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Apple 'to release 9-inch netbook touch in 2009'

Next from Apple: A large-screen iPod Touch?

The latest iPod Touch is a nifty little gizmo that does a lot more than play tunes, but I've always found its 3.5-inch screen too tiny for watching movies or serious Web browsing.

After a few minutes of screen-tapping or finger-dragging to view Web pages designed for larger displays, well, things get tedious in a hurry. And movies? Better bring a magnifying glass.

No doubt there's a market for a bigger-screen iPod Touch, and if the latest rumours are true, that's exactly what Apple has in mind.

Apple iPod touch 360

A report from Michael Arrington of TechCrunch says that Apple is developed a Touch device with a 7- or 9-inch display, which is plenty big for video-watching, Web-surfing, gaming, and possibly even conventional desktop apps.

Details are sketchy. Apple reportedly will launch its king-size Touch in the autumn of 2009. According to TechCrunch, prototypes of the device are out there, and Apple and its original device manufacturers (ODMs) in Asia are working out the production details.

The rumours have been flying for a while that Apple is planning to enter the netbook market, and perhaps a big-screen iPod Touch would fill the bill. With a display as large as nine inches, a bigger Touch might just work as a laptop replacement too, particularly if Apple adds a slide-out keyboard. Could this be Apple's netbook?

Then again, price is a thorny issue. Apple doesn't do cheap, and at £300 or less, the current crop of netbooks is definitely that. Today's iPod Touch, with its 3.5-inch display, starts at £165, but the 32GB model goes for a whopping £283. Naturally, a bigger Touch would cost a lot more.


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