If you've been following the Apple Netbook gossip along with us the last few months, here's the latest tidbit, courtesy of Barron's:
A "veteran analyst," albeit a very anonymous one, has allegedly seen and touched Apple's rumored "slate-style" PC, which we like to call the jumbo iPod Touch. According to Barron's source, the new product will be announced in September, released in November, and carry a price tag of between $699 and $799. As previously reported, the tablet (or whatever Apple plans on calling) is ready to go but has been awaiting final approval from Apple CEO Steve Jobs.
As for concrete details about the device itself, the veteran analyst had only one thing to say about his or her hands-on experience: "The machine impresses with its display of hi-def video content. It's better than the average movie experience, when you hold this thing in your hands."
Now there's a shocker. (I don't think you'd have to be a veteran analyst to predict that).
The article also goes on to say that the PC industry is basically on pins and needles as it waits to see what Apple puts out. According to the phantom analyst, PC makers have paused production on next-generation Netbooks until they see what Apple's come up with.
Interestingly, while there's been a lot of talk about this being a media-centric device with a little Apple TV mixed in (what you'd expect from a giant iPod Touch), Barron's quotes Jon Peddie, head of Jon Peddie Research in Tiburon, Calif., as saying it will be a gaming machine as well.
"Gaming will be a big part of what this [the new device] is about," Peddie said.
However, as far as we know, unlike the veteran analyst, he has not seen or touched the device.