An analyst is predicting that the Apple tablet will retail for between $500 and $700 (£300-£425) rather than the $2,000 (£1,213) suggested by Technology Business Research analyst Ezra Gottheil.

Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster does not buy the claims that a high end tablet with an OLED screen would retail for $2,000 (£1,213), according to an Apple Insider report.

If the Apple tablet is priced higher than $700 (£424) when it does launch next year, it could significantly reduce its potential sales, according to Munster.

Munster believes that Apple will price the new device somewhere between the £149 iPod touch and the £799 MacBook. Piper Jaffray has forecast that the tablet device will cost between $500 (£303) and $700 (£424).

Munster's report noted: "As a point of perspective, iSuppli has reported the bill of materials on the iPhone 3GS is $179 (£108). Backing out the phone functionality, we believe the bill of materials is about $160 (£97). Assuming the tablet is 3x the size of the iPod touch implies a bill of materials for the tablet of around $480 (£291)."

Munster believes the hardware will be priced to compete with the growing netbook market, even if it means less revenue for the Mac maker.

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