Monday, July 13, 2009

Rumor redux: Apple Netbook coming in October?

Concept art for an Apple touch-screen Netbook.

(Credit: Gizmodo)

We get a lot of e-mails from folks asking us when to expect a Netbook from Apple. Let's make something absolutely clear: despite all the previous rumors, we have no idea if, or when, such a product will exist. But we will let report to you when a new (or recycled) rumor pops in the blogsphere.

The latest: the Mandarin-language publication Chinese Times is reporting that Apple will release a Netbook in October. We tend to put a question mark on our rumor headlines, but there doesn't seem to be any question mark in the reporting here--at least according to a translation of the article that appeared within's forum.

Naturally, this all comes from a "reliable source." Here's the key quote in the article (again, we are going by the translation that appeared on MacRumors):

    Taiwan's high-tech supply chain companies said Apple will debut its first Netbook in October; Apple will pose itself to tackle the Christmas shopping season. Three (Taiwanese) corporations--Foxconn, Wintek, Dynapack--have received direct orders from Apple. (Wintek will be producing touch screens and providing relevant technologies for Apple.) In addition, some supply chain companies have privately confirmed deals related to Netbooks."

The report also goes on to add that "Apple will not follow the current market trend (by producing Netbooks with screens about 10.2 or 10.1 inches in diagonal length). Instead, Apple will produce (touch) screens with about 9.7 inches in diagonal length." As to cost, word is that it will come in around $800, which is about what we'd expect an Apple Netbook to cost (if the company decides to make one).

There are also some interesting updates tacked on to the MacRumors post as additional stories have come out. One update says there are "unconfirmed rumors" that British reporters pried Apple Netbook info out of several Foxconn Electronics employees and that although Foxconn refused to publicly comment on the rumors, the reporters may have gotten some sort of private confirmation on the rumors' validity from the company itself.

Again, these are all rumors, and with Apple, you never know what kind of bizarre smoke screen it might put out there. But in the past, the company has had some issues with leaks coming out of its suppliers in Taiwan, so we're thinking there might be some truth to this one--especially since the same rumor hit back in March. Either way, we do expect Apple to release new iPods this fall (as it has the last few years). Whether one of them will be a giant iPod Touch remains to be seen.

Comments? Do you think Apple really will do a Netbook this year?

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