Ian Littman (http://yanntx.info, @iansltx)
There are rumblings of how Apple is going to create a netbook, after they’ve vituperatively (okay, not quite, but close) denied the very value of that product. In truth, they might well do something like that. After all, they’ve downed phones before, yet there’s this iPhone thing that’s been out for awhile. Heard of it?
Whatever they’ll be doing, it definitely won’t be what people are expecting. It’ll be powerful in some ways, downright weird in others (they left out that feature?) and overall strikingly beautiful…and aluminum. Maybe an aluminum analog to the Sony Vaio P, but with more aluminum, less ports and less buttons.
This is going from experience. Three examples: the MacBook Air, the iPod shuffle and the iPhone. I’ve owned a MacBook Air and own an iPhone, so I know what I’m talking about…
For the MacBook Air Apple took the “ultraportable” laptop field and squeezed. No, really; I don’t know of any 13.3” driveless notebooks prior to the MacBook Air. There are thinner computers, but by looking at the edges of the air you wouldn’t know it. They made the Air cheaper and more powerful than other ultraportables, using a low voltage CPU versus an ultra-low-voltage one. The result: a game-changing niche item, creating a market where there was none.
For the shuffle, it was introduced at a ridiculously high price, without a screen, into a coterie of much more functional flash-based players. Its claim to fame: it was small and it has double (or more) the capacity of everything else out there. For the iPhone, let’s just say capacitative (finger-based) input wasn’t mainstream on phones until Apple made it that way.
So, will Apple release a netbook, a Vaio P, or something else? Good question; I’ll bet Steve Jobs knows.
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