Talk of Apple, ATandT and a New Netbook Restarts Chatter
As with every new Apple gadget, the rumors have started as the company begins building excitement for other products. In this case the iPhone OS 3, which Apple debuted earlier this month, and an anticipated Apple "netbook."Apple and AT&T are the focus of new buzz, after The Boy Genius Report blog posted 10 provocative - and it insists, confirmed - "talking points" regarding where Apple and AT&T are headed.
The information is attributed to an unnamed AT&T executive, and the dangling bait includes the suggestion that Apple's new iPhone 3.0 OS points to where future platform developments are headed.
The unnamed exec is also quoted as having said: "Customers shouldn't need to choose from AT&T's high-end devices because of features, they should choose based on preferences."
And: "The $99 3G netbook will start selling this summer, and the first one won't be a Windows OS."
The first of these has some wondering whether the next-generation iPhone will have a pull-out keyboard, like the Palm Pre.
As for the second point, it's likely linked to Apple by nothing more than proximity on the page.
An Apple Netbook is expected for 2009, and there has been much talk about what one might entail, particularly after Taiwan touch screen specialist Wintek conceded it was expecting orders, and later confirmed it was developing 10-inch touch screens for Apple. But the price points bandied about have been closer to $599.
In October 2008 Steve Jobs asserted: "We don't know how to make a $500 computer that's not a piece of junk."
Analyst Peter King, with Strategy Analytics, discouraged the rumors and responded to an e-mail from eWEEK by saying:
"Apple has so far shunned the netbook market and even the low-end notebook market. Strategy Analytics believes that [Apple] will not be able to resist entering this arena with an 8 inch to 10 inch MacBook model to challenge the latest Sony VAIO P series. "We also believe that Apple will combine the experience gained in Macs and iPhone and produce a MID (Mobile Internet Device), in effect a 4.8 inch iPhone or iPod Touch, with greater processing power and graphics."
On a separate note, he continued, "I think the $99 price tag would relate to a subsidized (by AT&T) device. It has been quite common in Europe and Asia for carriers to offer netbooks or notebooks from key players such as Samsung, Asus, Acer and others, for free or just a nominal sum, in return for the consumer signing an 18- to 24-month mobile broadband contract (which makes the PC very expensive indeed in the long run)."