The Apple rumour mill was somewhat quietened by the iPhone launch in January, but now there's a new story on the block.

It seems that contacts working on a new project have spilled the beans about a "sub-notebook" to website Apple Insider.

According to the moles, the device will be an ultraportable computer that will lack an optical drive, but will introduce NAND flash memory to the Apple range, to speed up boot times.

It's hoped by Apple management that it will prove popular in Japan, as sales of Macs in that market were down around 20% year-on-year to December.

Tellingly, Apple's second in command, Tim Cook, recently said that "the market in Japan is among the weakest in the world ... [however] we've got a number of activities underway to attempt to improve them".

The insiders believe that the notebooklet will be announced at the WWDC in the summer.