Analyst: Apple Could Unveil Netbook In 2009



Apple could release an $800 netbook in 2009, Piper Jaffray’s Gene Munster told investors Tuesday. Munster is just the latest advising the Cupertino, Calif. computer maker to offer an inexpensive laptop.

Although CEO Steve Jobs has poo-poohed talk of a netbook, dismissing the growing trend as just a “nascent market,” Munster believes Apple has the perfect platform: the MacBook Air.

In a note to clients, the Apple watcher said Apple could release an 11-inch version of its MacBook Air notebook and sell the unit for between $800 to $1,000.

Monday, Apple’s share price jumped 12 percent boosted by analyst opinion that sales of MacBooks could overcome any drop in demand for Mac desktops or iPods.

In spite of talk by some, such as Bernstein Research’s Toni Sacconaghi, that Apple must introduce a lower-priced product to meet the demands of the depressed economy, Munster said Apple is selling more $1,200 aluminum MacBooks than its $999 white plastic entry models.

Munster also suggested Apple could offer a sub-$199 iPhone without 3G or GPS. As competition from RIM and others heats up in the smartphone market, Apple needs to follow its iPod strategy, offering several tiers of iPhones, the Piper Jaffray analyst wrote.

As the December fiscal quarter nears, Apple may announce the iPhone will be available in 73 countries by the end of the year with 989 million worldwide subscribers, according to Munster.


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22 responses to “Analyst: Apple Could Unveil Netbook In 2009”

  1. Martijn says:

    I have always failed to understand why anyone would (a) listen and (b) pay so called ‘analysts’. Going to a gypsy fortune teller on the local festival has as much predictive value. Come on, can we please stop this no-news?

  2. firesign says:

    i should have been an analyst. must be nice to be wrong 98% of the time and not get fired.

  3. Cowardly Bastard says:

    I’m not sure where to really post this, but you guys really need to work on all the Flash/Java/Javascript that is bogging down your site. I enjoy reading it, but lately I’ve been put off by the abysmal load times as the piles of Java eat up my time.

  4. Dann says:

    I disagree with the idea that Apple should market a netbook at all, to the point of outlining and explaining my views in this article.


  5. Bill Olson says:

    This is where so many people are wrong. What Apple should do is double the width of the iPod so that the screen is twice as big. I would buy that for $400 or $500 dollars. Don’t do anything else with it. Just double it in size and have everything else exactly the same. I think it would be a huge seller.

  6. phoenix says:

    I’m with Firesign – I wonder often about the motivation of many analysts to make the statements they make, and the PR machine behind each one. Usually it’s the analysts with the most effective PR campaigns that actually get heard, whether their suppositions make sense or not. Sometimes it’s about who can circulate the most press releases.

    That being said however, I don’t think Apple’s about to introduce a netbook by any stretch. Hell, they essentially have one already, and it’s called the iPod Touch. Want cellular net access? It’s called the iPhone.

    In any event, I think it’s not very prudent to complain about the source of the article – analysts will say lots of things. But what do WE, the Cult, think? Posts like this keep us talking about – at the very least – why analysts are idiots and netbooks aren’t in Apple’s business profile and why they shouldn’t (or should?) be. :D

  7. imajoebob says:

    I’d like “Self-Promotional Stabs In the Dark” for $800 please Alex.

  8. Frank Cioffi says:

    Gene Munster was the first analyst to “get” that the iPod was going to he a huge success, and he’s been the most accurate historically, leaving his peers at Merrill and other analyst firms in the dust. He’s worth your time.

  9. .albert says:

    A sub $199 iPhone without 3G or GPS would be a terrible move by Apple. Perhaps Gene is in danger of forgetting that markets beyond US shores not only exist, but are essential to a product’s success, especially in economically depressed times. Overseas, 3G is virtually standard (Europe, Asia) — a 2G phone would run the risk of being drastically inferior to the bulk of handsets on the market.

  10. Darcy McGee says:

    Piper’s been hyping this $800 price point since before the Sept. “Let’s Rock” event. I’ve yet to see any evidence to suggest that it’s based on any reality, and yet “reputable” news publications keep printing it.

    So does Wired.

  11. Bill says:

    I agree that “NetBook” may not be the way to go for Apple in fear of changing the way they are perceived.

    However, perhaps:
    1) tablet may work. Not a low end netbook.
    2) docking station for the iPhone to give it a larger screen and keyboard (like folio but integrated into one).