Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 27th Apr 2009 15:07 UTC
Editorial Last week, Apple again repeated its claim that the iPhone and iPod Touch are capable of filling the netbook niche. They also claimed that netbooks can barely be called personal computers. Both of these statements are complete and utter nonsense, but instead of writing down some high-level definition of what a netbook is, I decided to simply write down all the things I do with my netbook that the iPhone/iPod Touch cannot do to make the difference between the two that much more tangible.
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good article
by REM2000 on Mon 27th Apr 2009 15:54 UTC
REM2000
Member since:
2006-07-25

Excellent sum up of the major difference between the two platforms.

Im surprised apple suggested that the iPod Touch / iPhone platform is in anyway comparable to the netbook platform.

As mentioned in the article they are two different platforms, catering for two different markets/uses. Of course there are overlaps, but the core functionality is very different.

Again i don't understand why apple felt the need to respond to the netbook market, if they don't want to enter the market fine, i can understand there is not that much of a margin, but to try and take product x and belittle product y is a little boring.

Personally if all of the critisim's of the netbook held up, i.e. people won't like linux as it's different, the keyboard is too small, the screen is to small etc.. then we wouldn't hear about netbooks again, they would simply die out, there are only so many tech's wanting a new toy.

I don't own one personally, however if i commuted on a train alot i would get one. I think they are great little devices and really plug a gap in the market where you want to jot, show a presentation, do some browsing and check your emails well. Would i use one over a laptop, probably not, however that's just my criteria.

I think apple should go back to the way they used to advertise, which was to point out what was so great about apple and really not mention the competition that much.

Reply Score: 8

RE: good article
by Hae-Yu on Mon 27th Apr 2009 16:30 UTC in reply to "good article "
Hae-Yu Member since:
2006-01-12

I think apple should go back to the way they used to advertise, which was to point out what was so great about apple and really not mention the competition that much.

Just to give you a hard time, when was that?
The 1984 superbowl anti-IBM ad?
The "think different" ads?
The 2000's I'm a Mac/ I'm a PC ads?

Looking at a Dell ad, as a typical PC ad, it lists specs and what it can do for you.
Every major Apple campaign is based on differentiation by negation: "we're not them."

I do agree that it was an excellent article as to what netbooks are capable of. I haven't heard Apple claiming that iPhones/ iTouches are netbooks, but if they have, it's just a low cost way to move a few more units by attaching to a current trend.

edit: posted just after Thom did, so I missed his. Sorry.

Edited 2009-04-27 16:32 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE: good article
by lurch_mojoff on Mon 27th Apr 2009 16:51 UTC in reply to "good article "
lurch_mojoff Member since:
2007-05-12

Im surprised apple suggested that the iPod Touch / iPhone platform is in anyway comparable to the netbook platform

Apple suggested only that for many of the netbook use cases the iPhone is comparable (or even superior, e.g. it's always connected while most netbooks are not). They are not claiming that the iPhone can replace a netbook for everything.
Again i don't understand why apple felt the need to respond to the netbook market...

They "felt the need" to do it because they are being constantly asked about the netbook market and about their plans regarding it - both directly on earning calls, etc., and indirectly in the press.
Personally if all of the critisim's of the netbook held up, i.e. people won't like linux as it's different, the keyboard is too small, the screen is to small etc.. then we wouldn't hear about netbooks again, they would simply die out, there are only so many tech's wanting a new toy.

Probably not all criticisms are valid, at the very least not valid for all makes and models, but many are. The reason why they are generally overlooked, which is the same as one of the reasons why the "fad" hasn't died out yet, is that netbooks are dirt cheap. One simply can afford to buy one just to play around with or only use occasionally.

And as for netbooks still being a hot topic - the netbook product category is quite young, there are still some exciting developments and that's fueling the interest.
I think apple should go back to the way they used to advertise, which was to point out what was so great about apple and really not mention the competition that much

Apple are pointing out what's great about their products and comparing them to the competition. It seems to have worked handsomely for them, so let's refrain from giving Apple business advices.

Reply Score: 5

what? where?
by lqsh on Mon 27th Apr 2009 16:21 UTC
lqsh
Member since:
2007-01-01

"the iPhone and iPod Touch are capable of filling the netbook niche."

Where did Apple say this?

Reply Score: 3

RE: what? where?
by Bobthearch on Mon 27th Apr 2009 16:27 UTC in reply to "what? where?"
Bobthearch Member since:
2006-01-27

Cook asserted that for many people an iPhone or iPod Touch would be a better alternative to a mini-notebook. “We have other products to accomplish some of what people are buying netbooks for,” he said.”

http://www.eweek.com/c/a/Desktops-and-Notebooks/Apple-CFO-Netbooks-...

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: what? where?
by lqsh on Mon 27th Apr 2009 18:01 UTC in reply to "RE: what? where?"
lqsh Member since:
2007-01-01

Cook asserted that for many people an iPhone or iPod Touch would be a better alternative to a mini-notebook.


For some mobile users (that don't want to haul around a netbook) an iPod Touch is a better 'alternative'.

Reply Score: 3

RE: what? where?
by Thom_Holwerda on Mon 27th Apr 2009 16:30 UTC in reply to "what? where?"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

"the iPhone and iPod Touch are capable of filling the netbook niche."

Where did Apple say this?


Jobs on netbooks:

http://www.osnews.com/story/20424/Jobs_on_Cheap_Computers_Netbooks

"You know, one of our entrants into that category if you will is the iPhone, for browsing the Internet, and doing email and all the other things that a netbook lets you do. And being connected via the cellular network wherever you are, an iPhone is a pretty good solution for that, and it fits in your pocket."

Cook on netbooks:

http://www.eweek.com/c/a/Desktops-and-Notebooks/Apple-CFO-Netbooks-...

"Cook asserted that for many people an iPhone or iPod Touch would be a better alternative to a mini-notebook. "We have other products to accomplish some of what people are buying netbooks for," he said.""

There you are.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: what? where?
by lqsh on Mon 27th Apr 2009 16:36 UTC in reply to "RE: what? where?"
lqsh Member since:
2007-01-01

I guess what Jobs defines a NetBook to be is not the same as others do.

Jobs - Netbook lets you surf the net, check email, watch videos etc.

Others - Netbook is a small laptop.

In some ways I agree with Jobs. A netbook doesn't have to be the exact same thing as a laptop (but only smaller).

Why is a NetBook a separate category? Its just a laptop with a 10 (9, 7, whatever) screen.

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: what? where?
by lurch_mojoff on Mon 27th Apr 2009 16:57 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: what? where?"
lurch_mojoff Member since:
2007-05-12

Others - Netbook is a small laptop.

Yet, when someone points out that by and large netbooks are severely underpowered, even compared to low end notebooks, people jump out of the woodwork arguing that they are plenty powerful for what most people use computers for - browsing, email, IM, writing the occasional document.

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: what? where?
by middleware on Tue 28th Apr 2009 13:55 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: what? where?"
middleware Member since:
2006-05-11

Prefixing a term with "small" sometimes puts the result term into a different category from the original term. I wouldn't have any difficult in working hours on a word document on any laptop with 13' screen and standard keyboard, but I will never try to do so on a screen even 11'.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: what? where?
by Chicken Blood on Mon 27th Apr 2009 17:13 UTC in reply to "RE: what? where?"
Chicken Blood Member since:
2005-12-21

So in both cases the implication was that the iPhone fulfills some of the needs of the netbook market.

Nobody said that it fills that niche.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: what? where?
by macUser on Mon 27th Apr 2009 17:45 UTC in reply to "RE: what? where?"
macUser Member since:
2006-12-15

""the iPhone and iPod Touch are capable of filling the netbook niche."

Where did Apple say this?


Jobs on netbooks:

http://www.osnews.com/story/20424/Jobs_on_Cheap_Computers_Netbooks

"You know, one of our entrants into that category if you will is the iPhone, for browsing the Internet, and doing email and all the other things that a netbook lets you do. And being connected via the cellular network wherever you are, an iPhone is a pretty good solution for that, and it fits in your pocket."

Cook on netbooks:

http://www.eweek.com/c/a/Desktops-and-Notebooks/Apple-CFO-Netbooks-...

"Cook asserted that for many people an iPhone or iPod Touch would be a better alternative to a mini-notebook. "We have other products to accomplish some of what people are buying netbooks for," he said.""

There you are.
"
They are saying that for what some people would use a netbook for, the iPhone will do the same job. I don't see anything in those statements that says the iPhone makes netbooks irrelevant.

I would agree with them. I honestly don't need a netbook, but the iPhone suits my needs perfectly. Does it suit everybody's needs perfectly? No. Why all the drama? It's like you guys are personally offended that Apple isn't in the netbook market.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: what? where?
by Bobthearch on Mon 27th Apr 2009 17:52 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: what? where?"
Bobthearch Member since:
2006-01-27

Jobs on netbooks:

http://www.osnews.com/story/20424/Jobs_on_Cheap_Computers_Netbooks

"You know, one of our entrants into that category if you will is the iPhone, for browsing the Internet, and doing email and all the other things that a netbook lets you do. And being connected via the cellular network wherever you are, an iPhone is a pretty good solution for that, and it fits in your pocket."


The bolded section is a flat-out lie.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: what? where?
by lqsh on Mon 27th Apr 2009 18:04 UTC in reply to "RE: what? where?"
lqsh Member since:
2007-01-01

for browsing the Internet, and doing email and all the other things that a netbook lets you do.


Yeah, 'all the other things' doesn't make too much sense. For browsing the Internet and doing email though, I much prefer the 'fits in my pocket' feature.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: what? where?
by ephracis on Mon 27th Apr 2009 19:47 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: what? where?"
ephracis Member since:
2007-09-23

I would prefer to browse the net and do email on a netbook since I tend to do a lot of text input. A phone is good for text messages but any larger text is a pain.

I recall the quote from Simpsons: "The fingers you have used to dial are too fat".

Phones need to address the text input problem. T9 are not that super-solution. Neither is speech-to-text. When we get something else (mind reading or special gloves) then maybe I can finally use a phone for my browsing. Add contact lenses with tiny displays and I can probably replace all my computers.

But that's at least 20 years into the future. ;)

Reply Score: 1

RE: what? where?
by StephenBeDoper on Mon 27th Apr 2009 16:40 UTC in reply to "what? where?"
StephenBeDoper Member since:
2005-07-06

http://www.eweek.com/c/a/Desktops-and-Notebooks/Apple-CFO-Netbooks-...

Cook asserted that for many people an iPhone or iPod Touch would be a better alternative to a mini-notebook. “We have other products to accomplish some of what people are buying netbooks for,” he said.”


That is, however, a little more equivocal/qualified than the statement "the iPhone and iPod Touch are capable of filling the netbook niche."

Reply Score: 4

Netbooks
by 3rdalbum on Mon 27th Apr 2009 16:23 UTC
3rdalbum
Member since:
2008-05-26

Netbooks really are what laptops should have been all along.

Laptops are big, heavy computers that are portable... just. They don't have anywhere near the processing power or flexibility of a desktop computer. Before netbooks came along, if you wanted true power and portability you needed a heavy desktop and a heavy laptop.

Netbooks are small and light computers that are very portable; you can carry one with one hand no problems. They don't have much processing power, but their portability makes up for it. They are not going to replace your desktop computer, but it makes more sense to have a heavy desktop and a light netbook, than a heavy desktop and a not-quite-so-heavy laptop that doesn't really replace your desktop anyway.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Netbooks
by lqsh on Mon 27th Apr 2009 18:06 UTC in reply to "Netbooks"
lqsh Member since:
2007-01-01

Netbooks really are what laptops should have been all along.


Agreed, so why don't we call Netbooks -> Laptops and other smaller devices Netbooks? That makes more sense to me.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Netbooks
by Bobthearch on Mon 27th Apr 2009 19:32 UTC in reply to "RE: Netbooks"
Bobthearch Member since:
2006-01-27

If it doesn't fold open and closed, it's not a "book". ;)

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: Netbooks
by lqsh on Mon 27th Apr 2009 20:37 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Netbooks"
lqsh Member since:
2007-01-01

Exactly!! Apple does not make a Netbook! (just a small net appliance)

Reply Score: 2

RE: Netbooks
by ephracis on Mon 27th Apr 2009 19:53 UTC in reply to "Netbooks"
ephracis Member since:
2007-09-23

My Amilo Pro is not a netbook but it's really portable with a 12" screen. I love it. I don't need a netbook.

So I do see your point when you are talking about 15" laptops and bigger. But you have to remember that there are laptops that are small as well.

As far as I am concerned netbooks are laptops. And laptops come in all sizes. I know friends that buy 17" laptops and skip the desktop. They don't want to carry the laptop outside, they just want to be able to move it into different rooms within the apartment.

I prefer 12" since it's big enough for a good resolution without the text being too small, the keyboard is big enough for my fat fingers but it's small enough for me to carry in one hand.

Reply Score: 1

Some more things to add
by 3rdalbum on Mon 27th Apr 2009 16:27 UTC
3rdalbum
Member since:
2008-05-26

You can't use an iPhone to download a wireless driver for a computer that you're helping to fix.

You can't plug your iPhone into a TV and wirelessly stream ordinary video files from an SMB share to your TV.

Both of these things, I do with my Aspire One.

Reply Score: 5

RE: Some more things to add
by lqsh on Mon 27th Apr 2009 18:08 UTC in reply to "Some more things to add"
lqsh Member since:
2007-01-01

You can't use an iPhone to download a wireless driver for a computer that you're helping to fix.

You can't plug your iPhone into a TV and wirelessly stream ordinary video files from an SMB share to your TV.

Both of these things, I do with my Aspire One.


I don't see this being the purpose of a Netbook, I see this being a Laptop. Yes, a Netbook is a Laptop, so why call them different things?

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Some more things to add
by phoenix on Mon 27th Apr 2009 22:17 UTC in reply to "RE: Some more things to add"
phoenix Member since:
2005-07-11

"You can't use an iPhone to download a wireless driver for a computer that you're helping to fix.

You can't plug your iPhone into a TV and wirelessly stream ordinary video files from an SMB share to your TV.

Both of these things, I do with my Aspire One.


I don't see this being the purpose of a Netbook, I see this being a Laptop. Yes, a Netbook is a Laptop, so why call them different things?
"

A "netbook" is not a laptop -- it's a palmtop. ;)

A "netbook" could be considered a notebook, though, as it's actually the size of a notebook, whereas the "laptops" that are called "notebook" certainly aren't.

But that's just arguing semantics. ;)

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Some more things to add
by h3rman on Tue 28th Apr 2009 11:22 UTC in reply to "RE: Some more things to add"
h3rman Member since:
2006-08-09

Because marketeers like to create arbitrary distinctions and market "segments".

Reply Score: 2

...
by Hiev on Mon 27th Apr 2009 16:36 UTC
Hiev
Member since:
2005-09-27

If you need to replace the HD or other hardware from your netbook, or change the OS, or anything, then you don't need a netbook, you need a laptop. Netbooks are cheap and disposable machines witch goal is to cover basic tasks and it will last at least a couple of years or less.

The problem is that people want to treat netbooks as laptos, and that is wrong.

Reply Score: 3

RE: ...
by lqsh on Mon 27th Apr 2009 18:08 UTC in reply to "..."
lqsh Member since:
2007-01-01

Agreed 100%

Reply Score: 2

RE: ...
by phoenix on Mon 27th Apr 2009 22:20 UTC in reply to "..."
phoenix Member since:
2005-07-11

If you need to replace the HD or other hardware from your netbook, or change the OS, or anything, then you don't need a netbook, you need a laptop. Netbooks are cheap and disposable machines witch goal is to cover basic tasks and it will last at least a couple of years or less.

The problem is that people want to treat netbooks as laptos, and that is wrong.


So, when the internal SSD wears out, you expect people to replace the whole machine? When they want to add more storage to their palmtop, you want them to replace the whole machine? When they want to replace a dead wireless NIC, you want them to replace the whole machine?

No, palmtops are not full-fledged laptops (ever tried using a 7" model on your lap? works better held in one hand). But they most certainly are full-fledged computers, and can be used like one.

Palmtops are still over $250 US, they most certainly are not "disposable". Maybe when they reach <$100 US, then we can treat them as "disposable".

Reply Score: 2

Not disposable
by RavinRay on Tue 28th Apr 2009 00:36 UTC in reply to "..."
RavinRay Member since:
2005-11-26

If you need to replace the HD or other hardware from your netbook, or change the OS, or anything, then you don't need a netbook, you need a laptop.

Well, I'm willing to upgrade my IdeaPad 10.
Netbooks are cheap and disposable machines witch goal is to cover basic tasks and it will last at least a couple of years or less.

Cheap? Yes. Disposable? Most certainly not! Why bother making a short-lived machine? Doesn't make sense. And tell that to netbook owners who use Autodesk and Adobe suites on their netbooks.
The problem is that people want to treat netbooks as laptos, and that is wrong.

What's wrong with that? When you look at the two objectively, netbooks and laptops have the same basic design with differences here and there, not enough for them to be treated differently.

Reply Score: 1

RE: ...
by phoudoin on Tue 28th Apr 2009 15:13 UTC in reply to "..."
phoudoin Member since:
2006-06-09

If you need to replace the HD or other hardware from your netbook, or change the OS, or anything, then you don't need a netbook, you need a laptop. Netbooks are cheap and disposable machines witch goal is to cover basic tasks and it will last at least a couple of years or less.

Then, no "netbooks" currently available are "netbook" by your definition. All allows changing HD/SSD and memory at least, and expanding it by plug whatever USB devices in. Last but not least, all allows installing/removing any piece of software you want, including the whole OS.

The problem is that people want to treat netbooks as laptos, and that is wrong.

I fail to see why it's a problem. People treat their devices according to *their* needs, not marketing expectations.

Netbooks are cheap and disposable machines witch goal is to cover basic tasks and it will last at least a couple of years or less.

It's 2009. Whatever computing device limited on purpose to do only a small set of what it's capable and marketed as a trash-it-buy-newer-one is definitively out of my scope.

I've discovered bringing a thin phone which does only phone and my own Samsung NC10 + company-given 3G+ USB key is a better combo for me than the company-given iPhone alone. On battery time alone, it's... apple and orange (pun intended).

I don't care what iPhone fans think about that, but clearly Apple *should* have care more : asserting their product cover better my needs doesn't make it true, sorry.

Edited 2009-04-28 15:18 UTC

Reply Score: 1

duh!
by mooselegrand on Mon 27th Apr 2009 16:40 UTC
mooselegrand
Member since:
2009-04-27

The iPhone cannot do all these things because it is NOT a netbook... it's a friggin' PHONE.
Apple actually stated that they don't know how to do a Netbook that would meet their standards, so they're not doing one and that people can use an iPhone to surf the net... which is quite different from saying that the iPhone IS a netbook or can fill that role.

Reply Score: 2

RE: duh!
by lqsh on Mon 27th Apr 2009 18:10 UTC in reply to "duh!"
lqsh Member since:
2007-01-01

The iPhone cannot do all these things because it is NOT a netbook... it's a friggin' PHONE.


A Netbook is just a laptop.

Guess what? Apple makes laptops too.

Reply Score: 2

Cook says...
by Bobthearch on Mon 27th Apr 2009 16:42 UTC
Bobthearch
Member since:
2006-01-27

“We have other products to accomplish some of what people are buying netbooks for,”

That seems reasonable, with emphasis on the word "some". E-mail, basic web browsing, playing music files, etc. But...

"When I look at what's being sold in the netbook space today, I see cramped keyboards,
Cramped keyboards? Compared to an iPod or iPhone?!? LMAO.

terrible software,
Uh, maybe the Apple CFO isn't familiar with netbooks at all? They run full version operating systems and can generally run the exact same software as a 'real' computer. If he can put OSX and an office suite on an iPod, I'll eat crow.

jerky hardware,
Yeah, right.

very small screens
[snickering] Netbooks screens are freakin' HUGE compared to an iPod or iPhone.

Apple doesn't want to enter into the Netbook market, that's fine with me - I don't care one way or the other. I bet Asus, Sony, and Dell hope that Apple stays clear too.

But Cook's insistence that Apple's iPods and iPhones can be equally functional is laughable. And his string of netbook put-downs shows ignorance of portable products, and disconnect from everyday users.

Edited 2009-04-27 16:49 UTC

Reply Score: 9

Don't forget
by Serophos on Mon 27th Apr 2009 16:45 UTC
Serophos
Member since:
2008-10-11

Apple users != normal people with comon sense ;-)

So for a real apple user an iPhone/iPod Touch offers what they want from a "mobile mini device"

I think we can extend the equation to

AppleUser + iPhone = Netbook + PCUser
where as
AppleUser = PCUser - CommonSense
and
iPhone = Netbook - Keyboard and freedom of choice

q.e.d.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Don't forget
by lqsh on Mon 27th Apr 2009 18:16 UTC in reply to "Don't forget"
lqsh Member since:
2007-01-01

Apple users != normal people with comon sense ;-)


You know, many, many Apple users have used their common sense to move away from PCs. Don't tell me Apple users are gullible or stupid.

Normal people (I speak of OS geeks) don't mind pissing their time away keeping their PCs running. Fine, have fun. Many Apple users have decided to spend their time working on other things besides their OSes.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Don't forget
by jptros on Mon 27th Apr 2009 19:57 UTC in reply to "RE: Don't forget"
jptros Member since:
2005-08-26

Normal people (I speak of OS geeks) don't mind pissing their time away keeping their PCs running. Fine, have fun. Many Apple users have decided to spend their time working on other things besides their OSes.


Did your smug "holier than thou" attitude come with your apple computer or was that something they charged you extra for?

Reply Score: 5

RE[3]: Don't forget
by lqsh on Mon 27th Apr 2009 20:25 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Don't forget"
lqsh Member since:
2007-01-01

Did your smug "holier than thou" attitude come with your apple computer or was that something they charged you extra for?


I'm an OS geek like the rest, but I'm tired of fixing Windows. For me, yes, OS X is better than Windows, since I can't make time in my life to fix ever screwed up PC down down my street.

Reply Score: 4

RE: Don't forget
by peejay on Mon 27th Apr 2009 18:16 UTC in reply to "Don't forget"
peejay Member since:
2005-06-29

So, continuing with your substitutions, we get:

(PCUser - CommonSense) + iPhone = Netbook + PCUser
-CommonSense + iPhone = Netbook
iPhone = Netbook + CommonSense

and, continuing:

(Netbook - Keyboard and freedom of choice) = Netbook + CommonSense
-Keyboard and freedom of choice = CommonSense
Zero = CommonSense + Keyboard and freedom of choice

Interesting. ;)

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Don't forget
by ephracis on Mon 27th Apr 2009 19:57 UTC in reply to "RE: Don't forget"
ephracis Member since:
2007-09-23

Haha! Awesome! Too bad I can't vote you up as Funny. ;)

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Don't forget
by Serophos on Tue 28th Apr 2009 07:56 UTC in reply to "RE: Don't forget"
Serophos Member since:
2008-10-11

Hey and no we can finally define 0/0 thanks to Apple ;)

0 / 0 = (CommonSense + Keyboard and freedom of choice) / (CommonSense + Keyboard and freedom of choice) = 1

We will get a noble price ;) ;) ;)

Reply Score: 1

But then, Macs are not PCs
by eantoranz on Mon 27th Apr 2009 16:45 UTC
eantoranz
Member since:
2005-12-18

But by the same logic, Thom, if freedom is the key then Macintrashes wouldn't be PCs either.

Reply Score: 2

RE: But then, Macs are not PCs
by darknexus on Mon 27th Apr 2009 17:19 UTC in reply to "But then, Macs are not PCs"
darknexus Member since:
2008-07-15

You do realize that you can put basically any os on a modern Mac with an Intel processor, right? Windows, Linux, *BSD... you can run them all. And in the case of the older ppc Macs, you can run any os that has ppc support (Linux, *BSD, etc). No Windows, but hey if you're talking about freedom you probably wouldn't want Windows on your machine anyway, right?

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: But then, Macs are not PCs
by Bobthearch on Mon 27th Apr 2009 17:43 UTC in reply to "RE: But then, Macs are not PCs"
Bobthearch Member since:
2006-01-27

Staying OT to the article and comments by Cook and Jobs, how many different operating systems can you install on an iPod / iPhone?

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: But then, Macs are not PCs
by eantoranz on Mon 27th Apr 2009 18:26 UTC in reply to "RE: But then, Macs are not PCs"
eantoranz Member since:
2005-12-18

Well... in the article I don't think Thom was saying that iPods and iPhones are not netbooks cause you couldn't install another OS. He was talking about the possibilities of the device plus having the freedom to install any software he wanted on top of it. Maybe I misunderstood what he meant.

Anyway:

http://ipodlinux.org/
http://www.iphonelinux.org/index.php/Main_Page

I don't have the slightest clue of how the projects are doing, but....

Reply Score: 2

RE: But then, Macs are not PCs
by phoenix on Mon 27th Apr 2009 22:22 UTC in reply to "But then, Macs are not PCs"
phoenix Member since:
2005-07-11

But by the same logic, Thom, if freedom is the key then Macintrashes wouldn't be PCs either.


You can swap parts in a Mac just as easily as you can on an "IBM-compatible PC". You can install several different OSes onto a Mac, same as a "PC". You can do all those things that Thom listed, on a Mac and a "PC".

Where do you see this "lack of freedom"?

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: But then, Macs are not PCs
by eantoranz on Tue 28th Apr 2009 15:56 UTC in reply to "RE: But then, Macs are not PCs"
eantoranz Member since:
2005-12-18

Ok, OK, I give up.

Macs are to PCs what GPL is to software licenses. :-D

Reply Score: 2

And some more...
by aahjnnot on Mon 27th Apr 2009 16:52 UTC
aahjnnot
Member since:
2008-07-24

At last someone has been insightful enough to realise that, despite what Steve Jobs says, a netbook isn't a sub-par notebook. It's actually what a notebook ought to be: the smallest, lightest, most convenient general purpose computing device that it's possible to make. We have several mobile computing devices in our household that range from an iPod touch to a full size laptop. 9 times out of 10 I choose to use the netbook.

Despite the article's length, it doesn't really do more than scratch the surface of the things you can do with a netbook. Based on my family's usage, here are a few more differences.

- I can hook a netbook up to a projector and give a presentation
- I can install a full office suite onto a netbook and create content on the move
- I can edit my holiday photos on a netbook
- I can actually view my holiday snaps properly on a netbook
- I can craft code on a netbook
- I can hook up a lightweight graphics tablet and create artwork on a netbook

Thank you, Thom.

Reply Score: 6

RE: And some more...
by Bobthearch on Mon 27th Apr 2009 17:04 UTC in reply to "And some more..."
Bobthearch Member since:
2006-01-27

Important capabilities for me:

Running an office suite (currently Office 2000) to be compatible with work.

Ability to connect to USB devices: keyboard, scanner, printer, flash drive.

Ability to read SD cards: transfer apps and data to our in-house scientific equipment.

Ability to connect to full-size monitor for in-office use.

-----------

Like I said above, if Apple doesn't want to provide a product for users who need true computing in a portable device, so be it. But Cook's use of netbook bashing to justify their decision seems desperate and uninformed. It would be better for Apple if he'd simply shut up.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: And some more...
by lqsh on Mon 27th Apr 2009 18:20 UTC in reply to "RE: And some more..."
lqsh Member since:
2007-01-01

if Apple doesn't want to provide a product for users who need true computing in a portable device, so be it.


Apple does have a portable computing device, it's a MacBook. Guess what, your Netbook is a laptop too.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: And some more...
by Bobthearch on Mon 27th Apr 2009 19:05 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: And some more..."
Bobthearch Member since:
2006-01-27

I suppose if you were to create a chart displaying the classification hierarchy of computers, Netbook would be one type of a laptop, in that it folds and has a keyboard on one side and screen on the other.

But so what?

Are you really suggesting that Apple has a product that's comparable to an EeePC? They don't.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: And some more...
by lqsh on Mon 27th Apr 2009 20:27 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: And some more..."
lqsh Member since:
2007-01-01

You're right Apple does not have a very small laptop.

Reply Score: 3

notbook
by mono on Mon 27th Apr 2009 17:01 UTC
mono
Member since:
2005-10-19

I think nobody really expects any Apple netbook. In fact they just should make a relativily powerful MacBook in small size. In the past they created the 12" PowerBook so I'm sure today's technology allows them to build even smaller machines. Maybe it's just me but I would pay for a 10-11 inch sized MacBook Pro.

Reply Score: 2

Excellent PDA
by Jon Dough on Mon 27th Apr 2009 17:44 UTC
Jon Dough
Member since:
2005-11-30

The iPhone/iPod Touch are not good netbooks... but they are excellent PDA's, and should be treated as such. Either device is less expensive than was my Dell Axim X51v.

Reply Score: 2

Comment by Bobthearch
by Bobthearch on Mon 27th Apr 2009 17:56 UTC
Bobthearch
Member since:
2006-01-27

OT: It's better than the hardware reviews that make Page 1, even though they have nothing at all to do with operating systems. ;)

Anyway, Thom's essays seem rather popular - a large number of comments in a relatively short amount of time, and currently 6 thumbs-up for recommendations.

Reply Score: 2

17" vs 13"
by lqsh on Mon 27th Apr 2009 18:24 UTC
lqsh
Member since:
2007-01-01

I think we all get lost in the wording.

I have a 17" laptop and and 13" Macbook. Should I automatically be calling my Macbook a Netbook since the screen is much smaller?

If not, why should I call my 10" Netbook a Netbook, just because the screen is smaller?

It was a huge mistake creating a new category called a netbook just because it has a smaller screen, in my opinion.

Edited 2009-04-27 18:25 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE: 17" vs 13"
by invent00r on Mon 27th Apr 2009 20:54 UTC in reply to "17" vs 13""
invent00r Member since:
2009-04-27

You don't understand what netbook really stands for. What really differs from other laptops is their goal. A netbook does not replace for a desktop computer, it tries, however to be the most capable, cheapest, portable, smalest computer you can have to follow you wherever you go. They are weak by definition, but they are meant to be that way.

A laptop actually aims to be a replacement for desktop computer. The keyword is really replacement. Both my sister (She has a Macbook) and my dad also uses 1 laptop and no desktop PC. I can't honestly see them working on a 10'' screen every single day while they are at home. It would just not do.

A Macbook is something Mac made up to describe their own category of laptops.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: 17" vs 13"
by phoenix on Mon 27th Apr 2009 22:25 UTC in reply to "RE: 17" vs 13""
phoenix Member since:
2005-07-11

A Macbook is something Mac made up to describe their own category of laptops.


MacBook is a brand-name, not a device category.

Reply Score: 3

Term Confusion
by josborne on Mon 27th Apr 2009 18:34 UTC
josborne
Member since:
2009-04-27

I think people are confused as to the actual meaning of the term "netbook". There is certainly no universal agreement on what a netbook is.

Some folks are arguing it is a small, inexpensive laptop. And like any laptop, you can install different OS's, upgrade the hardware, and run a variety of off-the-shelf conventional software (whether it be Windows based or *nix).

Other folks see the netbook as a new category defined by it's functionality. In this case, a netbook is a small and convenient companion device used to do some surfing, e-mail, and other basic functions. It is generally necessary for these devices to be always or very frequently connected to the Internet.

I tend to fall into the second category, because we do not need a new, special word for a small and inexpensive laptop. It is what it is.

However, the type of device exemplified by the iPhone and iPod Touch is different and deserves a new term. I personally don't care if that term is "netbook" or "pda" or "XYZ", but I see that this is a new niche for products to develop.

I think what Apple has said on the subject, combined with what we know of their previous strategy and business model is very clear. They are unlikely to be able to make an inexpensive and small laptop meeting their build and performance requirements at a price and margin that makes sense with their high margin business model.

Few (if any) companies are getting rich from the current crop of "netbooks". It only makes sense for Apple to tackle that market if they can make good money and margins while still providing an experience that will be highly positive and hopefully drive people to buy their higher-end products.

I honestly do not understand why there appears to be so much heat when discussing this. "netbook" is just one word. And Apple is just one company

The real interest (for me) is in imagining how things are changing in the computer space to emphasize portability and always-on connectivity. Now, it is not very hard to imagine us all being connected all the time, even though this seemed like an impossible/impractical dream 10-15 years ago.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Term Confusion
by lqsh on Mon 27th Apr 2009 18:49 UTC in reply to "Term Confusion"
lqsh Member since:
2007-01-01

It also depends on what your version 'small' means. A Netbook is a smaller laptop, but I wouldn't call it small by any means.

If your netbook has 3G or wifi, I'd call that a 'net'book. If it doesn't, it's just a small laptop. In that regard I'd call an iPhone a netbook.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Term Confusion
by Bobthearch on Mon 27th Apr 2009 18:56 UTC in reply to "Term Confusion"
Bobthearch Member since:
2006-01-27

I think people are confused as to the actual meaning of the term "netbook". There is certainly no universal agreement on what a netbook is.

Yep, and I don't see the point in worrying too much about labels - it's what the manufacturers call it, and that's that. If someone makes yet another class of portable computer, either larger or smaller or with a different task focus, they'll probably name it something different too.

Few (if any) companies are getting rich from the current crop of "netbooks".

To the contrary, netbooks seem to be floating several companies at a time when worldwide computer sales have dropped significantly:

The company reached a considerable achievements in the deliveries of motherboards and graphic cards, but the most profitable for ASUS remains the release of mobile computers (47% income).

It only makes sense for Apple to tackle that market if they can make good money and margins while still providing an experience that will be highly positive and hopefully drive people to buy their higher-end products.


I don't see why they can't. Build a mini-laptop to the same specs as a $350 Asus, give it a slightly different case shape with an Apple logo, pre-install OSX, and sell it for $450. I don't personally care whether they do it or not, but I think it would be a huge seller among Apple fans and curious new customers.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Term Confusion
by phoenix on Mon 27th Apr 2009 22:31 UTC in reply to "Term Confusion"
phoenix Member since:
2005-07-11

I think people are confused as to the actual meaning of the term "netbook". There is certainly no universal agreement on what a netbook is.

Some folks are arguing it is a small, inexpensive laptop. And like any laptop, you can install different OS's, upgrade the hardware, and run a variety of off-the-shelf conventional software (whether it be Windows based or *nix).


Hrm, like a "palmtop" computer? All the capabilities of a normal "laptop", but scaled down to easily rest on the palm of your hand? ;)

Other folks see the netbook as a new category defined by it's functionality. In this case, a netbook is a small and convenient companion device used to do some surfing, e-mail, and other basic functions. It is generally necessary for these devices to be always or very frequently connected to the Internet.


Hrm, still sounds like a palmtop computer to me. ;)

I tend to fall into the second category, because we do not need a new, special word for a small and inexpensive laptop. It is what it is.


But it's not really a "lap"top computer, as you would not use it (at least for more than a minute or two) resting on your lap. But it's more than useful when resting on the palm of one hand, leaving the other hand available for navigation/typing. Hence, "palmtop". ;)

However, the type of device exemplified by the iPhone and iPod Touch is different and deserves a new term. I personally don't care if that term is "netbook" or "pda" or "XYZ", but I see that this is a new niche for products to develop.


"PCD" would probably fit better. Personal Computing Device. Or maybe "MID" for Mobile Internet Device (isn't Intel pushing that term for things about the size of an iPhone/iPod Touch, with similar capabilities?). Or "UMD" for Ultra Mobile Device. ;)

Reply Score: 2

RE: Term Confusion
by Carewolf on Tue 28th Apr 2009 14:40 UTC in reply to "Term Confusion"
Carewolf Member since:
2005-09-08

A netbook is a small laptop with ubiquios networks connections WiFi/G3.
A smartphone is a phone that does more than the usual phone-task, including calendar and internet and small office-suites.

There is no need to invent a new word for iPhones, and they will never be a netbook. Though a netbook with 3G is a large cheap smartphone if you install the right application.

Reply Score: 1

The most convincing evidence
by sbergman27 on Mon 27th Apr 2009 18:59 UTC
sbergman27
Member since:
2005-07-24

I've seen some sentiment around here that Apple would never get into the netbook market because they make their money on (supposedly) high quality end to end hardware and software.

But it seems to me that if that were so, they would not feel the need to make the (ridiculous) claim that iPhone is a netbook, and simultaneously disparage the concept of real netbooks. You just wouldn't see that behavior out of a company that wasn't *highly* interested in entering that market, but which was also quite late to the party.

We're going to see a real Apple Netbook just as soon as they complete whatever super-secret project they are working on to get themselves one.

Not that I really care. I'm not an Apple customer. But as a fairly objective observer, I'll say that I would be really surprised if they didn't have a real netbook available by the end of this year. If not sooner.

Reply Score: 3

RE: The most convincing evidence
by Bobthearch on Mon 27th Apr 2009 19:30 UTC in reply to "The most convincing evidence"
Bobthearch Member since:
2006-01-27

Based on the desperation and exaggeration (to say the least) of comments by Jobs and Cook, Apple was caught completely off-guard by the immense popularity of "netbooks," and probably dismayed by the retail prices.

So now Apple has a dilemma - whether to sit out this computer segment and begin planning for the next big thing, or risk being an overpriced Johnny-come-lately to a computing segment in which pricing has already been market-determined.

Reply Score: 3

The reality
by invent00r on Mon 27th Apr 2009 19:52 UTC
invent00r
Member since:
2009-04-27

A netbook folds - and I'm talking about all books with nets on them. An iPhone, does not fold. What else is there to say?

Reply Score: 1

Data Entry
by Dave_K on Mon 27th Apr 2009 20:22 UTC
Dave_K
Member since:
2005-11-16

I agree with just about every difference listed here, but to me speed of data entry is the absolute killer feature of a Netbook compared with an iPhone.

I can put up with lack of upgrade options, and even being unable to use my favourite apps isn't the end of the world, but the device is unusable if I can't get information into it at an acceptable speed.

I don't have particularly small hands, but I can get pretty close to my full desktop touch-typing speed on a compact keyboard. Even on my old Psion Netbook, a smaller device with a smaller keyboard than most modern netbooks, I could type far faster than on any touch screen.

They're OK for short text messages or updating an address book, but anything more than that and the experience is frustrating. Imagine trying to take notes during a meeting or in class on an iPhone.

Reply Score: 4

RE: Data Entry
by Bobthearch on Mon 27th Apr 2009 20:33 UTC in reply to "Data Entry"
Bobthearch Member since:
2006-01-27

I don't have particularly small hands, but I can get pretty close to my full desktop touch-typing speed on a compact keyboard. Even on my old Psion Netbook, a smaller device with a smaller keyboard than most modern netbooks, I could type far faster than on any touch screen.

Better yet, when convenient, a full-sized keyboard can easily be attached to any netbook through a standard USB plug.

Reply Score: 2

how tides have turned
by lqsh on Mon 27th Apr 2009 20:29 UTC
lqsh
Member since:
2007-01-01

It's interesting how a few years ago, most of (all?) the 12" or 13" laptop out there were Macs, and the rest were 15" and 17" laptops.

Now, Apple is criticized for not having a small (enough) laptop.

Reply Score: 3

RE: how tides have turned
by skingers6894 on Tue 28th Apr 2009 15:03 UTC in reply to "how tides have turned"
skingers6894 Member since:
2005-08-10

Actually if you are saying what I think you are saying it's not quite right.

Apple were the first in the industry to introduce a laptop with 17 Inch display back in the G4 days and they have had one in their range ever since.

So in fact there has never been a point in time where the PC world has had a 17 inch laptop and Apple haven't.

Reply Score: 2

v Thom is still wrong.
by NathanHill on Mon 27th Apr 2009 21:11 UTC
RE: Thom is still wrong.
by fretinator on Mon 27th Apr 2009 21:34 UTC in reply to "Thom is still wrong."
fretinator Member since:
2005-07-06

My iPod Touch is an amazing netbook. It is really portable - I can take internet and email access with me in my pocket. Great battery life. Tons of cool applications custom made for a real netbook experience. Watch movies. Organize photos. Play music. Write to do lists. Get directions. Play games. Jotting down notes. etc, etc..



That's it, I've had it. Would everyone quit redefining words. A netbook is a FORM FACTOR. It is similar to a notebook (thus the name), but it is smaller, lighter, cheaper - easy to take to class and take notes. You can type relatively well on them, but not as easily as good desktop or laptop.

I also have a PDA phone. I can check email (IMAP for Yahoo and Gmail). I can remotely control my desktops from my phone. I can SSH with it. But it is not a netbook, because it is a different FORM FACTOR. Hello?

Reply Score: 5

v RE[2]: Thom is still wrong.
by NathanHill on Tue 28th Apr 2009 00:16 UTC in reply to "RE: Thom is still wrong."
RE: Thom is still wrong.
by galvanash on Mon 27th Apr 2009 21:59 UTC in reply to "Thom is still wrong."
galvanash Member since:
2006-01-25

My iPod Touch is an amazing netbook. It is really portable - I can take internet...


On the other hand, the netbooks I see just end up being slow small laptops with no actual benefit for their size...


Seriously, is anyone writing software for designed for netbooks? If not, it's just a copycat PC laptop... though small.


Your post pretty much sums up exactly what a netbook is, while hijacking the term to describe something completely different - and YOU are the one painstackingly pointing out exactly WHY it is different.

A netbook is an inexpensive, compact notebook (pretty much what you said it is). Thats it. It IS just a copycat of a PC laptop - that is the fricken point. Its just smaller and cheap. There is no "special" software for it because it ISNT special, the only notable thing about it that differentiates it from a run-of-the-mill laptop is the screen is a bit more cramped then normal - which most people consider as a necessary evil, not a feature.

An iphone is NOT a netbook, yet you want to use that term to describe it... Which is strange since you just spent a bunch of words explaining why it is totally different than a netbook. No one said netbooks are better or anything, iphones are great. But they arent netbooks.

My only explanation is that you are actually jealous that the new "in" thing is for once NOT an Apple product, and since you don't have one you feel compelled to call your iphone a netbook to make yourself feel better...

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Thom is still wrong.
by NathanHill on Tue 28th Apr 2009 00:19 UTC in reply to "RE: Thom is still wrong."
NathanHill Member since:
2006-10-06

See my post above.

Netbooks are being trumped and defined by what they do, more than what their form factor is. Thus, we have many different netbook sizes. Pretty soon, 12" laptops are going to be called netbooks. I am just hoping they actually end up doing something different or providing a unique user experience over a laptop.

Because I think they can. At least, that is the netbook I am waiting on.

In the meanwhile, I have my iPod Touch as a great little netbook - it does have an irregular sort of form factor, but darn it, it does what a netbook needs to do.

No jealousy here. A satisfied customer on one hand... and a hopeful customer on the other.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Thom is still wrong.
by MattPie on Tue 28th Apr 2009 15:07 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Thom is still wrong."
MattPie Member since:
2006-04-18

As others pointed out, your iPod doesn't fold, it's not a book. ;)

In all seriousness, by your logic anything that can do 'netbook' operations is a netbook. So by that definition, if I install Ubuntu netbook-remix onto the 10lb 17" HP laptop I have here at work, it's now a netbook.

The other poster was right: your iPod is a cool little device, I wouldn't call it a netbook. That is as silly as people that call the system case of a desktop PC the 'hard drive'.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Thom is still wrong.
by sbergman27 on Tue 28th Apr 2009 15:55 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Thom is still wrong."
sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

Netbooks are being trumped and defined by what they do, more than what their form factor is.

Only by companies which missed the boat and are casting about for something... anything... in their extant offerings that they can pretend is really a netbook until they can get their real netbook onto the market.

Edited 2009-04-28 15:57 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE: Thom is still wrong.
by darknexus on Tue 28th Apr 2009 06:06 UTC in reply to "Thom is still wrong."
darknexus Member since:
2008-07-15

In some ways, I agree with you, though I'd be more inclined to call an iPod Touch a PDA and an iPhone exactly what it is, a PDA smartphone. In the end, it's mostly a pointless word game, what matters is whether your particular device fills your needs. If an iPod Touch does that for you, that's great, and perhaps it does indeed fill all the functions you need of a netbook-like device. Perhaps then, what you actually need is a PDA, and that's what you do have.
But, as for netbooks having bad battery life... well, perhaps you've only seen the three-cell batteries which are, I agree, pathetic. Two hours of battery life does not count as portable in my book. However, take a look at the six-cell batteries, on average they get up to 5 or 6 hours. Also take a look at the Asus Eee PC 1000HE, which has a high capacity battery rated at 9.5 hours--granted, however, I typically get about 7 or 8 hours out of it not 9.5. And no, there's no special software written for these subnotebooks that are currently being called netbooks, that's precisely the point. They run the same desktop software you would use anywhere else, and can actually handle most of it reasonably well.
In the end, pick the device that works for you and nevermind what other people call it. For me, it's an Asus 1000HE. For you, it's an iPod Touch. For someone else, it might be a palmtop computer. In the end, these word games are unimportant.

Reply Score: 3

skingers6894
Member since:
2005-08-10

...is a tiny laptop - oh I get it now.

Reply Score: 3

Missed the point.
by krreagan on Tue 28th Apr 2009 17:35 UTC
krreagan
Member since:
2008-04-08

The author completely missed the point of Apples statement.

What most people use a netbook for, email & browsing on the go, the iPhone/iPod Touch do very well as well! And when I'm done I stash it in my pocket and go! no need for a pack or to carry it in my hand.

KRR

Reply Score: 1

RE: Missed the point.
by Chicken Blood on Tue 28th Apr 2009 18:28 UTC in reply to "Missed the point."
Chicken Blood Member since:
2005-12-21

Exactly.

As usual, the über geeks on this site get their knickers in a bunch about installing different OS's, connecting 101 different peripherals just 'because they can' and harping on about 'freedom'.


i.e. The stuff normal people never do as a rule. The quotes from Apple were regarding these users, not tech nerds.

Reply Score: 2

If I can use Skype on the iPhone...
by lienvu on Tue 28th Apr 2009 19:26 UTC
lienvu
Member since:
2009-04-28

I can see most of the posts have the US centric idea. It is more important to think outside of the US box. You probably will appreciate more about the meaning of a netbook. In many countries, free WiFi is available in every corner of your life. You have it at the airport, in your commuter train, or sometimes in a community (village, town, or city). With a netbook computer, you don’t have to subscribe to anything. You have connection to anyone anywhere without extra cost. To me, free of connection cost, mobility and networking are the essences of a netbook computer. This is why the netbook computer is more popular in European and Asian countries. I think iPhone is nice. If you have extra money to spend, why not!

Reply Score: 1

macUser Member since:
2006-12-15

I can see most of the posts have the US centric idea. It is more important to think outside of the US box. You probably will appreciate more about the meaning of a netbook. In many countries, free WiFi is available in every corner of your life. You have it at the airport, in your commuter train, or sometimes in a community (village, town, or city). With a netbook computer, you don’t have to subscribe to anything. You have connection to anyone anywhere without extra cost. To me, free of connection cost, mobility and networking are the essences of a netbook computer. This is why the netbook computer is more popular in European and Asian countries. I think iPhone is nice. If you have extra money to spend, why not!


If that's the case, iPod Touches have built in wifi. ;) I believe you can even get attachments to allow VOIP like skype to work.

Reply Score: 1

iPhone: 1 Netbook: 0
by macUser on Wed 29th Apr 2009 23:02 UTC
macUser
Member since:
2006-12-15