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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FAIL

@sleepy

"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.

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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.

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Grenade

SHOCK: Students are cheap.

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

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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.

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@sleepy

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...

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Happy

Made my Day !

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

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WTF?

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.

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Happy

Muhahahaha

"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.

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@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.

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Linux

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.

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Silver badge

Bah!

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.

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Stop

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).

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Coffee/keyboard

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?

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@ 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.

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FAIL

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. http://www.theregister.co.uk/Design/graphics/icons/comment/thumb_up_32.png

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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.

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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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