Despite rumours, Apple still denies any intentions to produce netbooks as we know them now. The company claims that currently available netbooks feature low-quality hardware and software and the company would not bother to release a similar product. Still, the company does not rule out a release of a netbook-like product provided that it is innovative.
“For us it is about doing great products. When I am looking at what is sold in the netbook market, I see cramped keyboards, junky hardware, very small screens, bad software. […] As it exists today, we are not interested in nor would it be something customers would be interested in the long term,” said Timothy D. Cook, chief operating officer of Apple, during a conference call with financial analysts.
During its second quarter of fiscal 2009, Apple sold 2.22 million Macintosh computers, representing a 3% unit decline from the year-ago quarter and a 12% decline over the first quarter of FY2009 (ended December 27, 2008). Considering the global economic crisis, 3% drop year-over-year is a quite good result and Apple may not see an impact of the recession and thus, does not see a reason to unveil anything for price-conscious customers.
Still, Mr. Cook does not rule out a possibility when Apple could release an innovative, yet cost-efficient product aimed at basic computer users.
“If we find a way to deliver an innovative product that really makes a contribution, we will do that. We have some interesting ideas,” stated the chief operating officer of the company.
Market analysts claim that Apple might still need to lower the pressure on average selling prices of Macs and the price of the least expensive Macbook from netbooks and inexpensive consumer-oriented ultra-portables.
“Apple ASPs were down 13% year-to-year in Q2 FY2009, driving down Mac revenues 16%. Apple reduced the prices of its least expensive Macbook in October 2008, and of its least expensive iMac desktop in March 2009, and customers are increasing choosing the less expensive models, including the Mac Mini, which costs $600 without a monitor, keyboard, or mouse. TBR believes the shaky economy and the appeal of netbooks is slowing Apple’s conversion of Windows users to Apple users. Nevertheless, we think the Mac line performed well in the context of its premium pricing,” said Ezra Gottheil, an analyst for Technology Business Research.