Apple begins bidding for Mac netbook manufacturing contract

Posted:
in Future Apple Hardware edited January 2014
Long-time Apple manufacturing partner Foxconn is amongst the frontrunners to receive a contract to build a Mac netbook, according to a new report.



Building on earlier rumors, the Chinese-language Commercial Times is citing sources within the PC component supply chain who say Foxconn Electronics -- the US trade name of Hon Hai Precision Industry -- "is in the running to land orders for a netbook from Apple."



Outside of adding that Mac maker's 13-inch MacBooks will become Foxconn's major growth contributor during the second quarter, no further details were included in the report, which was translated by DigiTimes.



The Commercial Times sparked a wave of speculation a little over a month ago when it reported that Taiwan-based Wintek would start shipping touch panels to Apple sometime during the third quarter of the year for the launch of an unknown netbook product.



A pair of sources speaking to Dow Jones quickly backed the report, with one saying the panels were sized "between 9.7-inches and 10-inches" while the other said specifications for the project were still "under evaluation."



News agency Reuters later jumped in on the action, claiming that its own sources were saying Apple would "take third-quarter delivery of newly developed 10-inch touchscreens from Taiwan."



While the specifics of these reports are up for debate, the product in question is believed to be one and the same with the long-running Apple Newton tablet project reported by AppleInsider back in 2007.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 97
    bloggerblogbloggerblog Posts: 1,732member
    I agree, this does sound like the Tablet.

    I think Apple will release a unique interface for the tablet built around the iPhone's interface, but I'm not sure if it would use iPhone APIs or will just run regular Mac software.
  • Reply 2 of 97
    teckstudteckstud Posts: 6,476member
    ....but how long can I hold out? Methinks I will buy a 15" MacBook Pro- at least it has firewire. Now if only I could get rid of the black keys, black border, and glossy screen. It looks a bit too much like my Victor AntiMicrobial Calculator at work- silver, black keys, black border and glossy display. And it didn't copy Apple- it's 2 years old.
  • Reply 3 of 97
    Hmm, third quarter... They could make an absolute killing with this if it is out in time for Christmas.
  • Reply 4 of 97
    charlitunacharlituna Posts: 7,163member
    i am not believing any of these reports at this time. I do believe that Apple might be investigating the notion of some kind of netbook/tablet, but until I see something official I'm not getting my hopes up.



    I'm still not sure if I want to see them do some new fancy touch screen gig or just make the Air (which is pretty much a netbook to me anyway) better and cheaper.
  • Reply 5 of 97
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by bloggerblog View Post


    I agree, this does sound like the Tablet.

    I think Apple will release a unique interface for the tablet built around the iPhone's interface, but I'm not sure if it would use iPhone APIs or will just run regular Mac software.



    I'm not convinced. The market for a 10" notebook (not going to call it a netbook) seems considerably higher than that of a tablet PC, unless Apple plans to move into the business sector with its tablet.
  • Reply 6 of 97
    teckstudteckstud Posts: 6,476member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by charlituna View Post


    I'm still not sure if I want to see them do some new fancy touch screen gig or just make the Air (which is pretty much a netbook to me anyway) better and cheaper.



    Now we're talking. Give me an 11" Air- I will buy it today- RIGHT NOW.
  • Reply 7 of 97
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by bloggerblog View Post


    I agree, this does sound like the Tablet.

    I think Apple will release a unique interface for the tablet built around the iPhone's interface, but I'm not sure if it would use iPhone APIs or will just run regular Mac software.



    I'm not convinced. The market for a 10" notebook (not going to call it a netbook) seems considerably higher than that of a tablet PC, unless Apple plans to move into the business sector with its tablet.
  • Reply 8 of 97
    bloggerblogbloggerblog Posts: 1,732member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by solipsism View Post


    I'm not convinced. The market for a 10" notebook (not going to call it a netbook) seems considerably higher than that of a tablet PC, unless Apple plans to move into the business sector with its tablet.



    As we all know PC manufacturers are just crank turning manufacturers, including SONY. If history taught us anything it is that Apple has proven itself as a trendsetter, when they decide to make something they'll put behind it the right people.



    According to AI Steve Jobs spoke about the tablet back in '02:

    "First, he [Jobs] said, the wireless bandwidth for huge images, plus the security needed to successfully do what NIH wanted, was just not on the horizon," the former Apple employee recalled. "Plus, tablets' screen resolution was nowhere near that required for NIH's high-quality medical images..."



    Relative to 2002 technology, we can say that all those concerns were resolved. Also, back in 2002 Apple didn't have an interface that resembled a multi-touch. SJ said during the 2007 keynote that the iPhone project started two years ago, which means in 2005 or late 2004.



    I am speculating that we will see a new computer that will hopefully *smack* the computer market across the head again.
  • Reply 9 of 97
    sandausandau Posts: 1,230member
    I hope I can just plug my iPhone into it and have 3G. Maybe the iPhone would be the 'guts' of it. that would save space. (and costs)
  • Reply 10 of 97
    I'm thinking "MacBook Touch"
  • Reply 11 of 97
    teckstudteckstud Posts: 6,476member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by bloggerblog View Post


    As we all know PC manufacturers are just crank turning manufacturers, including SONY. If history taught us anything it is that Apple has proven itself as a trendsetter, when they decide to make something they'll put behind it the right people.



    I am speculating that we will see a new computer that will hopefully *smack* the computer market across the head again.



    Apple will deliver, no doubt- but must you bash one of the biggest innovators in consumer electronics history in the process?
  • Reply 12 of 97
    bsenkabsenka Posts: 799member
    If it's a real netbook running the full OS X, with the full hardware feature-set of other netbooks, I'll buy one the instant it's announced. If it's a giant iPhone, or some feature neutered spartan version of a netbook, I'm going to smack someone in the head.
  • Reply 13 of 97
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by bloggerblog View Post


    If history taught us anything it is that Apple has proven itself as a trendsetter, when they decide to make something they'll put behind it the right people.



    I think the comment trendsetter is tricky to describe Apple. Rarely are they the first to market, but they certainly know how to bring a fledgling market to the forefront of people's minds. Is this more about exquisite timing in that the market would have exploded without Apple or about marketing so that the market may not have moved much if Apple didn't enter it, or something else. Is that setting a trend or leading a trend that was already established. And by leading I mean to be what everything else compares it to since we know that Apple will more than likely not have the highest marketshare for a market. (okay, now I'm just rambling, too much morning coffee)



    Quote:

    "Plus, tablets' screen resolution was nowhere near that required for NIH's high-quality medical images..."



    That is the precise area I was thinking of. I still don't know if it's worthwhile for Apple with their current business model, but I think if any one industry would be the focus of such a device it would be that one. I still don't how a consumer tablet would be viable. Sure, it would be cool, but unless it had a swivel screen and physical keyboard so it can be used like a normal laptop I don't see it working. But that kills it for any medical use. A conundrum.





    Quote:
    Originally Posted by sandau View Post


    I hope I can just plug my iPhone into it and have 3G. Maybe the iPhone would be the 'guts' of it. that would save space. (and costs)



    So far with the 3.0 Betas you can do tethering via the 30-pin connector and bluetooth. Though I suspect that this feature will be stunted by its release date to require a carrier authorization.



    However, I do think that the smartest move for Apple for any netbook or tablet would be to offer it with a 3G card and a reduction from a carrier for a 24-month contract. Dell et al. are already dong this through AT&T, but is this something that Apple would want to get into? I'm not so sure.
  • Reply 14 of 97
    Ok, real quick. Its gonna have two touch sceens mostly for the purpose of saving space. Apple wants to use their new haptics technology on this device and give it a full sized keyboard. They will port it to the iPhone once battery life is less of a concern. A 10" screen doesn't allow for much of a trackpad, so through the use of proximity sensors the keyboard will switch back and forth from key board to full sized track pad. Two hands at the device will bring up the keyboard whereas one hand will bring up the trackpad. This will be the first netbook to have both a full sized keyboard and the largest trackpad ever shipped. As for the display screen, it will swivel and fold down in order to be used as both a tablet and eReader.



    This is what Steve was talking about in the interview when he said that Apple had some interesting ideas for the netbook segment.
  • Reply 15 of 97
    paxmanpaxman Posts: 4,541member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by bsenka View Post


    If it's a real netbook running the full OS X, with the full hardware feature-set of other netbooks, I'll buy one the instant it's announced. If it's a giant iPhone, or some feature neutered spartan version of a netbook, I'm going to smack someone in the head.



    I am betting a hybrid of sorts. Iphone style gui (touch) but with a keyboard of some kind. It will have very limited physical connectivity like the Air. Basically an iPod Touch with a keyboard but able to run office style software. I imagine some kind of physical keyboard, possibly with touch interface. Possibly as an accessory. I don't see this as a tablet only as it would limit functionality too much. I see tight integration with Works and Works.com.



    It will probably be super cool but I won't be standing anywhere near you when it is announced, just in case!
  • Reply 16 of 97
    bloggerblogbloggerblog Posts: 1,732member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by teckstud View Post


    Apple will deliver, no doubt- but must you bash one of the biggest innovators in consumer electronics history in the process?



    I wouldn't say I was "Bashing" anyone, and I do realize that Apple's first PowerBooks were among the workings of Sony, so was the Walkman, Discman, and Betamax. However, their PC's are just Windows machines, I do not see any real innovation there unless you can point some out.
  • Reply 17 of 97
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by HyteProsector View Post


    Ok, real quick. Its gonna have two touch sceens mostly for the purpose of saving space.



    I forgot to include that the bottom screen (keyboard/trackpad) will be like the screen of the Kindle. Very low to no back light. As to not distract from the main display screen.
  • Reply 18 of 97
    walshbjwalshbj Posts: 864member
    Tablet with optimized OS X. iPhone apps run like Widgets on it.
  • Reply 19 of 97
    sandausandau Posts: 1,230member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by walshbj View Post


    Tablet with optimized OS X. iPhone apps run like Widgets on it.



    that's a given in my opinion. this new app store is a cash cow.
  • Reply 20 of 97
    i hope it has a keyboard as im desperate for a dev machine.



    iphone development on it is a must.
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