The Apple tablet rumors/predictions have ratcheted up in recent weeks, with the consensus being that the world will finally meet this mysterious (and as yet officially unconfirmed) device this fall or early 2010, and possibly at the iPod event next month. But what, exactly, does it all mean?
For Apple Inc., launching a tablet—likely with a 10-inch screen—will let it play in the lucrative (and growing) sub-notebook computing space without embracing the “netbook” designation. Steve Jobs himself has been publically very anti-netbook, saying they’re not ready for prime time. The idea, he said, is that anyone wanting a pocket-sized computing device need look no further than the iPhone. Going with a tablet form factor allows Apple to get out of that corner and take on the rash of mini-PCs, which have been flooding the market thanks to mobile operators bundling, subsidizing and selling them like smartphones.
Whether a netbook or a tablet, there’s money to be made in the mini-Mac concept. Piper Jaffray's Apple analyst Gene Munster said last week that Apple should be able to sell two million tablets in 2010, at $600 a pop, translating to $1.2 billion and boosting company revenue by about 3 percent. Whether he is correct is anyone’s guess, but the buzz level on the tablet would indicate consumers are interested in the idea. Very interested.
A rundown of the current rumors:
• Various reports peg the launch date for later this year or early next, with it possibly being revealed at the iPod event in September.
• It will come with new features for Apple, like "Cocktail," which is a music album sales application.
• There is also a report that an entertainment-focused “pad” (music, photos, video) from Apple is coming to Verizon Wireless. No 3G, just Wi-Fi.
• The iPhone OS specs now include something called an iProd. No one has any idea what it is for sure, but rumors abound that it’s a tablet, an iPhone nano, or maybe a personal training device.
• Apple engineers are working on making the tablet chip faster than the 800MHz ARM chip that powers the iPhone 3G S.
The blog sourced below goes into the current batch of rumors in much more depth.