Apple is on a trajectory to slow and painful decline if it doesn't meet consumer demand for netbooks.
When you factor in the economy, it is no shock that individuals are opting for them for their low price, portability, and ease of use.
It would even appear that now, they’re impacting Apple.
The NPD Group has released the latest sales figures that reveal that laptop pricing for both Macs and PCs dropped during the month of Februrary, with the average price of Mac laptops falling around seven percent, with consumers paying $1,512. This is extremely low when compared to the average sales price of Windows based laptops which dropped twenty two percent to an average price of $560.
Regardless of the percentage drop, for Apple to lose money from its average selling price, something is having an impact, and I am going to wager a guess that it is the netbook. With the economy in the pits, and individuals still in need of up to date technology, blogs and review websites alike are abuzz regarding the low cost, and ease of use where Windows netbooks are concerned.
You are always going to have Mac users who will pay to use a Mac, but for individuals who are seeking a device out of need, and want it to be affordable, the sale of low cost netbooks will continue to force the prices all laptops into decline.
Another important factor is sales, Windows laptops excluding netbooks increased 16 percent, including their netbooks grew 36 percent. Macbook laptops just weren’t able to live up to their usual sales numbers, with their laptop sales declining by 7 percent, reports NPD.
Apple proudly touts its inability to create a computer under $500 that is worth using -- even though it has its own operating system and doesn't need to buy one from Microsoft. Apple boss Steve Jobs claims that a netbook device is not in its future. The rumor mill, however still churns with claims that the company will jump into the netbook arena -- and given Steve Jobs' previous misdirection around future product plans, it's more than likely Apple is working on a product.
Regardless the public stance taken by Apple, it is blatantly obvious that netbooks do, and will continue to impact the sale of full-price notebook PCs. And Apple is unlikely to let its market share dwindle in the face of competition. Even its market-busting iPhone isn't a replacement for a full functionality netbook. Bring on the Apple MacBook Mini, or die a slow death, Apple.