Apple’s new lineup of products today show that they’re largely ignoring the advice of analysts, journalists and other pundits and who keep suggesting Apple’s strategy must include lower priced $599-$799 laptops as well as enter the netbook market. Instead, Apple’s revamped the lonely white Macbook with core elements of the pro line including a uni-body design (Polycarbonate not metal), LED backlit display and a non removable battery with up to 7 hours of battery life and the now signature glass multi-touch trackpad.
Coming less than a day after Apple revealed stellar financial results, it seems Apple is wise to keep its own counsel about this market. Too many confuse volume shipments with success. With the low margins and high rate of return that netbooks have, they may be the hottest product that no one makes any real money on. The Macbook success to date has been excellent with Apple reporting 10 million sold over the life of the product. I expect the new model to do well for the holiday and lead the low end of the line for the value conscious consumer but at the same time offer a no compromise OS X experience.
I spent a little time with the Macbook and I’m pretty impressed. While it lacks the metal design of the pro line, the unit feels solid comfortable to hold. Apple’s also added a slightly rubberized coating the bottom making it less likely to slide off the table or your lap. Overall, it’s a nice evolution to the design and puts the notebook family somewhat more in harmony.