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Brier Dudley offers a critical look at technology and business issues affecting the Northwest.

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March 9, 2009 2:37 PM

Rumor of the day: Apple touchscreen netbook coming this fall

Posted by Brier Dudley

Apple may be preparing a touchscreen netbook computer for release this fall, according to a vague report today in Digitimes.

The Taiwanese publication covering the hardware industry passed on word from China that Apple's ordering touchscreen panels for a netbook coming in the third quarter.

Wintek, a Taiwanese manufacturer, is supplying the hardware, the report said. An excerpt:

Wintek revealed that it is currently working with Apple to develop some new products, but it said it does not know what applications the new products are for.

Apple's made touch one of its hallmarks and it's long been rumored to be working on a lower end computer.

Releasing a touch netbook in Q3 would give Apple a potential blockbuster to compete with all the new Windows 7 machines expected by the holidays, including many that are likely to build on the software's touch capabilities.

Maybe Apple's aiming for back-to-school sales with a low-end laptop. Could it also function as a digital textbook reader?

If the report is correct, it will be a great time to shop for a computer this fall. If you still have a job.

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Gadgets and games | Fun stuff I've written about lately includes Apple's iPhone, Hewlett-Packard's HDX laptop and Microsoft's Halo3. Also on the radar are new digital video boxes such as the Tivo HD and the Vudu.