Apple not interested in netbooks

Apple is not interested in competing at the bottom end of the computer market, Steve Jobs has told analysts.

Apple not interested in netbooks

The company’s chief executive said that Apple chooses where to compete – and where it can be competitive.

“I think when people want a product of the class that we make, over and over again people have done the price comparisons and we’re actually quite competitive,” he said. “So we choose to be in certain segments of the market and we choose not to be in certain segments of the market.”

Jobs added that he doesn’t think the current economic situation will change that. “This particular downturn is not creating a market of cheaper computers. That market has existed for some time and there are parts of that market that we choose not to play in,” he said.

“And the question is, is the downturn going to drive some of our customers to those lower segments of the marketplace and get [them] to buy lesser products? And I will be surprised if that happens in large numbers and I actually think that there are still a tremendous number of customers that we don’t have in the Windows world or in the other 99% of the phone market we don’t have who would like to and can afford to buy Apple products.”

Jobs revealed that Apple is keeping its eye on the emerging market for netbooks, the ultracompact laptops typified by the Asus Eee PC

“As we look at the netbook category, that’s a nascent category. There’s as best as we can tell not a lot of them getting sold,” Jobs said. “But we’ll wait and see how that nascent category evolves and we’ve got some pretty interesting ideas if it does evolve.”

In the meantime, Jobs sees the iPhone as a more-than-capable alternative.

“You know, one of our entrants into that category, if you will, is the iPhone for browsing the internet and doing email and all the other things that a netbook lets you do, and being connected via the cellular net wherever you are, an iPhone is a pretty good solution for that, and it fits in your pocket.”

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