Apple's unconvincing netbook dismissal

Apple netbook
Will Apple make a netbook?

Apple has appeared to dismiss the idea of an Apple netbook, with acting-CEO Tim Cook saying, in response to their latest results, that netbooks have "hardware that's much less powerful than what customers want," with "cramped keyboards" and "small displays."

He's summed up Apple's attitude to netbooks by saying: "We think the products there are inferior."

That's been interpreted by some reporters as a 'dismissal'. To me, that's the sound of Apple interestedly rubbing its hands together.

Let's run it through our patented reality distortion field unscrambler:

"Hardware that's much less powerful than what customers want" is the sound of Apple tracing its finger along the Moore's Law curve and reading off a hardware delivery date.

"Cramped keyboards" and "small displays" is Apple-ese for "opportunity for cool interface innovations."

"We think the products there are inferior" is another way of saying, "we have a clear view on what they are inferior for. Therefore, we could do them better if we wanted to".

Apple has built two great businesses by looking at existing products, working out what sucked about their killer apps, then doing it right. It did it with portable MP3 players and smartphones, and it's a model it must want to repeat.

When Apple starts disdaining something, that's when you should pay attention, because it means Apple has a view on how it could be done better.

Whether it will... well, watch this space.