Apple and the netbook question
Given the phenomenal success of netbooks — small, cheap, lower-performance PCs — everybody wants to know what plans Apple, the only major PC player that doesn’t have a netbook offering, might have for the space. Netbooks are one of the few bright spots in an otherwise bleak PC landscape.
Apple CEO Steve Jobs openly dismissed netbooks. And when the company was asked again asked about them on the conference call following its quarterly results Wednesday, Chief Operating Officer Tim Cook sounded similarly unimpressed. Current netbooks, he said, suffer from “cramped keyboards, terrible software, junky hardware.”
“Not something that we would put the Mac brand on, quite frankly. And so, it is not a space as it exists today, that we’re interested in. Nor do we believe that customers in the long-term would be interested in. It is a segment we would choose not to play in.”
Cook continued: “We do look at the space and are interested to see how customers respond to it. People that want a small computer, so to speak, that does browsing and e-mail might want to buy an iPod Touch or they might want to buy an iPhone. So, we have other products to accomplish some of what people are buying netbooks for. So, in that particular way, we play on an indirect basis.”
And finally: “Then, of course, if we find a way where we can deliver an innovative product that really makes a contribution, then we’ll do that. We have some interesting ideas in the space.”
Apple is widely rumored to be developing some sort of small touchscreen PC or similar device.