Will Apple join the Netbook fight?

Summary:News today from CultofMac (via MacRumors) noted that the relative popularity of recently introduced Netbooks from Asus, Acer and Dell may force Apple's hand to compete in the sub-$1000 price range.According to the report, Amazon's most popular laptops list is now dominated by the $400-$600 devices, with Apple's $1299 MacBook being the lone exception in the top 10.

Asus Eee PC 1000News today from CultofMac (via MacRumors) noted that the relative popularity of recently introduced Netbooks from Asus, Acer and Dell may force Apple's hand to compete in the sub-$1000 price range.

According to the report, Amazon's most popular laptops list is now dominated by the $400-$600 devices, with Apple's $1299 MacBook being the lone exception in the top 10. Problem is, that's more than double in price for Apple's lowest-end laptop.

Since Netbooks are tiny, lightweight and cheap -- we're talking 9- and 10-inch screens for as low as $329 -- analysts are saying that worsening economic conditions are only helping their popularity, and therefore, "it has been suggested that Apple may drop the price of the upcoming MacBooks to try to counter this trend."

(Deeper analysis by colleague Sam Diaz: Will netbook growth hurt Macbook sales?)

It certainly doesn't help that Intel is pushing the form factor with the recent release of the low-powered Atom processor, which Apple has been rumored to eventually adopt in an upcoming device.

Sure, we've got the Macbook Air. But what about a Macbook Helium?

Tell me, readers: Do you think Apple will introduce a lighter, smaller, cheaper Macbook? And would you buy it? Tell us in TalkBack.

UPDATE: And, what's more, Asus has just introduced 3.75G connectivity to its Eee PC notebooks.

[poll id=4]

Topics: Laptops, Apple, Hardware, Mobility

About

Andrew Nusca is a former writer-editor for ZDNet and contributor to CNET. He is also the former editor of SmartPlanet, ZDNet's sister site about innovation. He writes about business, technology and design now but used to cover finance, fashion and culture. He was an intern at Money, Men's Vogue, Popular Mechanics and the New York Daily Ne... Full Bio

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