updated 07:45 am EDT, Mon March 9, 2009
Apple Touch Netbook Rumor
Apple is gearing up suppliers to build a touchscreen netbook that would ship in the summer of this year, according to Taiwan's Commercial Times. Following a confirmation by local display maker Wintek that it's developing touchscreens for new Apple products, the Times said that at least some of these panels are destined for a netbook that would ship sometime during the summer. A regular supplier of Apple, Quanta, would manufacture the netbook itself.
The technical details of the system aren't mentioned, though the description would point to a computer with a clamshell design rather than a tablet device. Wintek itself says it isn't fully aware of the purposes Apple intends for its displays.
While partly supported by Wintek's own statements, the report suggests Apple has potentially overcome its initial reservations about netbooks. The American company has avoided committing to the mini netbooks and has commented that the systems are often slow and have displays and keyboards that are too small to be comfortable. However, the Mac builder has also said it has "some ideas" and that it just sees the existing market as inferior.
Most netbooks are driven by Intel's Atom processors, though the company has lately been developing a Consumer Ultra Low Voltage processor strategy that would give significantly faster performance in ultraportables that cost just several hundred dollars instead of the four-digit prices common to the MacBook Air, Sony VAIO TT and similar models.