Finally! Apple is set to launch its own touchscreen "photoframe" device according to tech news mogul Michael Arrington who managed to confirm this rumour with "three independent sources close to Apple".
As another popular tech website pointed out, rumours of a Mac tablet (or iPod Touch) have been floating for at least 7 years now ever since (or shortly after) Apple's Newton PDA was killed back in 1998 but apart from a few patents here and there, Apple produced nothing concrete.
According to Arrington, Apple is talking to OEM in Asia to produce either a device with a 7-inch or a 9-inch screen which will interact seamlessly with iTunes App store and almost certainly be Apple's answer to the Netbook tidal wave.
Is there a market for such a device? Depending on the price, certainly. It would fill a niche between the smallest Macbook and the 3.5-inch iPod touch; it could also, as we said on our Twitter, compete with Amazon Kindle and replace e-Readers.
Apple will certainly try to keep prices low and we would bet our bottom Pound sterling that the marketing brains at the company will sell the device as a laptop-substitute rather than an obese iPod touch (ed: to justify the inflated price?).
So expect a £499 tablet with a 9-inch touchscreen using an Intel platform, 32GB Solid state memory but no slide out keyboard.
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Newsfactor says that this "Tweener" device (too big for pockets, too small to be considered a laptop) is unlikely. And we would tend to agree with them. A supersized 9-inch Apple Touch will be too heavy, too power hungry and too expensive compared to the iPod touch. Even if it were to make it to the market, the device will unlikely to be sold by the millions every month (ed: that is unless Apple gets AT&T or others to subsidise the price).