Rumors: Cheaper MacBooks in the Queue? Apple Netbook (Newton Redux) Delayed?

My 1st generation Apple MacBook turns three years old in a few weeks and its AppleCare extended warranty (which I just exercised to deal with hairline cracks on the case and got a new heatsink as a bonus) will expire on this anniversary. So, this AppleInsider item got my undivided attention…

Apple to introduce more affordable Macs, sources say

My 3 year old MacBook is surprisingly useful despite its age. I don’t really feel like it is slowing down like a Windows PC does with age. However, as you might expect is battery isn’t able to hold as much of a charge as before (though it still does a good job of it). I could bump up its RAM and hard disk to get more out of the system. But, it would be nice to get a whole new system. So, it would be nice if I could get a new MacBook with, say, 2GB RAM and a 120GB hard drive for $750. Dream on? Maybe. But, Apple’s desktop and notebook market share dropped for the first time in years. And, netbooks are probably eating away at MacBook sales. I know my last three purchases were all netbooks (two Windows XP units and one running Linux).

AppleInsider also notes that while Apple publicly says they reject the notion of the MacBook, they (Apple) have something in the works to combat the netbook phenomenon. This something, however, is not progressing as quickly as expected.

Apple has a long history of denying working on product and dissing current competitive products (remember: “No one wants color LCDs on iPods” or “we aren’t interested in the PDA market”?). So, I’m still fully expecting Apple to launch something that will completely change the way we think of netbooks in the near future.

In the meantime, Ubuntu 9.04 Netbook Remix is here now and is looking very good so far. Windows 7 Release Candidate is available to some people now. And, if it has not slowed down since the Windows 7 Beta release, it will be a real incentive for people to keep on using Windows instead of switching to the Mac (full disclosure: I’m writing this on an iMac :-) .

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