During its earnings call today, Apple COO Tim Cook (who is leading Apple day to day with Steve Jobs out on medical leave) fielded a question about netbooks. The market for the small notebooks is red hot, yet Apple hasn’t entered the field yet. Cook attempted to explain why, and Apple’s thoughts on the trend for the future.
Notably, he reiterated Apple’s stance that netbooks, as they exist today, are basically crap. He called their keyboards “cramped,” and their hardware “junky.” “This is not something we would put the Mac brand on,” Cook said. He believes that if people want a small, very portable computer, they should perhaps look at the iPhone or iPod touch. That comment will likely make a lot of people annoyed, but if you think about it, with the increasing numbers of things that those devices can do (and will be able to do with the upcoming 3.0 software), it’s not an entirely ridiculous thing to say.
More importantly though, Cook made it very clear that Apple is watching the netbook space closely to see the consumer response to it. “If we find a way where we can deliver an innovative product — then we’ll do that,” Cook noted. He went on to say that Apple has some “interesting ideas” for new products, and that the upcoming product pipeline is “fantastic.”
There are no shortage of rumors that Apple is already hard at work on a netbook, a tablet — or both. Today’s comments really seem more so than ever to be Apple stalling by downplaying current netbook offerings by other companies. While both Cook and Jobs have said in the past Apple was looking into the market, today Cook seemed to indicate pretty clearly that we can expect something from Apple in the future. And you can be sure it will be more than a new iPhone or iPod touch.
[image via Gizmodo]