“If you’re in the PC business, life is pretty bleak right now. Sales of computers are plummeting. Prices are falling, fast. Outlets selling your wares, such as Circuit City, are folding. Oh, and just about the only thing that’s selling right now are low-cost netbooks, lower-cost iPods and canned food,” Brian Caulfield reports for Forbes.

MacDailyNews Take: Apple is selling premium-priced Mac notebooks just fine, Brian.

Caulfield continues, “It could be about to get worse. Much worse. According to a report in the Chinese-language Commercial Times, Taiwanese manufacturer Wintek will supply the touch panels for an Apple device of some kind, possibly a netbook, that will launch by the third quarter.”

MacDailyNews Take: WTF do “touch panels” have to do with netbooks? Answer: nothing.

Caulfield continues, “It’s unclear, as always, what the computer and gadget maker is doing… Apple, however, has continued to publicly resist the idea of competing in the market for low-cost netbooks. Chief Operating Officer Tim Cook criticized them as ‘inferior’ during a call with investors in January, saying only that Apple will ‘watch’ the space. Apple can do that, in part, because its powerful, high-end notebooks have remained steady sellers, despite the downturn.”

MacDailyNews Take: Wait a sec, Bri. If Apple’s “powerful, high-end notebooks have remained steady sellers, despite the downturn” then it’s not true that “just about the only thing that’s selling right now are low-cost netbooks,” and your entire flimsy argument just fell apart quicker than a Chinese iPhone knockoff.

Caulfield continues, “It’s also possible that Apple is working on a better idea, something that could move its iPod line up market, rather than its notebook computers down market.”

MacDailyNews Take: Nooo, ya think? Apple doesn’t follow. Apple leads. For decades now. How many times does this need to happen for some people to figure it out?

Caulfiled continues, “Here’s what we know: Apple purchased PA Semi, a chip designer that builds powerful, power-sipping processors for the U.S. military, for $278 million in cash last year. Then Apple slugged it out in court with IBM to grab IBM chip designer turned blade-server honcho Mark Papermaster. It then put Papermaster in charge of its iPod and iPhone hardware. And now it looks as if Apple has placed orders for a whole bunch of touch screens. Oh, and those chips Papermaster designed? Based on the same PowerPC architecture as PA Semi’s. You connect the dots.”

MacDailyNews Take: We did that eight months ago, Brian: Apple’s secret product is ‘MacBook touch’ (Tuesday, July 22, 2008). And, oh, by the way: to this day our source adamantly insists that it’s coming, regardless of what Apple actually names the shipping units, and adds that the SuperDrive will not be part of the finished devices, “It was just in some of the prototypes for various reason(s).”

Caulfield’s article is here.

MacDailyNews Note: Our source is a single source. We cannot confirm our July report or today’s additional information with another independent source at this time. Therefore, the “MacBook touch” remains in the RUMOR category.