updated 09:45 am EST, Tue November 25, 2008
Piper on netbook plans
Apple will likely produce a netbook within the next two years, says analyst Gene Munster of Piper Jaffray. Although the research firm has been predicting the release of a more compact Apple portable for some time, and at one point proposed a release towards the end of 2008, it now suggests that the earliest an Apple netbook could come is sometime in 2009, in the form of a scaled-down MacBook Air.
The system would likely measure 11 inches instead of the current model's 13, says Munster, and cost between $800 and $1,000, rather than $1,800. Apple's alternate option is said to be some type of tablet Mac, but there is said to be no indication one could arrive before 2010. The iPhone in fact accomplishes much of what a netbook is capable of, according to Munster, leaving less incentive to compete with companies like ASUS and HP.
With regards to the existing Mac business, Munster notes that Apple is still predicted to ship between 2.5 and 2.7 million Macs during the current quarter, and likely in excess of 2.6 million due to healthy sales of the new aluminum MacBooks. The aluminum models are said to be selling better than the $999 plastic MacBook at retail, but the latter is expected to do better in the education realm.