back to article Apple loses students to netbooks and Windows

When US students return to their classrooms this fall, few of them will be lugging along new Apple notebooks. That's the conclusion reached by a small survey conducted recently by consumer-electronics ecommerce website Retrevo. Of the 300-plus students surved by Retrevo, 34 percent of laptop buyers will purchase netbooks, and …


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  1. Anonymous Coward


    "Very small screens" - not like the iphone then?

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Gimme a break

    A survey of a whole 300? What a joke.

  3. Mike Moyle


    Just for context, does anyone have similar figures for actual student laptop sales in the run-up to school from last year?

    At a projected 17% of the student laptop market, is this significantly down for that market, year-on-year?

    I did a(n admittedly) quick search on El Reg but couldn't find anything, offhand.

  4. Mectron

    could it be?

    Peoples are starting to smart up and realise that Apple is pure oveprice crap!

  5. OkKTY8KK5U

    This seems pretty much normal

    Apple has a pretty long policy of simply not caring whether it seriously competes with anything else on the market, though, at least when it comes to computers. Their pricing structure obviously reflects making more per box rather than more boxes total, and their target demographic has never been what they might think of as "the lowest common denominator." Apple appears genuinely not to want a huge market share, end of story. I wouldn't call that hubris, just an unusual business model.

  6. LaeMi Qian
    Jobs Horns

    Apple has always been our-way-or-the-highway

    And sometimes they hit a really good product (Apple][, original Mac, iPhone), or just have good/lucky marketing for an also-ran product (iPod) and do very nicely thank you. But they have long-since abandoned the institutional/education environments - they will still sell us the kit, but it is wholly unsuited for big, mixed, managed environments and it isn't worth Apple's time to fix that (they are a business, not a charity, and supporting niche clients is not profitable, so I see their point even if it doesn't help my user base).

    Apple is more a CE company these days. A quite successful one, so good on them, I guess. But I am in the market for a cheap netbook: I /want/ a small screen and keyboard for out-and-about -- I have a 27" monitor on my quad-core desktop for the heavy work.

  7. tjdennis

    Netbooks can do almost anything

    For a student or even office worker, a netbook can do almost anything. I have XP on Acer 150 with Office 2007 so I can work on almost any kind of document needed. I even have Visual Studio 2008 installed and it works perfectly fine for doing software development.

    For entertainment, I can easily play any mpeg4/divx/xvid file without any problems. You can hook up external speakers easily enough if you'd like some good volume. Or, get a USB sound card if you want good stereo. The only time I ever see a stutter is if I'm trying to play over wireless. The hard drive (160gb) is large enough to put all my music and favorite videos on. And if I want more space, I can always attach external drives.

    If I want to sit down and do some real work, I can very quickly plug in a USB keyboard/mouse and a 24" monitor. Close the lid on the netbook and work as if it's a desktop. The 1.66Ghz Atom processor in this thing is still faster than the last Dell laptop I had from work.

    Apple really missed the boat on this one. There is no reason a student shouldn't get a netbook instead. Mine was only $400CDN and the best purchase I ever made.

  8. Antidisestablishmentarianist

    Netbook schmetbook

    Early in the year we bought a 'netbook' (the now defunt Dell Mini 12) as we couldn't afford a MacBook at the time. Well what a stupid call that was. The Dell is so freakin slow that it's now gathering dust in the corner. Stupid Atoms. Shoulda got a MacBook with a processor that can actually do stuff.

  9. Ty
    Jobs Halo


    You guys.

    It's a SURVEY! Of 300 people! lol

    Wait for the real figures you numbskulls.

  10. dave 93

    The iphone is Apple's netbook

    Every other kid has one, or an ipod touch, and it lets you do email, web, facebook et al, without the school/uni firewall blocking you. (The silly Flash embargo is a pain). Iphone costs the same as a netbook, but the margins are higher and it IS a neat bit of technology to have in your pocket ALL the time. For note taking, you can record the lecture and take pix of things too.

  11. Piers

    And so that kind of thing I think many people will not be happy with

    ah - but many will, cause they want small over all. I have a powerbook and an iMac. And a Netbook. And one day I might even put OSX on it - apparently there are quite a few people who have already and love them!

  12. xsquared_uk

    ...yeah right.

    ...and all the students will be wearing brogues and will dress in clothes handed down from their uncle. Oh wait, I forgot - students have more money than sense and are more likely to buy something just because of the label than any other group in society. Logic FAIL.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    When I was a student back in the early part of this decade, Microsoft UK gave us Computer Scientists a free copy of Windows XP - which I'm still using (because Vista causes retching and diarrhoea). Did it help me buy Microsoft products? Did it hell. But it did help me along the path of more ... "genuine" software than poor students often use.

    Would it work if Apple did the same thing with Mac OS? As a non-Mac user, I actually think it would work better, and more people would convert to Apple. But, then, they'd still need to buy Apple hardware to run it.

    And therein lies a major stumbling block.

  14. Anonymous Coward

    Results of Another Tiny Survey....

    In a survey of 1 person, the following results were obtained:

    plan to buy Windows laptop: 0%

    plan to buy Mac laptop: 0%

    plan to buy Linux-based laptop: 0%

    plan to buy Windows desktop: 0%

    plan to buy Mac desktop: 0%

    plan to buy Linux-based desktop: 0%

    plan to buy netbook (any OS): 0%

    plan to buy tablet (any OS): 0%

    plan to buy other computing device: 0%

    Conclusion: computers are on the way out and the industry will evaporate in 2 years.

    The above is about as meaningful as the Retrevo study. 300 people is not enough to cover a variety of universities/schools/colleges, age groups, educational field, affluence, geographical location, etc. Such surveys are the marketing equivalent of pseudo-science: bunkum at best and dangerous at worst.

  15. rho
    Jobs Halo

    Revive the Duo!

    Yeah, not likely, but the Powerbook Duo was a really awesome setup. Expensive, sure, but all Macs were spendy then.

    Not that that would fix the issue, which is cost. A MacDuo and a Dock would be at least as spendy as a Macbook. But I sure would dig it.

  16. Anonymous Coward

    And the prize for pointing out the bleeding obvious goes to...

    this survey for announcing that people with less money than a product costs are less likely to buy that product.

  17. ThomH

    Lucky they dropped 'computer' from the name?

    Just as Apple without the Apple 2 was once unimaginable, I think they'd do fine without the Mac. Makes me wonder: how much happier would people that despise the company be if they had no OS, no computers and focussed on making their Windows software half decent? Jobs may have a 20+ year history with the NextStep stuff, but he's also shown himself to be pragmatic to the point of ruthless.

  18. John Molloy

    I tell you what...

    ... we wait to the end of the quarter and then see how Apple have done.

    Last quarter we had Microsoft bosses doing cartwheels in the corridors because of how well their Laptop Hunter ads were doing. And then we got the figures. Microsoft sales right down. Apple sales through the roof.

    August is the silly season and a survey of 300 people seems to get massive traction. It will, of course, be long forgotten when the actual figures hit.

    Oh and dave93, yes the ipod touch and the iphone is Apple's netbook and the current student offer running here in the States gives you an iPod touch when you buy an Apple Laptop. Two machines for the price of one.

  19. ZenCoder

    Most used computers are slower than netbooks.

    A lot of people are using 3-6 year old computers running Windows XP with maybe 512 MB of ram and a 40-80GB HD.

    Why because they don't play games, they don't edit video and it does everything they need it to do.

    I helped a friend pick out a ASUS EEE PC 1005HA. When its on her desk its hooked up to full sized, keyboard, mouse, monitor, speaker and its about twice as fast as the old computer it replaced. Mobile you can watch full screen streaming video for over 6 hours or take notes for over 10.

    If I was going to school I'd buy one of these in a heart beat so I didn't have to lug around my 13" Macbook.

  20. Watashi

    Changing demographics

    When I were a lad, back in the early 90s, the only students who could afford computers were well-off enough to buy a Mac. Macs were trendy amongst the rich students and many Universities had largely Mac based computer labs.

    Today, Windows based laptops are so cheap that many more students can afford them, but the Mac equivalent is still pricey. I imagine the same type of student who bought Macs 10 to 15 years ago are still buying them in the same numbers.

    It's not really a change in attitudes to Apple computers - just a change in the demographic of the average laptop buyer.

  21. Anonymous Coward


    Actually what I think they care about is making $. They seem to do this very well with ~3 (or 5) % of the market.

  22. Kevin 6


    Are you the kind of person that would buy a Pinto and expects it to handle as well, look, and drive as fast as a Ferrari?

    I will admit Atoms are not too good unless you have at LEAST 2 gigs of ram.

    Also when you buy Dell (or ANY manufacturer for that matter) if you didn't know it the first thing you do is erase all partitions and reinstall windows from scratch because Dell likes to put a ton of garbage that you do not need, and will probably never use on them that hogs all the memory and processor cycles. My sister owns the same dell model as you have, I installed Xp on it myself, and she has never complained once about it being slow but then she also knew what to expect.

    I also own 2 atom desktop boards Ones a original atom that I use as a low power NAS, web, and mail server that has a light load. And the other is a dual core that I use for a multimedia PC that can play videos at 720p resolution and under(that I've tried).

    and ZenCoder I agree most people that ask me what they should buy I usually tell them get a atom based netbook or desktop seeing they use it mainly for E-mail, light web browsing, and word processing.

    and as a side note most students buy windows laptops due to their colleges and universities not supporting mac, and linux on their network so its windows XP or no connection.

  23. Martin 6 Silver badge

    @This seems pretty much normal

    Apple are mostly afraid of competing with Apple. They don't want somebody buying a $500 Apple netbook instead of a $1500 Apple notebook, somebody buying a Windows netbook instead of a Widnows notebook helps them - anything that makes MS looks bad.

    As to the 'we can't build it for $500'. They could buy a Dell mini 9 or 10 for $200-250 retail, put a sticker over the Dell logo, pay $130 for Leopard and download hackintosh - and still have a $170 profit.

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    NOT Interested

    Jobs once said the same about selling iPods without screens (shuffle/nano). Hummmm?

  25. Michael C

    sample size of 300

    OK, so some idiot runs a story based on a sample of select students in a select area regarding what they do or don't intend to go back to school with, and they come up with NET BOOK? OK, the notebooks don't even come CLOSE to meeting the requirements provided by most universities in the first place, and I know of no school listing a NetBook as an acceptable machine for any incoming freshman class. As if that alone was not a clue, IT WAS A SAMPLE SAIZE OF 300! That would be an invalid sample size even if the article was about the incoming class of a SINGLE university, and has no potential bearing on the habits of actual people going to schools.

    The average notebook price purchase for a generic person is an under $700 machine, students average price is several hundred dollars more. University laptop requirements are typically significantly inflated, require the business (pro) operating system, not home or basic, and are typically intended to be machines that will actually last the full 4 years of a student;s career in college.

    For reference, please see Clemson University IT support statement, about halfway down the page, regarding netbooks:

    If you show up with a netbook, University IT staff will likely send you away without allowing your machine on their network, and without access to required campus resources.

    I found a similar statement at USC, Hofstra, SUNY, Furman, MIT, Miami, and more in quick searches. Students coming in to school are requires to purchase supported notebooks as most universities. At every one I checked, MULTIPLE Mac models were listed, most had 1 or 2 dell options, some required you to order preconfigured machines with university specific pre-installed OS images!

  26. RA

    Just wait till the "smartbooks" arrive

    If Apple's having trouble already with netbooks, just wait until "smartbooks" hit the market around year-end, with all-day battery life, HD multimedia and 3G cellular connectivity.

    For more on smartbooks, check out:

  27. David Walker

    You are all idiots

    El Reg commenters are all tards.

    I am really mad! Every BMW is way too expensive. All other cars have four wheels why do they keeps selling theirs for so much money? What a bad business model! I'm going to buy a Ford or a Dodge they are way less expensive even if they aren't BMW. In fact I think I'll make a commercial where I take a teenage girl and her mom and go to a bunch of different car lots like Toyota, BMW and Honda and then good old GM and choose a nice cheap Pontiac and gloat about how much money I save "seems like a lot of money just for the brand."


  28. Martin Owens

    Old Computers

    We refurbish a ton of old 1Ghz, 512MB ram machines into Ubuntu machines. I just want to know why the bleedin hell all these students are being led astray into buying slow, old, crippled windows netbooks and not fast, efficient, complete and competent Ubuntu netbooks.

    tut, tut, netbook makers.

    As for Apple? Irrelevant.

  29. Anonymous Coward

    Another Apple-Hater Bait Article

    I would be more concerned with all the time futzing with a laptop steals from actually learning something.

  30. Chris iverson

    @David Walker

    Thank you for sounding off in the general direction of El Regs' readership. I rather enjoyed the statement of obviousness regarding the purchase of computers is akin to automobiles.

    *takes Captain Obvious bars and applies to left breast of jacket*

    And surely someone of your calibre can surely understand that we are all elitist about our chosen platform/s for which we play, work, and relax in front of. Now I please request that if you are to poke fun at us for arguing over a survey that is lacking at best in scientific basis you please find something more creative than F*cktard. What about sniveling twits, or perhaps snobby snobertons, or the steve jobs resistance front. please keep those in mind for future flame wars



  31. Wrenchy

    How is this different

    than any other back to school period? Students generally do not have the $$ to make premium purchases of the fruity variety. I have a Dell 10V that runs Windows XP, Ubuntu 9.10 NBR, and... oh yeah, Mac OSX 10.5

    This is the best machine I've owned. Best of all three worlds!

  32. Bad Beaver

    pointless exercise in bullshitting for publicity

    "At a time when many people are experiencing economic hardship, having a new Apple laptop isn’t a necessity"

    You know what, that's spot on! In fact, I would rather replace my Apple desktop instead of getting a new Apple laptop. And why is that? Because I already have an Apple laptop that absolutely gets the job done for me and will continue to do so for a while. But then I'm not a student, do I count at all? No? Did you really need a "survey" to see that folks on a restrictive budget, regardless of whether they are students or not, will in most cases tend to get something that fills their needs on that budget instead of opting for a premium brand product? Me neither.

    Face it, this is nothing but pointless drivel looking for the attention of fanboys of all convictions.

  33. JB


    spokesfolks?? Is this another El Regism?

  34. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @ Michael C

    wow, ""Netbooks" are not a viable option as your primary laptop." no reason given, but hey it's a university so they must be right, right?

    I wonder how much dell and co paid them, and how much commission they get when someone buys a laptop throught their referal schemes.

  35. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The customer is NOT always right, and you don't get that.

    You commented in your article:

    All well and good, but it appears that Apple has little regard for the old adage that "The customer is always right."

    This has never been an effective strategy in retail since it is not true. The more accurate adage, for the true student of marketing is associated with the fact that the customer is NOT always right and indeed they are often wrong, HOWEVER, the customer is ALL there is. I am surprised that a journalist, writing in the marketing space, does not realize what has been stated by Paul Hawken over a decade, if not TWO decades ago. Understanding that the customer is ALL THERE IS, is the reason that Apple is the kind of company that it is, because it will take care of the customer, by NOT making a product "just because people think the customer is always right" but by making a BETTER product, since the customer is all there is and making that a better product than could ever be considered "right." okpj

  36. Ty
    Jobs Halo


    You poor soul.

    You may THINK you are running 10.5. You have a half-arsed sort of working version. Good luck updating to 10.6, and I can assure you running those three OS on my Mac Pro would spank your sorry little crappily-built Dell.

    You are also breaking Apple's EULA.

    The ONLY way to run multiple OS 100% and faster than anyone else - do it on Mac hardware.

    Game over wannabees!

  37. Anonymous Coward

    Student discount

    Students actually get an 11% discount anyway so Renovo's minimum price is actually all wrong. Also did they fail to mention the Mac Mini to 49% who will buy full-sized machines. Possibly not the most economically practical purchase solution but it's still an option (and with a price less than the 'contrast' of $949).

    Anyway, idiots. I couldn't give a sh*t if a student buys a Mac or not. It doesn't affect my purchasing decisions.

  38. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    I wouldn't buy a netbook to "take notes in class" on because they do have tiny cramped keyboards. You need a bigger laptop with a proper keyboard.

    Whether it's a Mac or a Windows machine is entirely up to you, mind.

  39. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Boo freaking hoo

    >The tiny size of the survey and that fact that Retrevo links to far more netbook-selling sites than it does Apple resellers colors the legitimacy of its figures,

    Boo, hoo... the figures don't match what *I* feel about laptops. They must be flawed.

  40. Anonymous Coward

    @Martin Owens

    Yes Martin. As irrelevant as Linux and the approx. 2,000,000,000 other Linux distro's that have been replaced by Windows XP on netbooks perhaps?

  41. richard 69
    Jobs Halo

    @ rho

    that's exactly what the new product is, a 'tablet' that you use in a mobile fashion through the day then bring home and 'dock' into a station to be used as a desktop....wait and see....

  42. stu 4
    Black Helicopters

    @Michael C

    jesus that is scary. There is one thing UK uni's have going for them - if they tried to recommend only certain laptops as acceptable (with the large bungs they no doubt get from the corporations) they would get ripped to bits. That is downright pathetic.

    I have 6 netbooks - they do tasks from being HD media centres, to being my holiday osx machine for editing videos and pictures. The hyperthreaded 1.6gz atom is fast enough to do all this no bother at all.

  43. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    It's Apple

    Who gives a shit!?

  44. gjw
    Jobs Halo

    In two weeks time...

    Apple will have had its 15 minutes of fame. The fanbois should get used to it already.

  45. JAYDMF


    12inch G4 powerbook not close to a net book then?

  46. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    This is UK based - but the outcome is the same...

    When we looked at getting a laptop for taking notes and research we went to a local computer store to look over the various laptops/netbooks etc.

    I was quite taken with the Macbook 13" MB990 - until I saw the price - at £899.

    However also looked at the Netbooks (which were running various linuxes/Windows XP/Vista). Most seemed slow due to the Atom CPU. We decided to go for a cheap dual core in the end and looked at Acer/Random makes and eventually settled for a Sony Vaio which we paid £399 for. It's been a superb laptop (once I uninstalled all the extra applications) and even with an issue can't fault Sony Support who fixed the issue quickly and without any fuss.

    Apple need to reduce their prices for entry Macbooks. I would have considered one at around £399-£499 as I think the user interface is generally superb. If they reduced then they would build on the student market.

  47. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I don't get it

    When did universities stop providing you with controlled computing resources and start expecting you to buy your own??

    When i went, and did a pretty hardcore IT course, you did all of your programming work in computer labs. If you needed to do general net research type documents etc, there were general purpose computer clusters.

    Having your own machine, that could connect to the university network, was merely a convenience not an outright requirement for the course!!

  48. Wrenchy


    I don't have to "update", I'll just download a hacked 10.6 for free and install it. No Apple tax for me thank you!

    If it makes you feel any better, I normally boot in to Linux anyway for important things like online banking, web surfing and emails. System security for me is a top priority. Windows and Mac OS just don't cut it. Sorry!

    When I want to run some of my business apps that are Windows, boot XP. And when I just want to dick around doing artsy fartsy stuff that is just not that important to most people, boot OSX.

    So I am happy with my Dell Mini 10V. It does all I need it to do. As far as it being "crappily-built", for $329, I think I'm getting my money's worth as the build quality, for the price, is excellent. Hold one and try it out and you'll see.

    But the most important fact here is, Apple is not getting 1 cent out of me. Have a nice day!



  49. blackworx
    Dead Vulture


    GASP! Students in "refusing to buy overpriced stuff" shocker!

  50. sleepy


    US students who buy their Macbook from an Apple retail or online store get a free iPod Touch. They aren't so stupid as to go to the third party resellers surveyed.

    All this survey shows is that self-interest is alive and well among US students. If they want a Wintel craptop and have half a brain, they'll first pick up the Macbook and iPod from Apple, then sell them for a profit on eBay, then go to the third party reseller for a better third class laptop experience with their increased funds.

    Anyway, for those wondering why Apple doesn't sell cheap notebooks, Sun Tzu wrote: "Victorious warriors win first and then go to war, while defeated warriors go to war first and then seek to win." Apple may go to war against Wintel at some point, but first they will no doubt "build a golden bridge for their enemies to retreat over" (Scipio apparently wrote that).

  51. Anonymous Coward


    "Apple may go to war against Wintel at some point, but first they will no doubt "build a golden bridge for their enemies to retreat over"."

    With less than 5% of the OS market share that would have to be one fucking wide bridge. Apple stand no hope in business and very little chance in homes outside the US.

    Unbundle OS X and they may gain up to 15% - but I doubt it.

  52. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Irony and Apple.

    I was once going to buy an Apple MacBook, because it wasn't too pricy at £600 at the time and wasn't too big - only a 13" PowerPC based system. It was a period where Apples laptop marketshare was growing.

    But then Apple got rid of them, so I didn't bother. Netbooks came along a year or so later, problem solved.

    So isn't it ironic then that Apple officials come out with stuff like this:

    "When I look at what is being sold in the netbook space today, I see cramped keyboards, terrible software, junky hardware, very small screens... not something that we would put the Mac brand on, quite frankly. It's not a space as it exists today that we're interested in."

    So basically, he's finding reasons to slag off exactly what it was that was giving Apple good growth in the laptop market - small systems that weren't too big to lug around. Instead we now have jokes like the MacBook Air which fill no niche and are rediculously expensive. It's also quite funny when you read those comments in the context of the iPhone.

    Apple is a company that makes things differently, sometimes that works as with the iPod and the iPhone, other times, they just don't get it as with the MacBook Air and the dropping of their smaller laptops. They keep going based on those successes, but they are a company that is self-limiting in that they ignore or outright fail to embrace countless opportunities that would, by now, have let them catch up in size with Microsoft.

    Their arrogance is their worst enemy, it's a massive limitation on growth for them, and ultimately with too many wrong steps it could one day lead to their demise altogether as it nearly did in the 80s and again in the 90s.

  53. RichyS

    SHOCK: Students are cheap.

    In other news: students buy cheap lager and QC Sherry rather than Chateux Neuf du Pape.

  54. Karim Bourouba
    Paris Hilton

    I would buy an Apple Netbook

    Does it matter if Apple makes a netbook or not? I mean, look at current netbooks. A lot of them come with a Linux installed, or the owner installs a Linux after buying it.

    Does Apple really need to produce the hardware? Or do they simply need to produce a netbook centric version of Mac OS instead? And even if they did, would anyone want to buy it?

    Correct me if I am wrong (and buy this I mean piss off to the Apple zealots who will deride me), but isnt the fact that you can buy a small, cheap, portable computer that runs an (often) free OS the drawing factor here? Apple gear is (apparently) more popular for its style as opposed to its content, so would a netbook version of the OS suit?

    And on the note that they dont know how to make a small, cheap computer - just what exactly is the Mac mini then? Are they telling us that it is completely beyond their ability to simply add a screen, keyboard and battery to a Mac mini and call it a netbook? And then there is the iTablet - isnt this already a netbook? FFS, this is silly. So Apple doesnt want to make a device called a Netbook, big deal.

    Paris, because I nearly always use Paris when posting about Apple and its 'Tards.

  55. Michael C


    Yup, not only do they get a free $250 MP3 player, they also get between $50 and $300 off that mac notebook too, and discounts on software, a free printer, and more.

    Most universities think the White Macbook clearly meets their requirements, and a $949 notebook that can plaw WoW, edit video, comes with webcam and bluetooth, and a free iPod and free printer starts sounding like a pretty damned good deal next to the 2 recomended Dell systems (E6400 and 6500, $1094 - 1189), which though have slightly faster CPUs (2.26 vs 2.13, not MUCH faster), they have slower memory and poor graphics in comparison, and half the battery life. and no free ipod or printer... With the discounts available (and counting the free ipod and printer savings) even the 15" macbook pro is cheaper than the recomended Dell systems, and it can also dual boot Windows and Linux too (and at Clemson they'll help you set that up)

    You can't use a NetBook at Clemson not because Dell paid Clemson to say that (i'm talking at the dumbass anonymous coward here), but because the NetBook does NOT meet Clemson's minimum requirements of supporting Vista business or Mac OS X (XP Home or basic is not supported as you require domain authentication as a student to get access to student service systems). Further, Clemson's onsite support staff and department have in stock parts only for reccomended and supported modes, have preconfigured OS images available with all the approriate security software, and are approved to repair those models. If you bring something else, local staff refuses to support the machine, and you have to buy all the licenced software they require. A $200 Netbook, even if it could support the required software would cost over $600 extra to do so....

    I mention Clemson only because it was easy to find their site. I have no association to clemson, I went to a different university...

  56. Bill Norrie

    Made my Day !

    I hate anything with the 'i' label..............and wouldn't touch their overpriced stuff with a barge pole!

  57. Dick Emery

    Well I'm happy

    I have a Samsung N120 Netbook and amd chuffed. Sure it's not the fastest off the block but it does most of the stuff I want on the move. Windows 7, 720P H.264 video in MKV (Using CoreAVC to decode that is) and even plays low resource games (World of Goo, Plants vs Zombies etc).

    It also has a very useable keyboard. My only niggle is the screen viewing angles. But since I am the one using it and not a side viewer who cares!

    I got it to replace me more powerful notebook because of it's extra battery life and light portability plus it was reasonably priced. It really depends on your needs and Apple are just blowing steam because they didn't get in early on the trend.

  58. Anonymous Coward


    "apple hardware", "Wintel", etc. Lol, Apple brand boot-licking fanbois should check a few facts before displaying us -again and again- their appalling ignorance. The hardware is all the same, it is just the price tag which nearly double after having an Apple logo glued on top, and that's just pathetic to still feign to ignore it.

  59. Ivan Headache

    @Karim Bourouba

    "And on the note that they dont know how to make a small, cheap computer - just what exactly is the Mac mini then? Are they telling us that it is completely beyond their ability to simply add a screen, keyboard and battery to a Mac mini and call it a netbook? And then there is the iTablet - isnt this already a netbook? FFS, this is silly. So Apple doesnt want to make a device called a Netbook, big deal."

    Is it not beyond your ability to realise that a Mac mini is a MacBook - with its screen, keyboard and battery removed. And what's this iTablet you are on about?

    Then "Apple gear is (apparently) more popular for its style as opposed to its content, so would a netbook version of the OS suit?"

    What does that mean in real English? What's this 'content' that you seem to think is not popular?

    In fact, having read through your post several times, I am still at a loss as to what you are trying to say.

  60. Waderider

    Linux netbooks and capability.....

    ...I'm studying engineering in Glasgow, using Ubuntu on an EeePC 1000H, with XP as a secondary OS. The only time I use XP/MS Office is when I get a document with mathematical symbols etc. that Open Office doesn't open correctly. Not that common a problem.

    VPN works, all uni web services work, I've found lots of open source software that helps like Convertall and Qualculate; even Qcad is good enough for 2D sketch ups. I guess the only penalty is I can't run autocad when mobile (which students get free). I've got Autocad on a desktop PC instead.

    I've also put other students onto netbooks, although I must admit I steer them towards XP. Which is a pain as it's an inferior OS to linux. Any student who buys a mac needs their head felt, as they say in Northern Ireland, or their daddys silver spoon removed from their mouth.

  61. Stevie


    Numerous copy errors in the article. I will correct two:

    "Fails to seize the day" should read "Fails to seize the day (again)", a clear reference to Apple inventing the colour micro-computer then somehow losing the market for it to the competition.

    "All well and good, but it appears that Apple has little regard for the old adage that "The customer is always right."" should read "All well and good, but it appears that Apple still has little regard for the old adage that "The customer is always right."", a clear reference to the Apple business model in force for the last ten years to my certain knowledge.

    How esle to explain a music player that is compatible with only a proprietary format, matching software that assumes only one person will be using a computer and so launches the iTunes 'helper" apps no matter who signs on (A practice for which Symantec is roundly criticized left, right and center) and the need for NDAs any time a replacement of defective kit is warranted?

    Having made repairs to a Mac (a G4 as it happens) I remain convinced of the "Mac tax" 'cos I've seen it with me own eyes (most egregious example - a bios battery that cost 20 bux when a $3.50 lithium disk would have done the same job). I wouldn't mind Macs being seen as a BMW or Rolls Royce of computers if Apple themselves marketed them that way, but they continue to claim they are more like a Ford Taurus, and that they ain't.

    And you can take your free iWotsit and put it next to your other iStuff. I don't want it anywhere near me.

  62. Serenity

    A title is required

    "There are some customers which we chose not to serve. We don't know how to make a $500 computer that's not a piece of junk, and our DNA will not let us ship that."

    Whether you like Apple or not, I'm not really impressed with the sentiment there. I absolutely love my Asus 1008HA, I know what it can and can't do (though it frequently surprises me on the can). In specs to price (and design) it's not a piece of junk, it does the job well, reliably, and aethetically. If the Koreans can make a $500 computer that's not a piece of junk and the Cupertino crew that Steve Jobs has put together can't, then I really have to wonder exactly what happened to their creativity.

    (Don't have anything in particular against Apple hardware and software, I just thought that it was a particularly arrogant and silly statement).

  63. Eddie Johnson

    Mirror, mirror...

    "When I look at what is being sold in the netbook space today, I see cramped keyboards, terrible software, junky hardware, very small screens."

    Pretty good description of most Apple computers I ever saw with the possible exception of the software. Although, since iTunes is the Apple software more people are exposed to than anything else, I think the description fits there too. Do you know anyone who HASN'T had their entire iPod collection vaporized by an iTunes install suddenly deciding its not authorized?

  64. Ivan Headache

    @ Eddie Johnson

    "Do you know anyone who HASN'T had their entire iPod collection vaporized by an iTunes install suddenly deciding its not authorized?"

    Well yes actually. There's me, my wife, my 2 daughters & lots of their friends plus 40 or 50 clients that I support that use iPods or iPhones.

    It's a bit pointless generalising on these boards because there is always someone who can contradict a generalisation. I guess from your experience that you haven't seen any macs other than mac classics since you claim that most have very small screens. You'll be claiming that 9 inches on a dell is bigger than 13 on a mac next. And cramped keyboards ? Pull the other one.

  65. Anonymous Coward

    Sample too small??? Not if you did statistics...

    For all you snarky geeks out there, I invite you to use a sample size calculator and figure out how accurate a sample of 300 individuals is for a freshman population of about 3 million. +/-6% with a 95% confidence level. Not too bad if you ask me.

  66. Bod

    Re: Netbook schmetbook

    Nah, you should have bought a better netbook that's all.

    A Samsung NC10 for example has plenty of grunt in that Atom processor to do almost everything the average person wants to do. In fact it does more (e.g. 720p HD video, running smooth if you use CoreAVC, even upscaled via the external VGA to 1080p).

    Sure, if you want to run Photoshop for serious editing it will struggle a bit, modern 3D first person shooter games will barely run (though older ones are fine, like original Half Life), but you don't buy a netbook for these reasons.

    Anyone who's evaluated netbooks on the basis of those cheap EeePC, Aspires and Dells, especially those running some cut down Linux, should re-evaluate them based on the higher spec Atom powered netbooks running XP. That includes Mr. Jobs.

  67. chr0m4t1c

    Not really

    @Peter Flynn - "Apple need to reduce their prices for entry Macbooks"

    No, not really, no more than BMW need to reduce the price for the bottom of the range 7-series.

    Just because Hyundai can make something that appears identical spec on paper for about a third of the price, it doesn't mean they *have* to compete on price, they're simply in different markets - and you may not be in either of them. I'm pretty sure which one of the two would give the better driving experience, but I'm also aware that there are people out there who honestly will not be able to tell and will just buy the cheapest.

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