Coby, that company that maks all those dirt cheap electronics that you can find at discount stores and shopping mall kiosks plans to enter the netook market early in 2009. Except, for some reason Coby refuses to call their new products netbooks, instead refering to them as “Midget PCs” since they company says they’ll be smaller than netbooks, which seems like a dubious claim, since Coby says the Midget PCs will have 7 or 9 inch displays.
So what do we know so far? It looks like Coby plans to offer some sort of Linux-based operating system to help keep the cost of the OS and software down. The keyboard will be about the same size as an Eee PC 701 keyboard, and the first Midget PC will be called the PoqetMate-7 and will have a 7 inch display. The company plans to follow it up with the PoqetMate-9, which will have a 9 inch screen.
There’s no word on the CPU, storage, RAM, or other specs yet. But since Coby is hoping to sell these machines with a starting price of $99.95, I wouldn’t expect them to be powerhouses. Update: As Fu Long points out in the comments, the PoqetMate computers will use the Loongson processor, which is the same CPU you’ll find in the Emtec Gdium.
I’ll be honest. Coby has never been a name I’ve associated with quality electronics. But that’s really not the point here. The point is that Coby puts out cheaper versions of products that already exist in the marketplace. The company offers low cost MP3 an portable media players, cheap digital picture frames, DVD players, and even television sets. And while they might not have all the features or be as durable as products from Sony, Apple, or other high end electronics makers, the whole point is that they’re cheap because Coby can mass produce these products and has the distribution channels to make them available in all sorts of places where you wouldn’t normally expect to find TVs, MP3 players, or soon, netbooks.
via Eee PC.net
Update: There’s been some speculation that the Coby PoqetMate is a hoax. I’m going to reserve judgement on whether or not it’s real and just call it a rumor for all. A denial from a company’s PR arm doesn’t mean that the product doesn’t exist. It just means that the developers aren’t ready to talk about it yet. And the wording of that denial seems to leave some room for interpretation.
Update 2: Nail, meet coffin. Coby has released an official statement that couldn’t be much more clear.