Apple “netbook” on the way?

The news (and rumor, and speculation) is all over TechMeme: Taiwan-based company Wintek will be supplying Apple with touch panels for its new “netbook”. 

Nobody has yet been able to confirm exactly what size of touch screen panels Wintek will be providing, what type of device it will be used in, or in fact any solid information at all beyond that Wintek “is currently working with Apple to develop some new products.”

The original source is a Chinese language Commercial Times story.

This is certainly not the first hint that Apple might be looking at developing an iPhone-style tablet. There have been a number of patents filed over the last couple of years that suggested Apple was at least looking into the idea. If it happens, it might make the best e-book reading platform yet.

But there are plenty of unanswered questions. Will it be a netbook style device, with a fold-up keyboard, or more like a giant iPod Touch? Will the operating system be open like a computer, or closed like the iPhone? There is, of course, no way to know at this point—but it certainly is fun to speculate.

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