DigiTimes brings news of a Commercial Times report, citing sources from the component supply chain, that suggests Foxconn is gearing up for an order to manufacture an Apple netbook. Foxconn (the trade name of Hon Hai Precision Industry Co.) is a Taiwan-based manufacturing partner of Apple, responsible for the Mac mini, iPod and iPhone production.
While rumors regarding Apple netbooks are relatively common, Ars Technica notes that now is as good a time as ever for Apple to capitalize on the growing netbook market.
According to a Gartner report from earlier this month, the overall market has shrunk 6.5% since Q4 2008, with Apple’s share of the market slipping over the same period.
Not surprising, considering Apple’s average selling price (ASP) is higher than the competition, and they’ve done nothing to cater for their users who want an ultraportable machine – leading many of these users to shoehorn OS X onto netbooks from other manufacturers, contributing nothing to Apple’s bottom line, and possibly harming their chance of future sales to those users who are now aware of how easy it is to install OS X on any Intel-based PC.
An affordable, barebones MacBook would also decrease the barrier to entry for budding iPhone developers, which can’t be a bad thing for Apple.