Apple: If you don't "do cheap", let someone else do it instead

Summary:A Dell Mini 9 can be easily transformed into a Mac OS X netbook as a Sunday afternoon project. Why won't Apple make the next logical jump -- make it legal?

A Dell Mini 9 can be easily transformed into a Mac OS X netbook as a Sunday afternoon project. Why won't Apple make the next logical jump -- make it legal? Photo: Gizmodo

This weekend, Gizmodo blogger John Mahoney posted a step-by-step tutorial of how to transform a $400 Dell Mini 9 into the ultimate Mac OS X netbook. Needless to say, what was once in the realm of pure hackerdom is now getting easier and easier to do. What used to take a week or more in order to properly piece together compatible clone hardware and do the appropriate research in order to assemble your own "Hackintosh" is quickly becoming child' play.

In summary: Grab a Dell netbook, buy a legal copy of Mac OS X, download a "Bootloader" file that you can burn to a CD or a bootable USB flash drive, boot with it on the netbook, and install Mac OS X. It's getting that easy, folks.

Click on the "Read the rest of this entry" link below for more.

Of course, going out and buying a 400 dollar netbook where probably $75-$100 of the cost is Windows XP and then having to go out and spend $129.00 on Mac OS X somewhat defeats the purpose of having an affordable netbook. You now have a $530.00 netbook instead of a $400.00 one. One can buy some pretty decent full-blown laptops for that kind of money nowadays.

Also Read: Why Apple and Google Need to Get Into the Netbook Business

Also Read: PC Industry Episode II: Attack of the Mac Clones

Also Read: Psystar's Thermopylae Won't End Apple's Clone Nightmare

So it begs the question -- why hasn't Apple released its own $400 netbook? If the recession has shown us anything in this industry, it's that cheap netbooks are flying off the shelves like hotcakes.  Granted, Steve Jobs and company have always been known to be elitist, and that Apple doesn't like to "do cheap". Okay, I can relate to that, except that this prima donna premium-oriented Apple branding stubbornness and arrogance is bound to get them stuck in some serious financial doldrums with Macs if they don't do something about it quickly.

It would seem that there is a niche that needs filling, and that Apple doesn't appear to want to do it themselves. Yes, we've been down this road before with Mac clones -- and the Psystar chapter hasn't been closed yet -- but maybe, just maybe, Apple might want to consider getting some supplementary revenue from the Dells, HPs, Lenovos, and the ASUSes of this world by allowing them to produce licensed Mac OS X netbooks using a common reference design. This would be limited strictly to netbooks, so that Apple's premium notebook line would not be cannibalized, and Apple would be  getting licensing revenue from Mac OS X. To me, this seems like a reasonable compromise.

Should Apple allow OEMs to produce inexpensive Mac OS X netbooks? Talk Back and Let Me Know.

[poll id="6"]

Topics: Software, Apple, Hardware, Mobility, Operating Systems

About

Jason Perlow, Sr. Technology Editor at ZDNet is a technologist with over two decades of experience with integrating large heterogeneous multi-vendor computing environments in Fortune 500 companies. Jason is currently a Partner Technology Strategist with Microsoft Corp. His expressed views do not necessarily represent those of his employer... Full Bio

zdnet_core.socialButton.googleLabel Contact Disclosure

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

Related Stories

The best of ZDNet, delivered

You have been successfully signed up. To sign up for more newsletters or to manage your account, visit the Newsletter Subscription Center.
Subscription failed.