Plus, such a form factor would allow Apple to say their netbook answer is not a netbook. But the issue many folks have, even if Apple were to go this route, is the input methods. Some people aren't going to be happy with this - typing on a screen even if Apple has demonstrated with the 40 million + iPhone and iPod Touches in the wild that its touch implementation works just fine.
You're always going to have to small number who swear by physical keys. So, I think perhaps Apple might offer a different solution. A middle ground. Because of the large size of the iTablet, there is space for Apple to create hinges and a port for a detachable keyboard should the user choose to use one.
It would give the naysayers nothing to say, effectively, shutting them up. And for virtual keyboard purists, they can still touch away like they're already doing on the iPhone.
Furthermore, the detachable keyboard can serve two main functions. It can serve as an extension for expanded ports Secondly, it can serve as an external battery source for the iTablet. If the iTablet can allow for say ten hours of use, I think the keyboard can help double or triple the battery life. Lastly, it provides protect for the screen.
Battery life of the iTablet while at the same time, increase the expandability of the device without the iTablet itself poked full of holes for USBs or memory card slots all fit the philosophy of Apple portability and design.
I have a feeling that Apple's keyboard implementation wouldn't allow for expandability but don't be surprised for Belkin or something else to come in and offer an external keyboard with additional functionalities.
The iTablet would enable 3rd parties to produce add-ons that duplicate the success of iPod ecosystem that helped Apple padded its billions of cash that now sit the bank.
So, there you have it. A netbook that's not a netbook.