Taiwanese paper predicts Mac netbook

Apple seemed to show almost callous indifference to the economic climate last week, introducing refreshed Mac mini and iMac desktops with starting prices as steep as ever. To be fair, cheap PCs and tight margins aren’t really Apple’s thing. That’s why we’re surprised to see DigiTimes say Apple has already picked suppliers for an upcoming netbook.

Quoting a separate report by the Commercial Times, DigiTimes writes that Apple has chosen Wintek to supply touch panels and Quanta to produce the actual system. (Quanta is one of Taiwan’s biggest contract manufacturers.) Shipments will begin in the third quarter of this year, so Apple could have the netbook ready in time for the back-to-school sales rush. You know, if this report holds any water at all.

DigiTimes doesn’t offer any specifics, but Apple’s past comments give some hints of what a Mac netbook might look like. In January, Apple COO Tim Cook said of sub-$500 netbooks, "[those products] are principally based on hardware that’s much less powerful than we think customers want, software technology that is not good, cramped keyboards, small displays." Steve Jobs also promised "some pretty interesting ideas" should his company join that market.

Couple those statements with DigiTimes’ report, and a device centered on touch input seems almost like a given. Considering Apple’s track record, though, you can probably count on a Mac netbook costing considerably more than typical 10" Eee PCs.

Comments closed
    • TaBoVilla
    • 14 years ago

    it would be fun to have a peek at apple’s prototypes/experimentals labs.

    I bet they have like ARM powered nvidia 3D chipped multitouch 8 inch keyboard-less tablets as thin as an ipod called iGendas or somethin’, with a low power lcd to function as a eBook reader stereo speakers and pfff tons of other stuff. . they probably sit on a round conference table and say. . “meh too advanced . . . . meh too advanced for its time. . meeh. . to cool, we don’t have the manufacturing capabilities to feed the market demand we are gonna to get if this thing is released. . ”

    • eitje
    • 14 years ago

    hey, this is as good as anyone else’s guess! 😉

    • blacksteel
    • 14 years ago

    My prediction is that it’s going to be two touch screens similar to a large Nintendo DS where one screen is for mouse pad and keyboard, then the other screen for viewing. The price point…. $799 because of recent changes in price with the Macbook. I would be very surprised if it was $599.

    • deruberhanyok
    • 14 years ago

    That’s some… interesting… math.

    • StashTheVampede
    • 14 years ago

    A larger itouch, right? Expand the size of the screen and have a single button — embedded processor, embedded os, etc.

    • eitje
    • 14 years ago

    Mac Pro ($2500) = MacBook Pro ($2000) x 1.25
    iMac ($1500) = MacBook ($1300) x 1.15
    Mac Mini ($600) = *[

    • ApockofFork
    • 14 years ago

    As other people have netbook in apple’s context is just the form factor. It will probably be cheaper than the lowest priced macbook but that will be mostly incidental I imagine. Also I doubt the ideas of a touch screen are true. We would have heard some rumors about an update to OS X to actually support a touch screen. Its something that won’t happen without a major, major announcement at some expo.

    • kamikaziechameleon
    • 14 years ago

    the keyboard constraints of a netbook would be well addressed with a key board.

    • adisor19
    • 14 years ago

    I second the LV Core 2 Duo CPU. This netbook will pretty much be competition to Sony’s P series but it will trounce it in both performance AND performance/$. It won’t be too hard seeing that the P uses an Atom chip. I think it will be closer to 800$ however and it will also be the day the old MacBook plastic design will go EOL.

    Adi

    • Bombadil
    • 14 years ago

    I miss having a touch screen, but I won’t miss the Atom in this form factor–it’s just too slow and its platform too power hungry. A $100 extra for an ULV Celeron 722 instead of the Atom N2x0 is money well spent.

    • UberGerbil
    • 14 years ago

    I don’t know, an “Air Slate” aka “unpocketable iPhone” aka “You can pay extra for a plug-in physical keyboard” might be kind of interesting. If anybody could convince people that’s a good idea, it would be Apple.

    • no51
    • 14 years ago

    I’m thinking it’ll be something akin to an ipod touch, netbook sized.

    • derFunkenstein
    • 14 years ago

    well it’ll certainly be north of $500 as Apple said in October that they couldn’t meet Dell’s $500 price point. You might see $599, but your $699 is probably closer to true.

    And a real LV Core 2 CPU, not an Atom.

    • ludi
    • 14 years ago

    Translation: Apple is about to build a touchscreen ultra-ultraportable.

    Not a dime less than $699, I’d wager. Anyone else in the pool for a price estimate?

    • derFunkenstein
    • 14 years ago

    keep saying it, eventually it’ll come true. Probably with some sort of weird innovation that you don’t necessarily want. Such as a touch screen.

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