iPhone = Netbook? Part 1 of 3

On October 26, 2008

There were some interesting developments in the world of Apple hardware this past week.

More accurately, there were some interesting “non-developments” in the world of Apple hardware this past week.

During Apple’s quarterly financial report questions were raised regarding the fact that Apple had not released an expected $800 laptop at their “notebook event” and that there doesn’t appear to be a low-priced netbook on the horizon. Steve Jobs, actually, went so far as to say

We don’t know how to make a $500 computer that’s not a piece of junk, and our DNA will not let us ship that

That’s an awfully powerful statement for him to be making.  It wasn’t, though, the most powerful statement.

By far the statement that stood out during the report was Jobs’s claim that they do currently have an entry in the netbook world. He said,

One of our entrants into that category, if you will, is the iPhone for browsing the Internet and doing e-mail and all the other things that a netbook lets you do. Being connected via the cellular net wherever you are, an iPhone is a pretty good solution for that, and it fits in your pocket. and it’s called the  iPhone.

Now from the very beginning of this website we’ve taken the position that the iPhone isn’t a phone as much as it is a computer and the rapid proliferation of applications for the iPhone since July 11 certainly bolsters that argument.

Steve Jobs to actually make the claim that the iPhone is a netbook, though, is a very different thing than saying that the iPhone is a new computing platform, however.

So it got me thinking… what arguments could be made in favor of the position that the iphone is a netbook? And what arguments can be made that it is not? The result? Our first ever, "Point-Counterpoint".

In parts 2 and 3 we’ll look at the arguements in either direction…