Apple is looking to develop a laptop that eschews conventional hard drives in favour of Flash memory, according to an analyst.
Shaw Wu, of American Technology Research, said that "Apple would like to introduce the product in the second half [of 2007] to further capitalise on its strong MacBook growth", according to media reports.
The new ultra-mobile device could be classified as a "sub-notebook", and would use Flash memory chips for storage and a stripped-down version of Mac OS X similar to the iPhone's, according to Wu.
The analyst said that the high cost of Flash memory chips in comparison to hard disk storage could limit the number of devices Apple introduces. Flash memory currently costs nearly eight times as much as hard-disk storage.
Flash memory-based hard drives in notebooks offer superior performance and shorter boot times than conventional hard drives. The chips are also smaller and consume less power.
If Apple plans to be the first company to introduce a commercial notebook based entirely on Flash memory, it will have to hurry.
Apple did not return a request for comment from vnunet.com.
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