Wednesday, March 3, 2010

The Big "Apple" for $99 (Clone)...$85 Coby Netbook PC "Midget" At CeBIT Show


- The Big Apple Killer: Marvell's Tablet ("Moby") for $99.
People are crazy to pay Apple's prices. They will be really crazy to pay through the nose for an Apple iPad when they are able to get a suitable replacement for $99 -- if not the Marvell Moby, then something else. Price breaks like this, when it actually happens, are market breakers. This will kick the floor out from under Apple. Read more at .

- Coby Netbook PC NBPC722 should even run Linux, as shown by the link below:

You will see below why the $100-laptop phenom is unstoppable though most everyone in the computer field does want to stop it.

Today's news comes from the CeBIT exhibition (European show for consumer electronics and telecommunications, with emphasis on suppliers as well as users), ongoing in Hannover, Germany, March 2-6, 2010.

We reported on this over a year ago while some famous gadget sites (I won't name or anything like that) were still in denial on this -- . :) (Do Engadget and Ross Rubin ever say they were wrong?)

You see, everyone who makes their living in the computing game is loath to admit what they loathe. And, oh, how they loathe supercheap computers, because commoditization of computing will cut revenue streams from it, make it less profitable for all -- and that includes stores like Best Buy and product pointers like Engadget and CNet.

The Coby NBPC-722 (Netbook PC, 7-in. screen) is claimed to sell for well under the famed "$100-laptop" price barrier, as Engadget now admits (a year late) -- actually $85.

Unfortunately, I doubt that. The sweet spot for ultracheap computers is about $129. You can sell tons at that price if you have wide distribution channels, as Coby does. You couldn't get a similar device for less than $66 wholesale in quantity, FOB China, which tells me that's about what it costs to make these. So a $99 retail selling price probably is doable for Coby but by no means necessary. I would estimate the introductory price as $119 to $129. But the competitors for these will get much more expensive, making the Cobys attractive indeed.


Here is Coby's page showing the 7-in. netbook PC: You can see the specs and a photo there.



By finding them everywhere, I mean they will be in unusual venues for selling laptops, notebooks, and such: at GROCERY stores, HOME IMPROVEMENT stores, DRUG stores. We won't have to rely on conventional electronics sellers like Walmart, Best Buy, and Fry's, who hate to sell cheap PCs. They just won't do it until they have to. Incidentally, I have seen the Augen Netbook for just a little over $100 at a TA truck stop. It also was available at the grocery chain Albertson's and the home-improvement store chain Menard's, last November (Black Friday) for both of them.

Out-of-the-ordinary-channel distribution is essential for the sub-$100 laptop phenom to take off and fly.

100s of Brands Even Now

A city in China, Shenzhen, is the source of literally hundreds of brands of similar mini-laptops or EPCs, as the Chinese are wont to call them. Here are some between $50 and $100: .
Here are many more for a little over $100: .


3. AND THE COUP DE GRACE (for $300 - $3000 PCs): The BLISTERPACK PC

When you see these on blisterpacks, you soon will see them in dollar stores (all kinds of dollar stores).

Breaking through the price floor will lower the price of all personal computers. Even Apple and Sony will not be able to hold the line. The bottom price point drags down the bottom line of all computer marketers and those companies and people who feed on them. It is very simple.

My opinion right now is that "computers" eventually will be offered for few tens of dollars. However, bear in mind that that is in 2010 dollars, not the inflated ones we will have when computers get into dollar stores, which might themselves change into "$5 Stores."


Engadget finally got on the ball with this and it is worth looking at: .


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  2. I completely agree with you. People are just brand conscious. I even had my affordable and reliable Coby in a small Canada laptop deals center here in Ontario. And what I've bought was nothing different with the famous brands available in the market. Like what you've written, durability , style and function are all there! All I can say is, it depends on the consumer. Depending on their taste and preferences.
    If you can afford it, then go! Happy blogging!

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  4. I agree that out of the ordinary channel distribution is needed. But these companies need services like channel management solution in the long run to streamline the channel sales activity.

  5. Thanks for the comments. I learn from these.

    The following marks a new era.

    CVS has broken the commodity-computing barrier!

    The big drug chain offers a netbook for less than $100 at thousands of stores, right at the checkout counter, as an impulse buy.


    The only thing lacking is the blistercard-on-pegboard packaging for true mass-marketing and the final leg down the pricing scale (to what? -- the neighborhood of $10 ?).

    So the PC as an impulse buy is available to everyone in the US market, close at hand and at an everyday low price for impulse buying -- a whole new era.

    As shown elsewhere in this blog, CHINA NOT APPLE OFFERS THE MOST INNOVATIVE DIGITAL PRODUCTS ON THIS OR ANY OTHER PLANET. You can buy, direct from China, products that Apple hasn't even dreamed of, with your funds held in escrow by Alibaba (for your protection) until you actually receive the goods. Check this out.

    I do not believe there is a long-term market for Apple products whose main attraction is snob appeal based on exorbitant prices. And I do not see much future for the related business model.

  6. I must say this is a great article i enjoyed reading it keep the good work.

  7. I saw this article today and thought of your blog, Clayton. Who'd have thought that in only two years' time (since your last post), 99 bucks would seem kind of expensive for a low-end computer?

    Not a weird, incompatible MIPS unit in the bunch. And they're all running free software. No tribute paid to Apple, Microsoft or anyone else.

    (Looks like this is going to post anonymously. This is raindog469 from earlier comment threads. I guess logging in through Livejournal is broken these days.)

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