultimately I think it's also a very practical issue. After all, netbooks are basically a product category based in practicality. It's great that hardware has advanced to the point that a sub-$500 notebook computer can handle the majority of most users' needs. That is still true for even OS X, it's just that you'd be buying a used iBook or PowerBook, vs. a netbook.



    In fact, the economy may actually be prompting Apple to keep its product line more focused. Keep overhead at reasonable levels, which means not being able to develop and support 1 more notebook line.
  • Reply 75 of 102
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Virgil-TB2 View Post


    It goes on to talk about how one component of Apple's success is it's "refusal to sell netbooks" but this isn't really so. Apple's so called refusal to sell netbooks is really because they require a healthy margin on everything they make. It's those fatter margins on all their products that's protecting them from the recession. It's also the fact that they cater to the wealthy end of the market and don't focus on the average consumer. But then it doesn't sound so angelic when you put it that way does it?




    Apple most certainly does cater to the average consumer. Who do you think is buying up all those iPods, including the Touch (or the iPhone for that matter)?



    I was debating myself between a netbook and a Touch, opting for the Touch. I got the base model and for a good price which allowed me to pick it up for significantly less money than a netbook, any netbook.



    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.



    Myself, I think, Apple would do just fine by ignoring the netbook category mainly because they have a better solution in the iPod family of products. All it would take to seriously outdo the whole netbook segment would be to add another iPod to the mix with a somewhat larger form factor (maybe go to a 5-inch screen and add bluetooth) and continue to evolve the line as the company has been doing all along. If that addition to the iPod family came in at a netbook price point, it would make a lot of sense for many consumers as an alternative.



    After a few weeks of enjoying my Touch, I have to say that for a lot of consumers, the device would undoubtedly gets the job done and can be bought for less money, so why opt for any of the netbook offerings out there? The main thing is, you look at what you want to do with the product and consider your options. The Touch really does fill an important niche far better than a lot of the netbook products being hastily brought to market by other computer manufacturers.



    I have the best of both worlds with a desktop set-up that allows me to do more demanding work off a 32-inch monitor (a base mini that cost me well below $1,000 attached to a Sony that I use as my TV as well) and a Touch that allows me to do assorted stuff on the go.



    I'm not exactly bringing in lots of cash but Apple has products that are affordable for me and offer more elegant solutions all around compared to what other manufacturers do. You don't have to spend thousands on a Mac Pro laptop and set up a Mac Pro tower on your desk to take advantage of Apple's superior products. There are affordable products available from Apple and they offer good value all things taken into consideration.



    Maybe I'm not the typical customer. I can't say. But at the risk of sounding like an ad, I have to say that for me personally, Apple has managed to provide affordable solutions that are a pleasure to use.
  • Reply 76 of 102
    nofeernofeer Posts: 2,427member
    iPhone/ touch +BT keyboard connection+ap store =netbook lowest cost netbook maximum satisfaction

    we already have the new paradigm mobile convergence tool
  • Reply 77 of 102
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by backtomac View Post


    Its not just windows.



    Many osx apps are intel only (x-86). And as time goes on its likely to be more.

    ^^^

    Should be 'some'



    I think you are wrong on that, but whatever.



    The point is that chips that run x86 instructions are not necessary for mobile platforms unless you are running a variant of windows as the mobile OS. Atom will almost certainly be restricted to windows UMPC's and a few "also-rans," and the new ARM chips are much faster and more efficient than Atom for mobiles.
  • Reply 78 of 102
    backtomacbacktomac Posts: 4,579member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Virgil-TB2 View Post


    I think you are wrong on that, but whatever.



    The point is that chips that run x86 instructions are not necessary for mobile platforms unless you are running a variant of windows as the mobile OS. Atom will almost certainly be restricted to windows UMPC's and a few "also-rans," and the new ARM chips are much faster and more efficient than Atom for mobiles.



    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.
  • Reply 79 of 102
    vineavinea Posts: 5,585member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Virgil-TB2 View Post


    I think you are wrong on that, but whatever.



    The point is that chips that run x86 instructions are not necessary for mobile platforms unless you are running a variant of windows as the mobile OS. Atom will almost certainly be restricted to windows UMPC's and a few "also-rans," and the new ARM chips are much faster and more efficient than Atom for mobiles.



    Except that Moorestown is Intel's entry into the lower power market at 1/10 the power usage as silverthrone (menlow). It's not like Intel wasn't an ARM manufacturer and unaware of ARM's advantages and disadvantages.



    Arguably it should have been the year of the MID (if you look at articles from this time last year) and not the year of the netbook...but MIDs haven't broken out like the netbook. And as much as Intel loves the idea of MID, they've always known that Atom would have been crushed by ARM in the market.
  • Reply 80 of 102
    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.
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