After announcing the update of the lineup of MacBook notebooks, Steve Jobs, chief executive officer of Apple, said that the company currently has no plans to release an inexpensive mobile computer, or a netbook. Mr. Jobs did not reveal any reasons for not launching a cheap notebook other than stating that the market for such class of devices is not really large.
“In terms of netbooks, that’s a nascent market that’s just getting started. We’ll see how it goes,” Mr. Jobs said, reports Beta News web-site.
It is true that the market of netbooks is relatively small right now, but there may be stronger reasons for Apple to keep away from netbooks.
Apple has always sold its systems at a premium price compared to machines by companies like Dell. That policy allowed the company to gain demanding customer base: Apple’s clients may not be extreme-performance hungry, but they tend to like style and adequate performance for their tasks. Modern netbooks can allow Internet browsing or email exchange, but when it comes to movies or multimedia, they give up. Multimedia is definitely something that Apple pins a lot of hopes on.
Apple released its Mac Mini desktop in order to attract attention of consumers with the low price, but the device has never got popular. In case Apple releases a netbook featuring Intel Atom processor at a bargain price-point, it may attract new customers, but performance of Intel Atom along with supporting core-logic and its graphics core are so low that many end-users are likely to remain unsatisfied not only with the particular device, but with Apple in general.
Apple can still release a netbook once it will be able to pack desired feature-set into a 7” case at a very low price-point. However, until there are no fast enough central processing units (CPUs) for netbooks as well as proper graphics cores, the company will hardly enter this emerging market with its "MacBook Net".