Despite the success of the netbook genre of mini-PCs, Apple has repeatedly stated it won’t enter the market. But that’s apparently not stopping Foxconn, one of Apple’s most trusted manufacturers from making some of its own.
That’s just some silly terminology (confused by other definitions of smartbook, and by one of those dumb trademark rulings) but the machines sound otherwise pretty standard–Foxconn’s said to be working on netbooks with 7- to 10-inch screens and is trying out a number of OSs, including flavors of Linux it’s developed, Intel’s Moblin OS, and even Android. And the really interesting news is the target prices: $100 to $200, which is beyond the lower end of the existing netbook offerings, and significantly less than Nokia’s upcoming entry to the netbook game.
That’s interesting because Foxconn is a contract manufacturer for Nokia, as well as making the Amazon Kindle, Motorola cell phones, and, most famously, Apple’s iPhone and iPods. That raises the intriguing thought that after it’s netbook-style Qbooks Foxconn may even consider a cheap touchscreen tablet version of the smartbook and beat Apple at its own game. It’s a bit of a stretch, but definitely intriguing given the apparently-imminent arrival of many tablets, and Foxconn certainly has enough expertise.