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Apple, a leading maker of various digital gadgets, may be working on its own tablet personal computer, according to a news-story that cites current manufacturer of Apple’s MacBook and MacBook Pro products. The new type of mobile computer, if the information is correct, will allow Apple to target niche market segments with its products, however, it is unlikely that the product will be among best-sellers.

Representatives from Asustek Computer, the current producer of Apple’s MacBook and MacBook Pro notebooks, said anonymously to Crave.Cnet.co.uk web-site that the Taiwan-based manufacturer was “helping” Apple to build tablet Macintosh computer. No details or technical specifications were given. Moreover, it is unclear when the device is scheduled to hit the market.

Apple has always targeted consumers with its products, but tablet PCs are usually used in niche markets by commercial customers. Therefore, the fact that Apple wants to enter those markets may indicate that the company is considering a shift in its strategy, a significant change for Apple.

The market of Tablet PCs is relatively small, however, profit margins on the niche markets are considerably higher compared to mainstream notebooks. Given that the popularity of Apple’s notebooks rises, it has to compete against products from companies like Asus, Sony and others, therefore, its profits may suffer. As a result, it is logical to offer a high-margin product to stop erosion of gross margins.

Neither Asustek Computer, nor Apple, commented on the news-story, which is natural.

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