Will Apple launch a Netbook?

apple-logo1The latest rumor buzzing around tech circles is whether Apple will release a Netbook. After some initial research I believe the question is when, and not so much if. It would be hard to imagine Apple not wanting a piece of this fast growing market.

Once again, though, Apple will arrive late, just like it has done with the iPhone, iPod and even the original Powerbook laptop.

However, this has never hampered Apple. Their strategy is focused on premium design, and best-in-class user experience, not first to market. And the plan so far is working.

An Apple Netbook would make a lot of sense and I believe be a surefire hit. Others are already seeing tremendous success with these tiny, low-priced devices. Samsung, HP, Lenovo, Acer, Asus and Dell are just a few other big names already in this market.

Apple could slot their Netbook neatly between the iPod (itself a powerful little device, but with a screen too small for creating office documents for example) and their smallest laptops such as the Macbook Air. With the OS X operating system already designed for touch screen operation (haptic) it could turn out to be an ideal device for many travel-going users.

As always the case with Apple, expect a premium, early adopter price tag. I’d guess at least 25-35% higher than the competition which ranges anywhere from $299-$499 for a decently spec’d Netbook. 

This is a story to watch, and adds some spice to an otherwise dull first quarter of 2009 for tech products.

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