$800 Apple Tablet Coming in October?
So that mysterious touch tablet Apple’s rumored to be developing? It’s about to go into production in advance of an October launch date. This according to a report in the Information Times, which claims that three of Apple’s manufacturing partners–Foxconn, Wintek and Dynapack–have received orders from Apple (AAPL) that suggest the company is building a “netbook” with a 9.7-inch touchscreen. From the report:
“According to reliable information, Apple will not follow the current market trend (by producing netbooks with screens about 10.2 or 10.1 inches in diagonal length.) Instead, Apple will produce screens with about 9.7 inches in diagonal length. Touch screen will be installed. Wintek will be the main manufacturer of the touch screen.”
Beyond screen size, there are no other specifications mentioned in the report. But it does include a price: $800. Which is $300 more than the $500-piece-of-junk price point Apple CEO Steve Jobs cited when he dismissed netbooks last October. “There are some customers which we chose not to serve,” Jobs said at the time. “We don’t know how to make a $500 computer that’s not a piece of junk, and our DNA will not let us ship that.”
But will it allow Apple to ship an $800 one? Perhaps something with a P.A. Semi chip? Something that runs App Store apps and offers a sort of middle ground between the iPod touch and the MacBook?
UPDATE: Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster just weighed on these rumors in a research note. His thoughts, below:
On 7/13 Asian media reports suggested Apple is planning a tablet/netbook in Oct-09. Last week we spoke with a Taiwanese component supplier and continue to believe that Apple will launch a tablet, not a netbook, by early CY10. … We expect [it] to be a touchscreen device in the $500-$700 range (between the iPod Touch and MacBook).
[Image Credit: Adam Benton]