Update 2009.03.11 10:41AM PDT: According to Reuters, Apple will take delivery of 10″ touch LCDs from Wintek in Q3’08.
Update 2009.03.10 10:29AM PDT: The display will be between 9.7″ and 10″–so squarly in netbook territory.
According to Wintek, a Taiwan-based small/medium-sized LCD manufacturer, the company will be supplying touch panels with shipments commencing in Q3’08 for an Apple product. Wintek stated that it does not know what application the new touch panels are geared for. Quanta Computer will be manufacturing this Apple device incorporating Wintek’s touch panel. The Chinese-language Commercial Times is suggesting that the new Apple product will be a netbook.
What really is a netbook? “A netbook is a light-weight, low-cost, energy-efficient, highly portable laptop suitable for web browsing, email and general purpose applications–primarily noted for its small form factor.” –Wikipedia
“A netbook is a streamlined mobile device designed for the Internet, so you can stay connected on the go. Get up-to-date news, the latest scores and weather information, access your e-mail and social networking sites, and enjoy digitl videos, photos and music… a netbook specializes in mobility and the web, so it’s great for travel as a supplement to your main PC.” –Best Buy
I feel like Apple already has something like this in the form of the iPhone.
This new rumor from DigiTimes/Commercial Times doesn’t bode well with a rumor that came out late last year about a netbook from Apple to hit stores in the first half of 2009 as reported by PC World. “The slipping economy will force Apple to address a glaring omission in its line-up…” I don’t think anything, including the economy, really forces Apple to do anything. The first half of 2009 has just 3 1/2 months left. I doubt Apple will come out with a netbook before the end of June. Maybe a refreshed iPhone, but not a netbook. Just my opinion.
CrunchGear (2008.10.14) gave five reasons why Apple should definitely get in the netbook game. Here they are:
“It gets people in the door.” Well, people have been going inside Apple’s doors. I don’t think Apple is worried about retail foot traffic.
“… alternative operating system…” I don’t quite understand this but if Apple were to do a netbook people will purchase it because it’s an Apple product not because, “Oooh, it’s a Windows alternative!”
“It’s time for Apple to put out another small-ish laptop.” First you have to look at the current 13.3″ MacBook. It has about the same height as did the previous 12.1″ Powerbook and the 12.1″ iBook. So Apple already has a small-ish laptop for sale.
“The iPhone and iPod Touch desperately need to be integrated with something substantial.” And that something substantial is iTunes, which can be used on anything that runs either OS X or Windows.
“Make the decision easy for everyone by giving it a multi-touch screen like the one on the iPhone/iPod Touch and a good keyboard like the one on the MacBooks.” If Apple came out with a netbook the decision will already be easy for those that like Apple gear. Multi-touch and a good keyboard won’t be the features that’ll make it easy for consumers to buy an Apple netbook–it’ll be Apple’s hardware design, software and the integration between the two.
Even if Apple decides not to do a netbook, you can make your own: load OS X on your MSI Wind, make use of your cutting skills and roll your own transparent Apple logo, like this guy did.