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.