At last count, Apple
Go ahead, type your hate mail. I'm inviting it with my facetiousness. But that doesn't mean I'm wrong. Take a Dell
Those are all important if you're doing serious work or creating serious documents. Of course, if you were, you'd use a fully loaded laptop -- not a netbook.
Dell says as much at its promo page for the Inspiron Mini 9 netbook. Quoting its highlighted customer review:
Small enough to carry everywhere and enough flexibility to be truly useful. Or just think of it as a super-sized BlackBerry or iPhone. Battery life is a full four hours. [Emphasis added.]
And here's how Wikipedia defines a netbook:
A netbook is a light-weight, low-cost, energy-efficient, highly portable laptop suitable for web browsing, email and general purpose applications -- primarily noted for its small form factor. [Emphasis added.]
Or, in simpler terms, it's an oversized smartphone without the phone. Which means that Apple, Nokia
Some of that software caters to our silly side, like the mega-moneymaker iFart Mobile. Others offer serious value, such as Oracle's
Certainly, lower prices would attract attention and sales. But let's also remember that the price-cutters are asking Apple to stop being Apple. Imagine for a moment if the company did. How likely would the Mac maker be to create another new platform, a category-killer that could grow well beyond its initial design? Not very, I think. Innovators create platforms; skinflints don't.
Apple isn't a skinflint, and it shouldn't try to be one. It should forget netbooks. The iPhone is already as good as one, and it'll only improve as the App Store expands its offerings. It's the platform that the much-mocked Newton hoped to be but never was, and it's the precursor to my theory for Apple's Next Great Thing -- a Wi-Fi tablet Mac based on the Safari browser. If I'm right, look for it in 2009.
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Yes, Fool contributor Tim Beyers really did download iFart Mobile. What else would you expect from an analyst for a newsletter called "Rule Breakers?" He credits forecaster Paul Saffo for the tablet Mac idea, and Tim had stock and options positions in Apple, and stock positions in Nokia and Oracle, at the time of publication.
Check out Tim's portfolio holdings and Foolish writings, or connect with him on Twitter as @milehighfool. The Motley Fool is also on Twitter as @TheMotleyFool. Its disclosure policy could type more accurately on an iPhone if only its fingers were smaller.