Hot on the heels of yesterday’s rumours claiming Apple may release a touchscreen iMac and that it is developing video eyeglasses for its media players, this morning’s speculation claims the company will introduce a $599 ‘netbook’ in early 2009.
Naturally, this particular claim – an enduring notion that’s been up and down all year – comes from the analysts at Technology Business Research, where Ezra Gottheil has put their name to the idea.
Hedging bets somewhat, the analyst also claims Apple won’t be taking on existing incumbents in the space, such as Asus, with the release, though how it won’t be taking them on is open to additional speculation.
“Apple is facing the possibility that as the economic news gets worse, that they’re increasingly pricing themselves out of an important market,” said Gottheil. “Economic conditions are accelerating this,” he told Computerworld.
The analyst is pretty short on detail, predicting only that the systems will offer large screens in comparison to other netbooks, and will be light and thin.
Netbooks made up around 5 per cent of US sales in Q2, the report claims, and with credit crunch and recession woes gathering strength as the global economy heads into melt-down, Apple may be forced to play in the space in order to attract users and boost market share in a price conscious market.
“Because Apple kept the price of its entry-level Macs higher than that of the competition during a long period of price decreases in the industry, Apple has essentially removed itself from the product category of entry-priced PC,” Gottheil said.