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Apple tablet PC: One patent closer to reality?

We revealed Apple's plans for a tablet PC over a year ago. Much has changed in the laptop market since then, but a new patent suggests Apple's tablet could be closer than we think

Looks like we may have called it when we exclusively revealed Apple was developing a tablet PC way back in 2007, as a new patent may bring such a thing one step closer to reality.

As reported by Electronic Pulp, the patent is for a 'Display Housing for Computing Device', and describes a self-contained portable computing device, internally reinforced with stiffener to keep it sturdy.

An internal antenna is also included in the patent, enclosed within the tablet. If it is a tablet. Some sources reckon Apple are already talking to manufacturers about a large iPod touch -- which would essentially be a touchscreen, wireless tablet.

Many gallons of water have passed under the bridge since Rory exclusively broke the tablet story, back when the netbook was still a twinkle in our Eee. Apple is unlikely to go slumming in the netbook ghetto, but as the MacBook Air is too expensive and too glossy to be a true contender in this market, Apple must be aware there's money to be had from those who want Apple goodness on the go without carting a full-sized MacBook around. The next question is what it'll be called. We like 'Macblet'. Yeah, well, we can't be right all the time.

Source: Electronic Pulp