Apple netbook/tablet rumors swirl around $800 mark

We’ve been hearing rumors about a potential Apple netbook-type device for ages, and despite Apple’s best efforts to discourage speculation and dissuade the faithful from getting too excited, the rumor mill keeps churning out tasty morsels—many of them from deep inside the supply chain, where Apple would appear to have some sort of new product in the works. The rumor du jour comes from Taiwan via MacRumors.com and paints a picture of an intriguing device with a 9.7" touch screen and a price tag of roughly $800.

That is, of course, well above traditional netbook price territory, but one can imagine a sort of fusion of the iPhone’s touch interface and a full, perhaps Mac-compatible computer—a touch-screen web tablet that could make surfing on the couch into an art form.

I love the concept, even if it’s not what Apple’s really doing.

No doubt Apple will wait and make any announcement from inside the comfort and safety of the RDF at a Steve Jobs keynote of some sort. Between now and then, all we can do is listen to rumors, speculate, and probably get the pants sued off of us if we happen to be right.

Comments closed
    • Rakhmaninov3
    • 13 years ago

    Will it play Crysis?

    • End User
    • 13 years ago

    I’m not concerned with the “dollar for dollar” argument. I love my 24″ iMac at work, apart from the gloss display, but it is not what I want at home. I need what’s best for my situation.

    I already have two awesome antiglare 24″ displays. The Mac mini is substantially more powerful than my Dual 2.7 G5 and the G5 handles Lightroom and CS3 very well so power is not an issue. Heck, my Core Duo based Mac mini is still kicking butt after 3 years. The mini is by far the best solution for me.

    • End User
    • 13 years ago

    Oh please! It is so small you can’t even see it.

    The mini is hardly expensive. The custom HTPC it replaced cost more.

    Price sensitivity is your problem. Not everyone shares your grim view on cost.

    • Anonymous Coward
    • 13 years ago

    It can’t be costing Apple much in R&D, either. I’m sure its profitable.

    • Kurlon
    • 13 years ago

    If they’re going to do it, I’m guessing it’ll be ARM based ala the iPhone, or even better, be an add on/dock for an iPhone / iPod Touch that garners you a bigger display/touch area with a booster battery pack.

    • shank15217
    • 13 years ago

    Then you fail to see the point of a e-paper device. Considering the battery life of a Kindle is nearly 10 days and its primarily a reading device, your comparison is flawed at best.

    • vikramsbox
    • 13 years ago

    It being an Apple- at least it’ll look like a touchscreen ultraportable and the buyer can relish the ‘bargain’ at $800! Provided he doesn’t let anyone use it!

    • StuG
    • 13 years ago

    This will never happen, $800 is too cheap for something like this AND it being an Apple

    • blastdoor
    • 13 years ago

    I also agree. I bet this is a lot more like an iPhone than it is like a Mac (if it exists at all).

    • blastdoor
    • 13 years ago

    The mini has frequently been rumored to be on the chopping block, but always manages to survive. I suspect it’s because the mini is the only mac other than the Pro that doesn’t force an unwanted integrated monitor down your throat.

    • FubbHead
    • 13 years ago

    A /[

    • KoolAidMan
    • 13 years ago

    I agree, it will only happen if Apple manages a good interface with those size limitations. The cramped keyboards of 10″ netbooks are why I think they’ve avoided making one for so long. Even the Macbook Air has a full-size keyboard and trackpad with no compromises relative to the Macbook Pros.

    • KoolAidMan
    • 13 years ago

    Why not get an iMac instead? Dollar for dollar the specs will trounce a mini+comparable monitor, and it has a smaller desktop footprint than a mini+display does.

    HTPC is the only logical use I see for a mini, otherwise I don’t see the advantage relative to an iMac, or the advantage of cramming expensive subnotebook parts into a tiny case.

    • Dr_b_
    • 13 years ago

    Still, when you can get a kindle dx for $489.00, (let’s just round that up to $500 shall we?) add in a few more hundred bucks for a full function touch screen device that does what kindle can do and more… Where do I stand in line?

    Kindles flaws vs Apple iTablet:
    1) bezel too big, kinda ugly, and its white
    2) just a reader device, can’t run apps or browse the net as it lacks the horsepower and radios to do it.
    3) I know its ePaper, but it’s not color, and it doesn’t do touch screen

    There’s more problems with a $500 device like that, but that caps the highlights. If apple can make something that size, if its all screen, has some ooomhz, connectivity and a few other things, well, er…. uh…. I’d like it to be able to run linux and have it blend too.

    I can see apple filling a void in the itunes store for books and eprint media for their new reader/tablet/netbook, where Amazon owns right about now

    • End User
    • 13 years ago

    The mini rocks! My Intel based Mac mini is an awesome HTPC. I plan on replacing my G5 with a Mac mini once Snow Leopard ships.

    • dragmor
    • 13 years ago

    This will double as a 3G phone.

    • Ricardo Dawkins
    • 13 years ago

    LOL. 😀 very good.

    • Windogg
    • 13 years ago

    If the rumors are accurate, the $800 will be the minimum price of entry with perhaps 32GB of flash storage and +$150 for 64GB. The “Pro” version will have 128GB of storage for +$500. There will probably be one with more RAM, maybe from 1GB to 2GB for +$100. Warranty will be a basic 1 year with 3 year AppleCare for +$100. Battery will be sealed and a replacement will be +$125. I’m also pretty sure that a $100 “dock” or similar device will be sold.

    All said and done, an out the door device will be north of $1K.

    • Usacomp2k3
    • 13 years ago

    I’d buy one 7″ one for $300

    • eitje
    • 13 years ago

    I have one @ my house. 🙂

    • axeman
    • 13 years ago

    The mini must be close to a flop. A macbook with similar specs only costs like 200 bucks more than a mini without a display, mouse or keyboard. And the cheapest mini has a slower CPU than any laptop except the Air. No wonder I’ve never seen one anywhere except a store.

    • SomeOtherGeek
    • 13 years ago

    I’m wondering if Apple loves the “Wall-E” concept. Trying to keep everyone in one chair/couch?

    W’cha think?

    • SomeOtherGeek
    • 13 years ago

    Apple would not be Apple if it wasn’t $800. Kindle – Part II?

    • Thresher
    • 13 years ago

    I am happy to be wrong, but I just don’t see Apple creating a general computing device in this platform. Despite several tries at this, no one has been able to demonstrate that there is any kind of market for tablet computing, at least not one large enough for Apple to exploit.

    I suspect if they do create anything along these lines, it will be an extension of the iPod and AppleTV.

    • FuturePastNow
    • 13 years ago

    For $800, it needs to be CULV-based and run full OS X, not just a high-res iPhone OS.

    • Game_boy
    • 13 years ago

    Steve: One more thing… the rumours said it would be $800. $800? That’s ridiculous, of course. Here at Apple we wouldn’t treat our loyal customers like that. Certainly not. That’s why it’s $2000 and you can only recharge the battery by buying a new one.

    • [SDG]Mantis
    • 13 years ago

    Hopefully it will be more modern of a machine than the current netbook crop and will be a full-function device — not just a 10″ iPod touch.

    • bjm
    • 13 years ago

    While this news item will most certainly be subject to all the anti-Apple vitriol every other Apple post gets, if Apple delivers on a tablet device that is all-screen with a good touch interface, I’ll be in line with all of those so-called “idiots” waiting to be one. This type of device can fill many roles, and one is reading full screen PDFs on a couch. Ah, the joy that would bring.

    • FubbHead
    • 13 years ago

    I’m guessing another dreary grey/white device with a dreary, colorless grey/white OS. 🙂

    • zagortenay
    • 13 years ago

    800$ for a high nosed, low assed netbook? I never buy you, but still love you so much Apple, because you are too good at milking all those idiots!

    • Xenolith
    • 13 years ago

    Just an enlarged Ipod touch is not good enough. Too boring for Apple’s style. This device will need some other show-stopping gimmick to open eyes. I don’t the rumors sites have finished their jobs… there is more to uncover.

    • derFunkenstein
    • 13 years ago

    I like the idea of a giant iPod touch-looking device that could run regular Mac apps AND iPhone apps (scaled graphics, I suppose). It’d be priced alongside those CULV laptops you’ve been reviewing lately.

    You know, in the last 5 years I cannot think of a single Apple product flop. Even the aTV has a devoted following. I think the last product cancellation was the Cube.

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