Oblivious, Eh?

Brian X. Chen, in a piece for Wired regarding Apple’s quarterly conference titled “Apple Still Oblivious to Netbook Opportunity”:

During its quarterly earnings call Wednesday, Apple reinforced its skepticism in netbooks, saying their low-powered CPUs, cramped keyboards and small displays are not enough to satisfy customers.

Here’s what Tim Cook actually said, from Macworld’s transcript:

We’re watching that space, but right now from our point-of-view, those products are based on hardware that’s much less powerful than what we think that customers want, software quality that is not good, cramped keyboards, small displays. So we don’t think people are going to be pleased with those products, but we’ll see. We are watching that space. About 3% of PC industry was in this netbook kind of category so it’s a category we watch. We’ve got some ideas here. But right now, we think the products are inferior and will not provide [an] experience to customers that they’re happy with.

Sounds to me like Apple’s about as oblivious to the netbook opportunity as they were to the smartphone opportunity around, say, 2006.

Chen adds:

Apple would be ignoring trends seen in its own earnings report if it refused to offer a device in the netbook category. In Wednesday’s earnings call, Apple announced it sold a record number of iPods in the quarter: 22.7 million. With iPods priced no higher than $400, it’s clear the netbook price range is attractive to consumers.

Apple sells a lot of copies of iWork, so maybe they should make a $79 netbook, too.

Thursday, 22 January 2009