Will Apple Come Out With A Netbook?

Over at the AppleInsider there is some speculation that Apple may be planning a netbook type computer. What is also interesting is that if a netbook is part of Apple’s plan, it could be in the sub-$500 price point. This in itself would be surprising since traditionally Apple systems have also been more expensive that their PC counter parts. But times are changing.

For those of use who were around in the 70’s and suffered through the high inflation, long waits in the gas lines, and who also expereinced the rececessions that followed, there is one thing we may all agreed with. It appears that this current recession [depression], is worse than what we have expereinced before. With this point in mind, higher end products may suffer from a lack of sales. People may hang on to their stuff longer to save a few bucks. The AppleInsider states:

The company has until now insisted on keeping its prices largely unchanged and instead has upgraded the specifications of its systems to maintain that price. That has kept its average selling price high but has also all but locked the company out of the entry-level and developing-world markets; these are now being joined by cash-strapped customers even within the US, making it that much less likely any of them will pay Apple’s minimum asking price. At $999, the least expensive MacBook is twice or more the cost of the most frugal Windows alternatives, Gottheil says.

Gottheil dismisses the notion of an artificial premium on Apple products, noting that they often compete well for the features, but is certain that the Cupertino, Calif.-based company has reached a breaking point where perceived quality can’t override genuine financial woes from customers.

“It is too much to ask consumers to pay more than twice as much for a PC in these times,” the analyst says.

The article also states that:

Crucially, he also takes to heart Jobs’ assertion that $500 systems are typically “junk” and believes that Apple will price the system at $599. The figure would be just low enough to draw customers who would pass over the plastic MacBook but high enough to avoid the risk Apple’s co-founder perceives in dropping the price particularly low.

OK. How about a $599 Apple netbook? Will there be any takers?

Comments welcome.