Apple’s Net Book Strategy

In the weeks and months prior to the announcement of the iPad there were all sorts of “wish lists” floating around and many of them were hoping for some sort of “tablet computer” to eclipse the netbook product line. Steve Jobs basically panned this idea, saying that netbooks were slow etc. etc. Apple’s answer was of course a tablet but not necessarily a computer tablet; no hard drive or physical keyboard unless you are using the dock. It was a mixed bag when it comes to fulfilling anyone’s wish list.

Now we are at iPad 2 and everything has changed and Steve has proved his concept was spot on. Imagine that. The iPad succeeds because it doesn’t compete exactly but creates a whole new way of interacting with our stuff, just like the iPod did.

But what about those die hard fans who really wanted a netbook. Well Apple actually has created one, it’s called the MacBook Air. One might argue the 11″ Air is still a tad bigger than some netbooks but you would be hard pressed to find a slimmer, more trim netbook anywhere. So what is the difference? The MacBook Air is a much healthier system, with flash memory that boots faster than you can sip a Latté and of course it costs a lot more. The moral of this story being that if you want speed, reliability in a compact form and you want it to “just work” then you buy from Apple and pay the price for all that speed, reliability and convenience.

You may be thinking, that’s not fair and this guy is nuts but the lesson in all of this is that Apple tells us as much by what they don’t say or call things. If you want to know what Apple’s priorities are; go to their website and look at the tabs. They are in the content delivery business. Yes, they can do spreadsheets and vertical market stuff and a million other things but they have done something that few other companies have. They’ve made it simple. Maybe not in the way You wished but simple none the less.

George Eastman said “we will make photography as simple as the pencil” Apple has taken the computer and delivered on that promise.

I must confess to a bit of tongue in cheek with this but this kind of thinking takes over while I’m driving.


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