Cancelling a $37.2 million deal with Apple to supply the state of Maine with laptops would be bad business the state's governor has warned.

Governor Angus King said: ''There are big downsides to walking away. The damage to the state would far outweigh the benefits of cancelling the contract. You need to be dependable,'' he said, according to reports in the Boston Globe Online.

King was supporting remarks already made by the state's attorney general, Steven Rowe.

A four-year contract to lease 36,000 wireless iBooks from Apple was agreed to in December, an initiative backed by King to provide the state's seventh and eighth graders with laptops.

A shortfall in the state's budget is responsible for attempts to renege on the deal. Two state representatives approached Rowe in July to find a way out of the state's multi-million dollar contract.

However, cancelling the project could cost $100,000. Rowe said it's unclear if the state would be legally responsible for services already supplied by Apple, in the event that Maine broke its contract with the company.

Rowe cautioned the state's ability to secure future contracts could be at risk.