Is the Apple Netbook Really an Ebook?S

With three separate reports confirming that Apple has ordered 10-inch touchscreens from Taiwan, you can pretty much count it as fact. But not everyone thinks that those displays will end up in a netbook.

Andy Ihnatko of the Chicago Sun-Times has a different theory about the device that could point to at least one of its functions. He thinks it's being poised as an ebook:

There's something I keep hearing, and I don't think I'd rank it as high as a rumor, but it's an interesting story that I keep hearing, that for awhile, trucks loaded with books would arrive at a loading dock on the Apple campus, and offload big, big, big, big, huge loads of books, and then the trucks would leave empty. And Apple does not have a 100,000-book employee library there on the Apple campus. So one is prone to believe that they're doing something with these books, such as turning them into text for some purpose we can only guess at. There's been a long-standing rumor that Apple has been silently preparing to open a bookstore on the iTunes store, and they want to make sure that they have a very large stock of electronic titles when they do open.

In other words, iTunes could compete with Amazon in the literary marketplace with a 10-inch touchscreen device at the helm.

If nothing else, it's one heck of a fun rumor. But if Apple weren't interested in using Google's large electronic library and they didn't want to cut a deal with Amazon, digitizing their own content would be a pretty feasible solution. [Newsarama via Digital Daily]