Apple is preparing a tablet netbook device for release later this year, according to reports from Taiwanese news site InfoTimes, and has placed orders for components with several local hardware vendors.
The device will reportedly feature a 9.7in screen, and function as a touch-screen tablet.
Reports have described the new device as a cross between a traditional netbook and the company's current iPhone and iPod Touch offerings, eschewing a built-in keyboard or trackpad for touch-screen input.
The device will reportedly launch as early as October, at an introductory price of $800 (£490).
Further reports also suggest that the tablet will make use of assets obtained through the 2008 acquisition of chipmaker PA Semi. Apple purchased the company with the intention of developing in-house chip designs for products such as the iPhone.
The news is the latest in the ongoing speculation over the development of tablet and netbook models by Apple. The company has in the past declined to enter such low-cost markets, citing quality concerns.
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