TechCrunch has an Apple rumor that it feels is pretty well substantiated. According to the blog, it has confirmation from three independent sources that Apple may be launching a large format iPod Touch in the fall of 2009. How large a format you ask? The rumor says the beastie will have a 7 or 9-inch screen.
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That is a serious iPod touch and according to one of the sources cited by TechCrunch, it has held the device. An Apple tablet device has been rumored for years and with the massive success of the App store, this may be a real product for Apple.
Stepping back and thinking about this a bit, it actually makes sense. Think about some of the other rumors and predictions we have heard about Apple's netbook. One of the possibly more accurate predictions is that the Apple netbook would run a version of the iPhone OS. The rumored tablet device would have a screen as large or larger than many of the popular netbooks around.
Apple is rumored to be looking at sources for higher performance CPUs for its gear in the future and with its new relationship with NVIDIA, the Ion platform with an Intel Atom CPU and a 9400M GPU would be fantastic in a thin tablet style device. Sure, it would be thicker than the iPod touch, but honestly, I think a table device can only go so thin before it feels odd in the hands.
Assuming this device comes to be, the price would be in line with what you expect in the netbook market. With a 32GB touch selling for $399, I could see this retailing in the $600 range. Throw in a few Apps that let you do some word processing, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and you have what could pass as a sweet little touchscreen netbook.
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The keyboard would undoubtedly be a version of what the iPhone uses, which in all honesty isn't so bad after you get used to it. That said, with Bluetooth built-in you could always go with a slim external keyboard along the lines of what Apple already offers. Could we be looking at the long rumored Apple tablet and the inevitable Apple netbook in one device?