The netbook computer, whether you agree with the concept behind them or not, have gained so much traction that they now appear to be hurting the sales of Apple laptops.
The latest report from the NPD Group research company on the prices for which laptops are selling shows further erosion on the PC segment of the marketplace and indicates that Apple is now feeling the bite. The average selling price of both PC and Apple laptops dropped in February, according to a ChannelWeb story. The Windows PC laptops took the biggest hit, falling a whopping 22 percent, all the way to $560. That is clearly the area in which the netbook is having the largest impact.
But the average Apple laptop prices fell by 7 percent to $1,512 in February. It is likely that part of that downward pressure came from the netbook realm. There are obviously other reasons for such a drop in the average price. For example, the economic woes faced by all of us have probably caused some people to buy further down the Apple line than they otherwise would have, perhaps forgoing that processor upgrade if nothing else. But it is hard to avoid the thought that the netbook is providing some of the average price loss.
Before his medical leave of absence, Apple CEO Steve Jobs had been famously quoted as saying that Apple does not know how to make a computer selling for less than $500 “that’s not a piece of junk.” That would seem to indicate that the production of a netbook was not in Apple’s business plan.
Still, rumors of a netbook-like device from Apple have been floating around Silicon Valley and elsewhere for some time. The rumors have taken many forms, but there are probably too many of them to be only smoke. There is almost certainly some fire in there somewhere.