With speculation about it entering the netbook market rife at the moment, you might imagine that we would hear the usual stony silence from Apple regarding the matter. After all, keeping quiet and then leaking droplets of information as a launch approaches has worked well for pretty much every other device it has produced.
However, Steve Jobs has apparently decided to speak out on the netbook issue and dash hopes that it might be about to throw a mini-Macbook in our direction.
According to reports Jobs came clean during a conference call with a bunch of Wall Street analysts, responding when asked about Apple entering the netbook arena that "we choose not to be in certain segments of the market."
This follows Jobs insisting just the week before that "not a lot" of netbooks were getting sold anyway and the market was "nascent."
The straight talking Jobs even went as far as to suggest that while notebook prices will drop and features sets rise, Apple has no idea of how to make a computer that sells for $500 which "is not a piece of junk."
I suspect, given the economic climate and the fact that netbooks are making an impact (albeit a small one right now) on the notebook market that Apple might have to revisit this no sub-500 bucks notebooks ideology. It is one thing arguing that the iPhone and iTouch are as good as any netbook, quite another convincing folk who want a proper computer, with a proper keyboard and proper office applications, in a small format of the same thing.
At the very least, as netbooks expand the overall market so the market share of anyone not producing them will shrink as a result. And that will hurt Apple where it hurts, the bottom line.