Well, Apple sure took their time getting those invites out. As has been speculated for several weeks now, Apple is in fact holding an event on October 14 to unveil its new line of MacBook computers. The invite, which simply reads: “The spotlight turns to notebooks,” is expected to showcase a revamp of Apple entire line of portable computers.
Oh, thank god. It was getting rather frothy and silly. For instance, in the last 36 hours, I’ve seen:
A rumor site issuing a rumor that said a previous rumor it had published was, in fact correct. Of course, that rumor is still a rumor, so one had to wonder why they bothered.
A site pushing these “brick” photos with a “(unnamed site)” has unearthed these photos…” when in fact those photos have been on numerous sites (with varying levels of accountability for the source, most of it negligent) for days now. I’m sure it was a coincidence the site they pushed as “unearthing this information” was an affiliate blog in the same publishing network.
Yes, folks, Citizen Journalism at its best.
Fortunately, Apple’s ended the first phase of this idiocy by actually admitting they are going to do something, so now we get to watch everyone hyper themselves into a frenzy with increasingly insane fantasies about what Apple is going to announce, followed by the inevitable “what a disappointment” postings when Apple actually does what it always intended todo and didn’t announce any of the stuff these guys made up out of thin air…
I will bet that the nice guys at Piper Jaffray will do that — only they can’t hide behind the “we’re just fanboy bloggers” excuse, in theory, they’re supposed to know what they’re doing. hah.
Apple caught some flack last month for allegedly telling members of the New York media to fly out to San Francisco for its event. The event, which yielded new iPods, was perceived as underwhelming by some — many of whom were hoping for new notebooks as well. Today, Apple was kind enough to give those same East Coast media members 5 days to book their flights back out to San Francisco.
Perhaps because it’s the chosen way to limit the frothiness of the rumor sites? Once Apple admits it’s going to announce something, EVERYONE starts pointing at and legitimizing the rumor and fanboy sites, and the froth goes hyperbolic, so the best way to keep that kind of silly season speculating out of the view of the general public is to limit the time where Apple gives substance to the rumors in any form.
Does that mess up the life of the “professional” pundits? Yeah, but so? spend less time borrowing from the fanboy sites, with or without attribution. It’s all about managing the craziness folks; and when you join in it, you end up getting managed.
I won’t even get into the comments of the ex owner of Think Secret saying apple seems to have changed its handling of this stuff. Well, duh. Just noticed, did you? Apple was adjusting and adapting before I left. Nice of you to have figured it out, years later. (hint: apple is (a) not stupid, and (b) never stands still…. just saying)
I’ll make a wild prediction here: Apple will at no time use the word “netbook”, no matter what some of the pundits might think. A couple of reasons for this:
First, a netbook is still a niche, unproven market. Yes, there’s a small group of people thinking this is the next reality for everyone, but the netbook is still very much a future market (I think it’s a legitimate one, but it’s not soup yet). The numbers indicating that people are (a) buying Linux netbooks, (b) taking them home, and (c) in good numbers, taking them back and buying windows-based netbooks says all you need to know here, that the fantasy of “everyting I do lives online” is still that, a fantasy. Give it five years. Or three. Unlike tablet PC’s, the last “Apple HAS to do this” fantasy wish, I think netbooks are going to be a big market, just not yet. Don’t tell the early adopter echo chamber that, though, hate to interrupt their life with some realit.y
Second, a netbook is all about compromises. you’re giving up some functionality in favor of reduced weight and price. It’s basically a special purpose product (much like those tablet PCs, which as everyone now knows, is a market Apple just plain old missed and let Microsoft dominate. Oh, wait. Nobody’s dominating it, because there’s no market. Never mind). A core competency of Apple is ease of use and user experience; a core competency of a netbook is that the OS and what’s on the computer doesn’t matter as long as you have good connectivity and a browser that doesn’t suck (or something like that). Those core competencies are in conflict.
Now, lower -end computers? $800 laptops? that wouldn’t surprise me a bit. Call it a netbook? Make it a netbook? I’m just not convinced. Position it towards that space? definitely, but ultimately, it’s going to be a macintosh that focusses on portability and price, not a stripped down beast that’s “cheap”; instead, it’ll be “inexpensive”, but still a mac.
Me, I’ll tell you what *I* want. I want a nice, inexpensive laptop that I can carry around and use, AND I want a good, portable LCD screen to go with it. Give me a 12″ or 14″ laptop screen AND a 17″ screen that can live in my backpack and I can plug into in an office environment, and I’ll be thrilled. Best of both worlds, a handy, portable compputer, but god, I don’t want to do photoshop on my photos on a 12″ screen. That’s the kind of tradeoff windows “netbook” geeks might accept, but not me…
And the key missing piece there isn’t the computer, it’s the 17″ screen in a macbook format that you can fold up and carry in a laptop bag with your laptop. Now THAT is an innovation I could sink my teeth into.