Cheap Apple laptops coming! Maybe?

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"I can't believe what I'm reading," says Don Reisenger on his CNet blog. "All across the Web, reporters are saying that at Apple's press event next week, the company will unveil an $800 Mac to appeal to those looking to spend less on an Apple computer."

Well, all over the net, sure. It's being reported by CNet and MacRumors and ZDnet and all the usual suspects. Here's the problem, though: it seems that pretty much without exception, they're all citing a single source, and a dozen people picking up the same original source material doesn't make the source material any more reliable. It's all based on an "EXCLUSIVE" article at the Inquistr, which in turn cites an anonymous source that they "would categorize as reliable, would have access to such information, and who has been accurate in the past."

Now, I know absolutely nothing about how reliable the Inquistr, or its sources, are, but I do recognize wishful thinking when I see it, and like Fox Mulder, I think a lot of people want to believe that a cheap Apple laptop is coming, despite the fact that Apple's managed to gain great traction in the laptop market even without a sub-$1,000 model. ZDnet blogger Adrian Kingsley-Hughes claims that "Apple [would] rake in some 20 - 30% of the sticker price as profit" -- I'm curious as to where that number comes from, as I'd think the margins would be lower on lower-priced hardware.

Anyway, I'll be as intrigued as anyone if this prediction comes true, but I'm not ready to let the echo chamber convince me quite yet.

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