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Apple 'Kindle killer' rumor gets touch-screen

A tablet by any other name...

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More evidence has surfaced that the long-rumored Apple tablet/netbook/media-pad/ebook/whatever is on its way to a fanboi near you. Or to you yourself, if you swing that way.

Taiwanese market-watching site DigiTimes reported Friday that touch-screen manufacturer Wintek has been tapped by Apple to supply display panels for Cupertino's "upcoming e-book form factor netbook product."

Back in March, DigiTimes reported that Wintek - headquartered in Taiwan and with manufacturing facilities in the People's Republic of China, India, and on its home turf - would supply panels for "Apple's new netbook," with shipments beginning in the third quarter of 2009.

The twist in DigiTimes's latest report, of course, is the mention of an ebook form factor.

Speculation about whether or not Apple is - or should be - preparing an ebook reader has been floating around for over a year, and has recently picked up steam - even here at The Reg, where this morning we pointed out that long-time Apple analyst Gene Munster of Piper Jaffray ses a "Kindle-killer" coming out of Cupertino early next year.

But speculation is just that - Webster defines "speculate" as "to take to be true on the basis of insufficient evidence."

But Friday's report from the oft-reliable DigiTimes adds to the mounting evidence. Exactly when that volume of evidence will graduate from insufficient to sufficient remains ... well ... a matter of speculation. ®

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