Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 18th Feb 2009 14:36 UTC
Apple With the economy in decline, many fear that the one company to take the financial blow would be Apple. The company focusses on the higher end of the market (at least in price), and with many people having less and less money to spend, as well as facing insecure financial prospects, people may decide to choose for a cheaper, non-Apple computer. Piper Jaffray, an Apple-friendly analyst firm, has projected that the Cupertino company is about to face a decline in year-over-year Mac sales; for the first time in six years.
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Netbooks a Fad?
by NathanHill on Wed 18th Feb 2009 15:22 UTC
NathanHill
Member since:
2006-10-06

I'm still very suspicious of anyone who says the market is moving toward Netbooks as a preferable computing option. Netbooks do have some definite benefits, but are they going to be a long lasting product? Are they really giving the best value for a consumer's money? Do they seem like a good value in the short run, but in the long run, will they leave customers disappointed? None of these sorts of questions have been answered, which is why it probably is wise for some companies to stay away from the line until they know more.

Just like Apple did with mp3 players, coming in late might give them a huge advantage. Time will tell, but I don't think this is a weakness in Apple's line at the moment. Plus, an upgraded or expanded or larger iPod Touch would probably do enough to crush most of the Netbook market anyway. Amazing little devices.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Netbooks a Fad?
by NexusCrawler on Wed 18th Feb 2009 15:43 in reply to "Netbooks a Fad?"
NexusCrawler Member since:
2009-02-11

For a lot of people, a netbook (or nettop) is the perfect device because they do not need any more processing power. The Atom is definitely enough for day-to-day tasks that a whole range of consumers only do.

Plus you can't compare netbooks and notebooks in terms of compactness, weight and battery life. Unless spending thousands of €/$ there is nothing like a netbook. And even for notebook at that price, the netbook may be better depending on your needs.

A larger iPod Touch would be a good move for Apple but it won't replace a netbook unless -- you guess it -- there is an hardware keyboard. As far as I know, there is no way to compete with an hardware keyboard when you have some serious typing to do.


So now it depends on the customers. Some people buy a netbook because they want some cheap small laptop to play videos and do basic surf -- which covers indeed a lot of people. In that case a larger iPod Touch could be a killer device.

But other people buy a netbook because they need a laptop they can take with them everywhere and which has the battery life to be able to use them everywhere and in order to do more than basic typing. For these people, the larger iPod Touch can't do the job.


My (totally un-educated) guess for the next years is that more and more people will go after the netbook first and eventually after for the desktop in addition to the netbook.

Because if you're needing more than a netbook, you're better with a desktop than with any laptop in terms of performance, price and customizability.

And when you're on the go, you're better with the netbook because it's so small and light and you're still able to do most of the tasks, without any power outlet.

From what I see, if you need more processing power than an Atom it's much better to spend 1000€ in a desktop plus a netbook than to spend 1000€ in a notebook.

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE: Netbooks a Fad?
by jimbofluffy on Wed 18th Feb 2009 15:44 in reply to "Netbooks a Fad?"
jimbofluffy Member since:
2008-07-15

Are they really giving the best value for a consumer's money? Do they seem like a good value in the short run, but in the long run, will they leave customers disappointed?


Well they are definitely not the best value in terms of computing power per watt-hour used. (Atom compared to Core 2 Duo)

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/dual-core-atom-330,2141-10.html

Reply Parent Score: 0

RE[2]: Netbooks a Fad?
by sbergman27 on Wed 18th Feb 2009 17:22 in reply to "RE: Netbooks a Fad?"
sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

Well they are definitely not the best value in terms of computing power per watt-hour used. (Atom compared to Core 2 Duo)

So use your netbook for browsing the web, and your Core for running BOINC. My quad runs BOINC for about 20W per project (over and above the total system power consumption when idle. Total system consumption 240W with BOINC running), and my netbook draws a total of 7W when I'm using it for casual tasks. I would suggest devoting a core or the Core to the World Community Grid's "Clean Energy Project" or to a climateprediction.net model, just as a prudent practice.

Edited 2009-02-18 17:24 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[2]: Netbooks a Fad?
by mabhatter on Thu 19th Feb 2009 01:25 in reply to "RE: Netbooks a Fad?"
mabhatter Member since:
2005-07-17

"Are they really giving the best value for a consumer's money? Do they seem like a good value in the short run, but in the long run, will they leave customers disappointed?


Well they are definitely not the best value in terms of computing power per watt-hour used. (Atom compared to Core 2 Duo)

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/dual-core-atom-330,2141-10.html
"

This is a recession, I might like a $900 notebook but I only have $400... compromises must be made. It's the contract manufacturers that created the market. The bottom scrappers that got tired of competing for table scraps went and made their own way rather than what the bigger companies (intel, microsoft, etc) pushed on them.

Apple really has no interest in the market. I'd argue that by Apple making their Unibody Macbooks at the higher price point, they maintain their brand. Apple is counting on that when people do save up, and break the piggy, they'll want the nicer computer.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE: Netbooks a Fad?
by sbergman27 on Wed 18th Feb 2009 16:27 in reply to "Netbooks a Fad?"
sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

Are they really giving the best value for a consumer's money? Do they seem like a good value in the short run, but in the long run, will they leave customers disappointed? None of these sorts of questions have been answered

Well, I have a first generation Asus EEE PC running EEEbuntu Netbook Remix. I used to spend the vast majority of my time with my desktop PC, very occasionally using my regular laptop. Now, while I still spend most of my time on the desktop PC, I spend a rather significant amount of time with my EEE PC. Far more time than I ever spent with my regular laptop. It's particularly nice for browsing while lounging in bed, or for watching some of the excellent programs available from psb.org, nasa.gov, etc. (I gave up on regular TV many years ago, so my PCs are my main entertainment and educational devices.)

I would have a couple of criticisms of my particular netbook. Being first generation, it has an 800x480 screen. This is workable, but a bit inconvenient. I think that one of the later units with 1024x600 would be just peachy, though. The Asus does not have the best keyboard layout. But again, it's not a show-stopper, and later models, like the Acer Aspire units, look rather attractive to me in that respect.

What can I say? I'm quite happy with my netbook. It's a very convenient size. And if anything happens to it, it's inexpensive enough to just replace and go on.

No. I don't think they are a fad. And they are not just small notebooks. They are a different class of product that make computing more "go anywhere" casual and ubiquitous.

Edited 2009-02-18 16:30 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 9

RE: Netbooks a Fad?
by kaiwai on Wed 18th Feb 2009 19:59 in reply to "Netbooks a Fad?"
kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

I'm still very suspicious of anyone who says the market is moving toward Netbooks as a preferable computing option. Netbooks do have some definite benefits, but are they going to be a long lasting product? Are they really giving the best value for a consumer's money? Do they seem like a good value in the short run, but in the long run, will they leave customers disappointed? None of these sorts of questions have been answered, which is why it probably is wise for some companies to stay away from the line until they know more.

Just like Apple did with mp3 players, coming in late might give them a huge advantage. Time will tell, but I don't think this is a weakness in Apple's line at the moment. Plus, an upgraded or expanded or larger iPod Touch would probably do enough to crush most of the Netbook market anyway. Amazing little devices.


Interesting enough, I used to think they were a fad too; but I've since bought an iMac and found that I now use my MacBook less because I find that it is far too big for my requirements. Lugging around 13.3 inches is too big and now on the rare occasion I do use my laptop - its kept at home rather than taking it with me.

Today I'll be picking up a eee PC 901 from the local shop, it does what I want given that I have a desktop for all my high power needs and the Netbook fits into the portable market where I don't really need a whole heap of power - just enough grunt to allow me to do some work but focused on portability rather than attempting to be a desktop replacement.

I have a feeling what you're finding that in many of these countries - people already have desktops for their grunty needs but instead they want a low cost portable computer. The netbook fits into that market, in NZ for around NZ$650 you can pick up the eee pc 901. Its small, its battery life is pretty good and it does what it needs to do when it comes to user requirements.

As for whether Apple will enter it; good question - I personally think that the Air was one of their biggest blunders. The users I know wanted a light weight portable computer - what they wanted was the reappearance of the 12inch PowerBook but with an Intel processor. I'm confused as to what focus group data they used when deciding to design the MacBook Air given my casual observance was that, as noted, people wanted a 12inch laptop. So to answer the question, I don't think they'll enter - they've ignored market signals in the past, I wouldn't be surprised if they did it again.

Edited 2009-02-18 20:02 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE: Netbooks a Fad?
by unclefester on Wed 18th Feb 2009 22:38 in reply to "Netbooks a Fad?"
unclefester Member since:
2007-01-13

Most people want browse the web, read emails, listen to music or watch videos and watch porn in their free time. Netbooks are ideal for all these activities.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE: Netbooks a Fad?
by segedunum on Wed 18th Feb 2009 23:51 in reply to "Netbooks a Fad?"
segedunum Member since:
2005-07-06

I think you miss the real point. The fact is that in the current climate people will not be spending at all if they can help it, and if they are then they're going to look for something an awful lot cheaper than a Mac.

Apple won't create a cheap Mac though because philosophically they have always believed such a device would compete with their more expensive offerings when people could be spending more, according to their theory. It's how they've got into trouble before.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[2]: Netbooks a Fad?
by NathanHill on Thu 19th Feb 2009 15:50 in reply to "RE: Netbooks a Fad?"
NathanHill Member since:
2006-10-06

I think you miss the real point. The fact is that in the current climate people will not be spending at all if they can help it, and if they are then they're going to look for something an awful lot cheaper than a Mac.


I think that you are making a lot of assumptions about spending habits. If I only have $400 to spend, I want to get the best bang for my buck. A netbook with limited capabilities or a low end Dell? The Dell starts looking real good. I just think it's weird to make all these sweeping statements about the market and consumers without anything to really back that up.

Now, yeah, maybe we are talking about second computers here, and there a netbook may be a better buy than a cheap low end refurb laptop. But then isn't that just a niche unto itself? I don't have any clue.

Good conversation though.

Back to the article, everybody's sales are dropping. Apple's sales are expected to dip a little - and I find that amazing - dip only a little? They are good at what they do.

Reply Parent Score: 1