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Apple "iTablet" Expected in March

With previous pricing estimates at $500 to $700, the latest rumors place Apple's "iTablet" closer to $1,000. At that price, analysts wonder what it could offer that a similarly priced laptop can't.


The rumor mill surrounding Apple's unconfirmed tablet PC got a whole lot of new grist on Wednesday with a report from an Oppenheimer & Co. analyst who claims that production has indeed started on the device.

The most recent round of Apple blogosphere speculation had suggested that the device, often called the "iPad" or "iTablet," was awaiting the final thumbs up or thumbs down from CEO Steve Jobs. If analyst Yair Reiner's report is to be believed, it's now gotten the thumbs up.

"The manufacturing cogs for the tablet are creaking into action," he said in a note to clients. Foxconn, Apple's manufacturing partner in China, is gearing up to make about one million tablets per month and Apple wants about five to six weeks' worth of inventory, according to the report. This would mean that barring any unforeseen manufacturing problems, the product could launch in the March-April timeframe.

The price, however, might prove a challenge if it's as high as Reiner believes.

Read "Latest Reports Say Apple 'iTablet' Is a Go" at internetnews.com.



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