Rumours of an Apple netbook or tablet have been flying for years, but since 2008, there has been an inordinate amount of hearsay. The latest is from production company Wintek who are reported by the Chinese publication, Commercial Times to be producing touch panels for the forthcoming Apple device.
According to Digitimes, Wintek mentioned that “no shipment schedule has been worked out yet, but shipments are likely to begin in the second half of the year”. What this means for iPhone and iPod Touch users is really no more than smoke until Apple release either product or announcement regarding any netbook or tablet device. However, considering that the newest rumour comes from a manufacturer, some credence can be applicable.
The iPod Touch and iPhone have revolutionised the lives of many North Americans who traditionally rely on a mobile phone and a computer for their everyday lives. Many of the often used features and applications are swappable and day by day, the iDevice comes closer to replacing a larger computer. If Apple do in fact release a netbook or tablet device that is smaller and more tote-friendly than their laptops, Apple users may finally be able to rid themselves of dependence on the mains for day-to-day use. Already, the popularity of laptops which consume much less energy than desktop computers is making an impact on energy consumption in the household but there is work to be done still.
Netbooks which use lower powered processors, integrated graphics and much smaller screens run longer on battery and draw much less current when plugged into the mains. For most computational uses: web surfing, email, document composing and even DVD-resolution video viewing, netbooks are more than adequate and in fact probably overkill. Assuming Apple will concentrate their mobile OS on delivering performance tweaks to sustain a low battery draw and power consumption at minimum levels whilst still providing a meaningful user experience, I would consider selling my MacBook Pro which I realise more and more is unneeded for most of my work.
When and if Apple release a netbook or tablet device, drop me a line if you want a cheap MacBook Pro.