Apple executive puts kabosh on an Apple netbook

Apple Chief Operating Officer Timothy Cook Cook dampened expectations today that Apple might enter the low-end netbook market, which has boosted computer sales globally during the downturn.

He spoke out more forcefully against the category than he had in the past.

“When I look at what is being sold in the notebook space today, I see cramped keyboards, terrible software, junky hardware, very small screens — just not a consumer experience, not something we would put the Mac brand on,” he said during the company’s quarterly earnings conference call with analysts. “It’s a segment we don’t play in.”
Cook also said Apple’s iPod Touch and iPhone — which are basically pocket computers — address some of the reasons consumers are buying netbooks.
However, he seemed to leave the door open to an Apple netbook-type device, at least a crack. “If we find a way where we can deliver an innovative product that really makes a contribution, then we will have some interesting ideas in this space,” Cook said.
Needham & Co. analyst Charles Wolf speculated that Apple is possibly working on a device modeled after the iPod Touch with a larger screen.
Apple, though, is not in a race to the bottom.
“They are not going to start dropping prices to generate sales. If they did, it would destroy their margins,” Wolf said. “If Apple addresses the netbook space, they will move up.”


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