Taiwan supplier fingered in Apple touch-screen netbook rumor
Newton rising from the grave?
A touch-screen netbook from Apple is coming later this year, according to a report by an Asian industry-watching website. We believe that the truth may be more interesting than the rumor.
Taiwan's DigiTimes reports that the Chinese-language daily Commercial Times has said that Wintek, a Taiwanese manufacturer of flat-panel displays, will supply their touch-screen displays for "Apple's new netbook," and that shipments will begin in the third quarter of this year.
Although this rumor is quickly making the rounds of dozens of worldwide websites - The Guardian, for one - we advise taking it with more than the customary grain of salt. That is, if by "netbook" you mean an underpowered laptop with a tilt-up screen and an undersized keyboard.
Although netbooks are one of the few bright spots during the current Meltdown, Apple has repeatedly denied that it is interested in entering this low-cost, low-margin market. Steve Jobs has downplayed Apple's interest in the netbook market, going as far as to say "We don't know how to build a sub-$500 computer that is not a piece of junk."
But what makes us believe that Apple won't release a typical netbook later this year or early next is the simple fact that the Wintek rumor refers to touch-screen displays. Add to that Jobs's assertions that the iPhone is already Apple's netbook offering, and it seems more likely - if the Wintek rumor is, indeed, actually true - that Apple is planning something other than a netbook as we currently know them to be.
Perhaps the rumors of a jumbo iPod touch or laptop Mac are finally coming true - though we've been down that road before. Perhaps Apple will (finally) bring to market an expanded iPhone based on one of its many touch-screen tablet patents.
As is their standard operating procedure, Apple won't comment on unannounced products - but we will: Apple won't release a "me-too" netbook. Whatever they're planning, it'll be something else entirely. ®
Ah, that would be a neat fit into Apple's product portfolio.
+ earphones & mike for fully hands free operation
+ audio guidance from an onboard GPS+ feature through 'phones or BT'd to car sound system
+ neat battery plus a suitable external power system
Only if the market could support a super spec bit of kit alongside a sub $500 bit of kit.
Maybe Apple should get into emerging markets too? If so a pincer approach would seem to pleasantly introduce Apple standards to both emerging and traditional markets?
"We don't know how to build a sub-$500 computer that is not a piece of junk."
Err, Steve, ask Samsung.
What he really meant though was
"We don't know how to market a netbook and con people into paying $1k for it"
Though if they flogged a $1k netbook, Apple nuts will still buy it. One of the few groups of people who are actually prepared to pay more money for things, not less. They even may be too embarrassed to be seen paying sub-$500 for something!
Paris - wouldn't be seen dead paying sub $5000 for something.
Matt… apparently some people wonder why Mac users are such a bunch of c***s!! It’s like you question their manhood when they go for the nice looking kit, especially when beauty is in the eye of the beholder…
Probably going to get flamed here, so AC to save myself the trouble.
Now you should know better than to invoke the wrath of the Khaki-wearing, Apple Fanbois! They can put most religious fundamentalists to shame with their zealotry!
@Chas @AC's everywhere
Oh dear. I'm A Mac user myself, but seem that even so my gentle jibe is still capable of enraging some slavering MacTards.
Sad to see that some my fellow Apple users playing to type. Honestly: I'm ashamed to be associated with you lot. It really is embarrassing.
As regards touch screen mobile computing and internet access. Erm... iPhone anybody? Why would Apple build a nasty cheap mini laptop when the already make one of the best portable internet devices on the market?