Apple touchscreen tablet coming?

By John Bowman, CBCNews.ca

Another day, another rumour of an Apple tablet computer.

Wired.com's Gadget Lab blog is reporting on a rumour that Apple will have a 9.7-inch touchscreen tablet computer on the market by October. The source of the rumour is an English translation, posted on the MacRumours forum, of an article in Taiwan's InfoTimes claiming that three manufacturers there have received orders for parts for such a device. The manufacturers refused to corroborate the claims. The $800 price tag for the device is hand-waving, at best.

The post includes a spurious mock-up of an Apple tablet, which frankly doesn't inspire confidence in the report: a giant iPod touch with dozens of icons on the "Home" screen. (Gizmodo's Photoshop of an Apple tablet seems much more plausible.)

Rumours of an Apple tablet have been circulating for years, frustrating fans of Apple's failed Newton platform. The only real evidence that such a device is in the works is a January 2009 patent application from Apple for a "display housing for computing device."

An earlier post in Gadget Lab said the mythical Apple tablet was coming, not in October, but the first half of 2010.