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Is An $800 Macbook Close Enough, Or Does It Need to Be Multi-touch?

A long rumored product that many people have been demanding, is a low priced Apple netbook or tablet pc. While Apple hasn’t exactly delivered this product, analysts are saying that an $800 Macbook could be sold as part of an aggressive Black Friday sale. Could those holding out for that $800 netbook finally be swayed into making a purchase?

On October 14th, Apple held a media event to unveil a brand new line of overhauled notebooks. They introduced a brand new unibody design and new internals, and delivered better performance. For the most part, customers were happy with Apple’s new notebooks. Two issues that continue to be heavily debated are the lack of Firewire in the Macbook, as well as the decision to forever eliminate matte screens, shipping notebooks with glossy screens as the only choice.

These were expected changes, and ultimately a natural progression in industrial design, and product family unification for Apple’s notebooks. However, many believed that an $800 notebook, or netbook/tablet PC was coming from Apple. They were wrong. Understandably, Apple did not even address the issue of such a cheap notebook, leaving their entry level Macbook at $999. Ultimately this was Apple’s best play. Reducing the pricing of their products would have lowered the “premium” glow that surrounds them.

Arguably, many people were confused by the decision claiming that Apple could “change the market as we know it,” and “really deliver with a netbook.” Some even went out on a limb claiming they had sources saying an $800 notebook was coming. Others have been more vague about the matter claiming that Apple is definitely a “netbook maker.” However, usually the netbook sources manage to hedge their bets, and when the product never gets released, can be found moderately backtracking.

Rather than get dazzled by the possibility of Apple releasing a tablet or netbook PC, many should ask what it is they are truly seeking out of the product. Are they looking for the small form factor? The (would-be) multi-touch capabilities, or is the low (est. $800) price-tag they’re after? If it’s the small form factor, then the iPhone should suffice. After all, how could customers be asking for a multi-touch netbook without copy-and-paste? The iPhone doesn’t have it, and Apple’s multi-touch OS needs to mature before any other product that runs it is released. If it’s the price-tag, then this coming week’s rumored Black Friday deals should make up for the lack of a new $800 notebook.

As analysts are pointing out, Apple is expected to get overly aggressive this year with its Black Friday sale. “A $100 iPhone, $800 MacBook or $25 iPod shuffle could be hitting Apple stores the day after Thanksgiving — if analysts’ predictions are correct.” More than likely, Apple will not be releasing a netbook or multi-touch tablet anytime soon. It would be far too niche of a product, and iPhone expansion is where Apple’s primary focus is at the moment. However, those holding out for the device may find that an $800 Macbook (if rumors hold true) may be enough of the price drop they need to make the plunge. If it’s the functionality they’re after, a solution is already available.

Focusing on the netbook subject, Apple explained that not a lot of netbooks are being sold (comparatively), in this market. However Jobs mentioned that he definitely has some “interesting ideas” if this market happens to evolve. Continuing to push the iPhone as a mobile computing platform, Apple explains the iPhone is what they are offering in this “cheaper PC” category.

Comments [3]

3 Comments to “Is An $800 Macbook Close Enough, Or Does It Need to Be Multi-touch?”

Mark @ November 21st, 2008 at 10:47 pm
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as I’ve said before, people who base their Apple purchases based on price, do not know the company.

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Alonzo @ November 21st, 2008 at 10:59 pm
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Netbooks not happening for at least 3-4 years.

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gadgetndevice @ November 22nd, 2008 at 12:30 am
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Well it may be a mini book or a tablet i m waiting for the launch of it in india.

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