Apple's Newest Touch-Computing Rival: TechCrunch? (AAPL)

While touchscreen tablet computers are nothing new, we finally expect to see some practical ones in the next year or two — such as a multi-touch tablet from iPhone/iPod touch maker Apple (AAPL).

But an unlikely rival could be forming: TechCrunch, the tech blog company.

TechCrunch showed off the latest prototype of its tablet PC experiment today with photos and videos. (See below.) Not bad!

Louis Monier, founder/CTO of AltaVista, is now leading the project in his spare time, TechCrunch’s Michael Arrington reports. Arrington thinks it’d be possible to sell the gadget — complete with 12-inch screen and virtual keyboard — for about $300. Will he?

Arrington: We’ve also gotten quite a bit of interest from the investment community. The real question for us is whether this project has legs and should go forward towards production units, which is a very big step from a working prototype. That would require spinning the company off from the blog and building a team around Louis. It’s a decision we haven’t made yet.

We can’t imagine TechCrunch has any engineering or manufacturing secrets that established PC makers don’t have. But they don’t have a legacy PC business to protect like Dell or HP does, either. So who knows.

See Also:
Apple iPod Touch HD On The Way
It’s Time For An Apple Tablet: Where’s My iPod Touch HD?
Google Android Tablet No Threat To Apple iPod Touch — Yet
What Do Google Android Netbooks Mean For Microsoft And Apple?

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