After the October Notebook event, the hopes of Apple releasing a netbook looked gone. Steve Jobs said during a question and answer session that "we'll see how it goes". At the time of that announcement, Jobs said the market was too small.
But you have to wonder whether Apple was fully telling the truth or not. Steve may have been right, in saying that they were not releasing on one NOW [at the time of the event, October 14th] but who knows how far 'away' that technology is. The technology is there, they have created the Macbook Air which is smaller and light weight compared to their other notebooks, it's just a matter of when Apple will get it to their standards.
Beside technology, another factor going into his comments, I believe, is that Apple Never wants to take sales away from their own products. Why tell people a netbook is coming soon, when you can tell them to buy a Macbook, then in a few months release the Netbook [or Macbook Mini]. Now I'm not saying this is a bad thing, or that Apple is a liar and should not be trusted, in fact its good business. Apple's business model is quite impressive, considering you can not go anywhere without seeing, hearing, speaking, breathing i-Something. So for they to hold off on the netbook to make way for their new product line is a no brainer.
You could also argue that the $ 999 Macbook IS a [high-end] netbook. Granted it's larger, bulkier, and more expensive then your typical netbook, it does off the same functionality [and more] while still costing much less than a typical Apple notebook.
As Apple updates their notebooks to look more like the Macbook Air [and iMac], I believe there is an incentive potential to streamline Apple's ENTIRE product line. Right now, the iPod has the Shuffle, Nano, Classic, and Touch; the notebooks are: Macbook, Macbook Pro, Macbook Air; and the desktops are: Mac Pro, iMac, and Mac Mini. Now there are a lot of names that cross between these lines, and while I do not think it's that confusing, I think they could use some better strategies to condense them into easier categories.
Since Apple released their first iMac, they have been trying to serve two types of customers, the hardcore, power-users and the average user. Since then, Apple has broadened their scope, offereing many different models in between, to accommodate for any type of user. They have created models both below, and above their flagship products that do this very well. But I think with all of these different models and names, it's a little disshovelled.
To combat this, Apple could relaunch a whole new tiered system. This would create a bridge between product lines as well as creating an inexpensive purchasing system for those looking to buy a product in a different line. Like Apple has been doing, it would integrate this new color scheme of Aluminum body with black accents on all of its products [including black key's on keyboards]. From their desks, to monitors, to notebooks, to iPod's. The only exception is for the iPod Nano which would be the entry level iPod and come in many colors [as it does now]. Not only would the color scheme match, but the product lines in general would interweave. My proposal would be to create a four tier product system through the three lines:
-The iPod Nano is one of the top selling iPods of all time. With a flexible amount of storage for a small price, it is a great entry product. This would mean the elimination of the iPod Shuffle, unless they keep it as its separate entity.
-The Macbook Nano would be Apple's first netbook. I mentioned an Apple netbook above, so there's not much else to say. It would take the same aluminum casing as the current macbook, just with an 8-93 screen, no super drive, far less ports [maybe 2 USB, 1 mini-display, headphone / microphone].
-The Mac Nano [or Mac Mini] would, for the most part stay the same. Obviously it would be great for some spec bumps, but not too much to interfere with the iMac.
-The iPod Classic [or just iPod (6G)] would be more similar to older versions of the iPod. Priced between 200-250, it would be 40-60 GB [being a good mid-range iPod].
-The iMac is a great desktop product that needs not be changed. Do not fix what's not broken.
-The MacBook [or iBook] is much like the iMac in the sense that it does not need too many configurations.
-The iPod Pro is some what of a toss-up. Apple could use this as their huge-storage iPod [100GB +] and leave the iPod classic to 40-60GB, or they could do something completely revolutionary like the iPod nano, and introduce a accelorometer for tilt functionality.
-The Macbook Pro would stay the same. Keeping the same look as it has now [aluminum with black surrounding screen].
-The Mac Pro would stay the same. Possibly getting a new casing with black accents around it.
-The iPod Touch Would stay the same.
-The Macbook Touch would be Apple's entry into the tablet market. Running on an advanced iPhone OS, this would be much like the Macbook Nano in size, but be one piece with a full touch screen. Potential include similar external buttons as the iPhone / iPod Touch such as a volume rocker, a Hold button [to lock the screen, requiring a password upon entry], and a Home button to bring you back to the desktop. The OS would be a fusion of OSX and the iPhone OS, using similar icons / apps as the iPhone [would not have any sort of iLife or iWork], but with a start menu and tool bar like OSX.
-The iMac Touch would be the first Apple touch screen desktop. Keeping a similar design, the screen would be a standard 243, and be full touch screen. You could optionally get wired / wireless keyboard / mighty mouse, but it would not be included in the package. It would be able to run a full version of OSX [with touch controls, much like 2, 3, and 4 finger gestures on Macbooks now]. Not many changes need to be made with the current iMac other than including touchscreen through the screen, as well as an updated OS.
-The iPhone would stay the same. Potentially an introduction of a smaller iPhone [either size-wise like what Walmart is doing, or in physical dimensions and capacity].
-The iPod Shuffle would either be kept as a stand-alone product for the extreme casual consumer, or be discontinued.
-The Apple TV would stay the same.
-The Apple Displays would now all go LED [19 ", 23", and 30 "] and all take on the look of the new 233 LED display.
Now I know this is a radical change that would take a long time [not in one event] but I think that this would really bring the Apple community together. By breaking up their products into groups it would make it easier for new adopters to 'fit' into a group and be able to see what is right for them. Each of the above prodcuts would have its own customization and size options like they do now. Many of the things I mentioned above are new technologies that I believe Apple will ever implement, so why not to it with syle?
For the record this is ALL just a 'wishlist' and has little to no basis on any facts. If you guys are inspired by what you read, please leave a comment on what you think Apple should do? Do you think they will make a touch screen laptop, desktop, netbook? Leave me feedback on what you think! I hope you enjoyed reading, and if you did, why not think of subscribing?