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Wednesday, December 02, 2009, 11:35 am PT (02:35 pm ET)

Apple tablet rumored to be 'shockingly' inexpensive

Internet and television personality Alex Albrecht claimed to have insight on the price of Apple's rumored tablet during the latest episode of Diggnation, which also featured actor John Hodgman from Apple's "Get a Mac" commercials.

During the course of episode 231 of the Internet-based show, co-host and Web entrepreneur Kevin Rose asked Hodgman, who plays the bumbling "PC" in Apple's commercials, if he has any inside information on the tablet.

"I don't know anything about it," Hodgman said. "You think they'd tell me?"

Rose then turned his attention to Albrecht, and insinuated that the co-host had privately revealed supposed information on Apple's long-rumored touchscreen device. After pestering from Rose, Albrecht eventually conceded: "I was shocked at how cheap the price point is going to be." He declined to reveal anything further.

While Hodgman did not have any insight on the tablet or future Apple products, the author did reveal that he was given an iPod and a MacBook Pro "on the first round" of commercials he did for Apple. He used his own MacBook Air for the duration of the episode.

"I would support them any old day," said Hodgman, a self-professed Mac fan.

Typically it is Rose who reveals Apple-related rumors on Diggnation, with varying degrees of accuracy. In 2008, Rose revealed a leaked photo of the fourth-generation iPod nano in advance, though his iPhone-related leaks have been hit or miss.

The episode featuring Hodgman, queued to the segment discussing the tablet, is included, courtesy of Revision3 (language potentially not safe for work):



Price predictions for the tablet have been all over the map. Some feel it will be priced low, around $500, to compete with the low-cost netbook market. Others have predicted its price would be comparable to a MacBook at around $1,000. Another recent rumor placed a supposed OLED screen equipped version of the hardware at $2,000 retail.

In other tablet news, a new survey of booksellers released Wednesday has found that industry officials expect Apple's tablet to boost the electronic book market significantly. In fact, most said they expect the still-unseen device to be the top-selling e-reader.

As part of its digital conference held Wednesday in London, The Bookseller revealed the results of its survey of more than 1,000 trade book professionals. Among them, 52 percent said they believe that Apple will emerge victorious with its tablet, with Amazon's Kindle coming in second, and Sony a "distant" third.

In addition, 42 percent of industry members said they believe "most" people will read e-books on a dedicated device in the future. More than 88 percent of respondents said they believe bookshops will lose out as digital sales grow.

In recent months, rumors have persisted that Apple will portray the multifunction device as a high-quality e-reader. Anonymous industry officials have claimed that the Cupertino, Calif., company has contacted numerous print publications about the forthcoming device.

Sources have told AppleInsider that the tablet will be introduced in the first quarter of 2010. It is expected to have a 10-inch touchscreen and 3G connectivity.