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Apple's Netbook?

|Includes: Apple Inc. (AAPL)

Here's the truth: Jobs and Co. don't want a netbook and everybody speculating that the 10" screens are for a netbook are dead wrong.  Let's define what a netbook is:  basically it is under $500 and less than 10" in diagonal screen dimensions.  Well, anything under $500 is going to be a piece of junk more or less in the eyes of Job and Co.  However, the netbook is is not typically a product that is targeted for big-handed North Americans, it is for the smaller-handed people that don't need a normal keyboard and live an on-the-go lifestyle, and there IS a market for this product (mainly small-handed people).  Let's face it, if you have to use a laptop on a daily basis and have large hands, the netbook is a pain and won't last long, you'll be upgrading in a month.  However, a mini-keyboard is fine for sailors who check into port once in a while, the constant traveler, and others who have small hands and don't want to carry a monster (for this subject, we might have to redefine what a notebook/laptop is!)  Apple has yet to enter this market and probably never will; however, if you hang around enough internet cafes you will notice how the Apple faithful who bought the 12" PowerBook won't let go of these 5 year old machines.  They are like museum pieces and the owners religiously hang onto them, because they work well and can't be replaced at this moment by anything that Apple produces.  At this point, the only options given to consumers are the 13" MacBooks, priced at $999 for the white plastic model and $1299 for the aluminum unibody.  So the gaping hole here is that there should be a 10" aluminum unibody MacBook.  The next MacBook (MacBook mini or MacBook 10"?) to arrive will be a 10" MacBook or MacBook Touch for either an $799 to $899 range entry point; the goal for this product will be to compete with an "out the door" price of less than $1000 which would appeal to many and ensure the quality of the product isn't compromised in any way.

 

I am typing this article on a Lenovo x200, a beautiful piece of machinery but for my basketball-gripping hands it is the smallest I will go and smallest I can go.  This is a 12" diagonal screen and works great for my highly mobile lifestyle, but I do a lot of typing and anything less would be a serious compromise.  So there is a smaller MacBook coming for the small-handed and the on-the-go traveler, it will be great and useful for many, but don't expect a sub-$500 price because Apple makes Apples not Applesauce.