March 10, 2009 at 1:36 pm
Dow Jones claims that two close sources have confirmed rumours suggesting Apple’s plans to release a touch-screen netbook in the second-half of this year. The first rumour surfaced yesterday from a Chinese-language Commercial Times report which says that Wintek is to supply touch panels for the netbook, with shipments of the panel expected in Q3 2009.
The main bit of new news from Dow Jones points to a likely touch-screen size of between 9.7 to 10-inches according to its source. However, what hasn’t been discussed is whether the rumoured unit will have one or touch-screens. The source claimed that other specifications are still “under evaluation”.
Any move into the netbook space would be a sharp turn-around since last October, when Steve Jobs told analysts, “we don’t know how to make a $500 computer that’s not a piece of junk.” However, in January Apple’s COO said, “Our view is that the products in there are products that are much less powerful than what customers want. We don’t think people are gonna be pleased with those types of products. We’ve watched; we’ve got some ideas. But some of those products are inferior and don’t provide the kind of experience users are happy with.”
It’s hard to hold it against Apple wanting to enter the netbook segment now, especially given that we are in the midst of one of the worst economic downturns in memory. Despite the fact that Apple has rubbished the sub-$500 segment many times, it seems that it is at least entertaining the idea. However, whether an Apple branded netbook ever surfaces remains to be seen.