According to Target, the iPad will hit store shelves in all of its 1,743 stores beginning Oct. 3. The retailer will offer the entire range of the iPad, including Wi-Fi and WiFi+3G models. Pricing will begin at $499.99, but you could always sign up for a first-day-discount credit card that Target accepts and drive the price of the iPad down a bit.
However, we found the rumors of 11.6-inch notebook orders in Taiwan much more interesting. Quanta said that it has acquired 11.6-inch-notebook orders from Apple, which may be the long-awaited Macbook Air in a netbook form factor. According to Digitimes, up to half a million 11.6-inch models will be shipped in 2010.
Given that the Macbook Air carries a hefty premium and that Apple has said in the past that it won't be offering a "$500 piece of junk," it may or may not be a Macbook Air we're talking about here. In fact, it could be an entirely new design of a premium netbook class for Apple, something that slots right between the iPad and the Macbook for those who would want an iPad with a keyboard.
If we were to speculate, we would put our bets on a Netmac-type of a device that could run iOS, is designed to work with cloud services, and will cost about $600 or $700. A $1,300-plus 11.6-inch Macbook Air doesn't make a whole lot of sense to us.
However, at that point Apple has the 3.7-inch smartphone/iPod, a 9.7-inch tablet, an 11.6-inch Netmac/Macbook, and Macbooks that range from 13 to 17 inches. And, of course, we're still hearing rumors about that 7-inch iPad. Apple has been very careful about not cannibalizing any of its products with a new device, but we wonder whether the 11.6-inch class will begin to take some sales from the iPad or the entry-level Macbook. iOS could be the big differentiator to the Macbook line -- and start a transition of iOS across all Apple product lines.
We are purely speculating here, of course.
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