WE'VE PICKED UP ON some Chinese whispering which would have us believe Apple could be about to release its very own netbook, with Foxconn Electronics chosen as the fruity toymaker's main manufacturing partner.
Digitimes and a plethora of Russian hardware sites are quoting Chinese-language site Commercial Times, which in turn is quoting sources from the component supply chain. These are whispering that Cupertino has sealed the deal with contract electronics manufacturer Hon Hai Precision Industry - or Foxconn - to bang out Apple netbooks.
Commercial Times says Apple may also be contracting other manufacturers in Asia, but Foxconn seems to be the main firm in the running.
The paper added that Apple's MacBook is already set to become Foxconn's big boost to notebook shipment growth in Q209. In the past, Foxconn has been contracted by the likes of Dell and HP and has done work for Apple on the Iphone.
The rumours come at a time when speculation is rife about Apple introducing a new multimedia device to take up an intermediary niche between the Iphone and Mac notebooks. Apple is keeping tight lipped about its plans, issuing a terse "no comment", but the word on the Asian streets is that the device will be some sort of 10-inch touch screen netbook.
Whispers suggest Apple will attempt to market the device as a portable gadget for reading e-books, connecting to the Interwarble and watching films. µ