iTablet For Sale: Real or Hoax?

Some enterprising techies from New Jersey have apparently decided that if Apple won't build their own Macintosh tablet, they will. Using parts from the latest iBook laptops from the Cupertino company, the group plans to build 100 "iTablets" and sell them through eBay.

The first of these devices went on sale Wednesday, with a starting bid price of $1,500 USD. As of Wednesday afternoon Eastern Time, the device had not received any bids.

The group says that the picture shown in the description of the device, made to look like an Apple Web page, is only an approximation, as the first iTablet has not been built yet. According to the description, it would take approximately one week to build the device, plus the time to order the iBook on which the tablet version would be built.

To build the iTablet, a 12-inch iBook is dismantled by taking the screen off and applying a touchscreen, then flipping the screen around and fastening it onto the case. To give it an original Apple look, the screen backing is placed over top of the tablet to give it rounded edges.

Of course, there is no warranty, and the group says it would not fix any broken units. Handwriting recognition is also unavailable for the iTablet, although the company said Keystrokes or TouchStrokes software could be used to enter data. The group was including neither with the product.

The claims have been met with skepticism from some. "This entire enterprise smells of fiction not fact," Fabienne Serriere wrote for The Unofficial Apple Weblog on Wednesday. "You'd have better luck trying to recreate Joseph DeRuvo Jr.'s home-brew version," referring to a posting on a popular Macintosh "modding" site.

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