'Apple must do a NetBook, now!'

Judging by your comments on our previous Hackintosh posts, you aren’t going to like this one, one…little….bit.  CNet writer David Carnoy insists that Apple needs to roll out a Netbook or bad things will happen.  These things include: everyone on the planet will install OSX on a Dell Mini 9, Apple is going to lose marketshare, and Apple customers will defect. 

While we certainly fall into this group, except we are rolling our Hackintosh with an HP Mini — soon to be an ASUS 1000HE, Carnoy is certainly falling on deaf ears in Cupertino.  That is not to say Apple lost a sale of a MacBook or iPhone (we have both), it is just that Microsoft lost a sale of XP.  More and more, it seems we aren’t alone here.  Yes, the market has spoken…loudly.  People want a small laptop Mac and when we say small, we don’t mean "impossibly thin but with traditional footprint – starting at $1800".

Do you really think Apple cares about the rocketing Netbook segment?  The bad news for you Apple/Netbook fans is that they don’t.  They don’t follow market pressures.  To quote El Jobso:

"There are some customers [Netbook demographic] which we chose not to serve.  We don’t know how to make a $500 computer that’s not a piece of junk, and our DNA will not let us ship that. But we can continue to deliver greater and greater value to those customers that we choose to serve. And there’s a lot of them."

This isn’t some new thing with Apple either.  People have been clamoring for a ‘normal Mac desktop’ for years.  You know, something like a Mini with a 3.5" hard drive and the ability to open ‘er up and add some RAM and upgrade the HDD without using a putty knife –  for $400.  Yes, of course, if Apple had done this, they would have sold millions and gobbled up marketshare – and at the same time slightly cannibalized their high margin Pro, Mini and iMac lines.  They would have also attracted more developers to the Mac platform and saved a whole lot of money on lawyer bills fighting Psystar as well. But it isn’t to be.

So Apple’s answer to the Netbook?  They are watching this very closely for now, but if you need something in the next few months, buy an iPhone…or a MacBook.  Obviously there is a huge gap between there that the netbooks fits happily into.

The larger issue is: Apple doesn’t do ‘normal’ or ‘status quo’.  They just don’t.  Everything they do has to be different in some way.  It has to be revolutionary. 

Some say it is their DNA, others say it is their CEO – we think it might be something more rational like their insistence on +30% margins.  Either way, regardless of what you want, you aren’t going to get a Mac Netbook.  If you want one, go get a ASUS and get to work and slap some Apple stickers on there to make yourself feel better.  You might be able to upgrade the MacOS on it later, you might be stuck with Leopard for the rest of its life.  That doesn’t seem too bad considering the operating system you are lifting off of there is likely going to be Microsoft Windows XP – which is like six years old already.  Especially when you consider that if you get 3-6 years out of a Netbook, you will be very lucky.

That’s not to say Apple won’t release some insanely cool portable device in the near future.  In fact, we expect to see an Apple portable device based on an ARM Cortex processor by WWDC.  But this thing won’t be a Netbook, at least in the traditional sense.  It will be different and of course be revolutionary.  It will be impossibly xxxx and amazingly xxxx. And you will want that too.

 

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