Apple ordering netbook-sized multitouch panels for 2H09?

After the few days grace afforded to us after the multi-product Apple launch on Tuesday, it's back to the rumor-mills.  One particular lump of hearsay that refuses to die is the existence of a MacBook touch, a multitouch-capable touchscreen netbook or slate; it's that which has had another shot of vague credibility, with the supposed news that Taiwan-based Wintek will supply touch panels to Apple with shipments starting in the second-half of the year.

According to Chinese-language paper Commercial Times, Wintek have revealed that they're working with Apple to develop some new products, but that they're unsure of what applications those products will be used for.  Shipments, though not finalized, are expected to begin in the second half of 2009, and the paper suggests that the panels are for a netbook-scale device rather than another iPod touch or iPhone.

It's no press release and as ever we're keeping a huge pinch of salt to hand; we've heard talk like this for so long now, it's hard to take any of it too seriously.  Already speculation has begun that Apple is using the ongoing economic situation to reverse their position on netbooks and sub-notebook devices, looking to slot in a cheaper option beneath the MacBook.

[via Notebook Italia]