Apple Inc will receive newly developed 10-inch touch screens from Taiwan during the third quarter, Reuters reported yesterday, citing an unidentified person close to Taichung-based display maker Wintek Corp (勝華科技).
Apple does not comment on market rumors or speculation, Jill Tan, a spokeswoman for the maker of the iMac computers in Hong Kong, said by telephone yesterday. Jay Huang, a spokesman at Wintek, did not return calls seeking comment.
The article mirrors reports from Dow Jones Newswires and the Chinese-language Commercial Times, citing unidentified people familiar with the matter, that Apple may introduce a touch-screen netbook in the second half.
Apple does not offer netbooks, a booming category of laptops that perform basic functions and typically sell for less than US$500 each.
The company is working on the laptops with Taiwan’s Quanta Computer Inc (廣達電腦) and Wintek, Dow Jones reported yesterday, citing two people close to the situation. Carol Hsu, a spokeswoman at Taoyuan-based Quanta, and Huang at Wintek declined to comment on the report yesterday.
Sales of netbooks will almost double this year, even as the total PC market shrinks 12 percent, research firm Gartner Inc said this month. The machines shot to popularity last year with sales of 11.7 million units, and shipments will hit 21 million this year, Gartner said.
Analysts including Brian Marshall at Broadpoint AmTech in San Francisco have said Apple may introduce a netbook.
Apple CEO Steve Jobs has sought to quash that rumor, saying in October that Apple did not know how to make a US$500 computer that was not junk.
Quanta is the world’s biggest contract manufacturer of notebook computers. Wintek is the world’s second-largest maker of flat panels for mobile phones.
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