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Apple: Netbooks are 'junky' and unusable

Exec slates current crop of mini laptops

An Apple executive has lashed out against netbooks, calling the small and light laptops unusable.

Netbooks have cramped keyboards, small screens, "junky" hardware and bad software, said Tim Cook, chief operating officer of Apple, during a fiscal second-quarter earnings conference call on Wednesday. They don't offer the "consumer experience" that Apple wants to offer through its Mac hardware.

"It's not a space ... we're interested in," Cook said. "It's a stretch to call them a personal computer."

People who want to use email or surf the web can instead buy products such as Apple's iPhone or an iPod Touch, Cook said.

Netbooks are small and low-cost laptops that are designed for people to run basic applications such as web surfing. Netbooks are priced between £200 and £400, with screens anywhere between 7in and 12in.

Apple's cheapest laptop costs £700, and it would rather focus on offering quality through its Mac products, Cook said.

Apple reacted strongly to netbooks because the increased adoption of that type of product is annoying them, said Roger Kay, founder and president of Endpoint Technologies Associates.

"If they didn't bother about [netbooks], they wouldn't comment about it," Kay said. Netbooks may not be ideal today, but there is plenty of room for them to mature, he said.

"They get in as a poor cousin like any disruptive technology, but the quality will improve," Kay said.

See also:

Is netbook-bashing Apple set to release a netbook?

Netbook reviews

MacBook reviews


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