Rumored Apple Netbook Actually an E-Book?
Reports that Apple is developing a new touchscreen device are picking up traction and credibility. In the past few days, claims made in a Chinese-language financial newspaper have been reinforced, first by Dow Jones and The Wall Street Journal, and now by Reuters as well. Consensus seems to be that Apple (AAPL) has ordered 10-inch touchscreens from Wintek–the Taiwanese outfit that manufactures the smaller screens used in its iPhone and iPod touch–and that those screens are destined for an entirely new device. Netbook is the word most often bandied about for it, but given its size and function, I wonder if it’s not more of a tablet. Or e-book reader. There’s nothing much on which to base this theory, aside from another rumor that’s been making the rounds lately, as recounted by Andy Ihnatko of the Chicago Sun-Times.
“There’s something I keep hearing, and I don’t think I’d rank it as high as a rumor, but it’s an interesting story that I keep hearing, that for awhile, trucks loaded with books would arrive at a loading dock on the Apple campus, and offload big, big, big, big, huge loads of books, and then the trucks would leave empty. And Apple does not have a 100,000-book employee library there on the Apple campus. So one is prone to believe that they’re doing something with these books, such as turning them into text for some purpose we can only guess at. There’s been a long-standing rumor that Apple has been silently preparing to open a bookstore on the iTunes store, and they want to make sure that they have a very large stock of electronic titles when they do open.”
Interesting, no? Especially in light of these new reports about 10-inch touchscreen devices. Could Apple be developing a new souped up e-book reader–a TouchBook, if you will? Something on which you could read books (in color), watch movies, surf the Web and create and edit documents? Something that would upend and redefine the e-book sector as we know it? And are the mysterious “books” to which Ihnatko refers really books and not the device themselves…