Rumors of the impending launch of Apple’s (AAPL) tablet computer, reputedly to be called the “iSlate” and launched at the end of January, have fueled a 5-percent rise in the Cupertino, Calif.-based company’s stock. Now, inevitably, the backlash has set in (before the thing is even announced!).
“Assuming the talk is correct, it is hard to see the device proving immediately attractive to the mass market,” remarked The Wall Street Journal’s “Heard On the Street” blog, “given a price expected somewhere between $500 and $900 …”
The naysaying blogger went on to say that “investors shouldn’t expect any near-term bottom-line benefit from the tablet.”
To be sure, many equity analysts are enthusiastic about the iSlate idea, including Yair Reiner of Oppenheimer, who asserted that it could add 50 to 75 cents to Apple’s earnings-per-share in 2010. With Google Inc. (GOOG) reportedly set to announce its Nexus One mobile device as early as next week, and Apple moving stealthily toward this major new product launch, it should be a very interesting start to 2010.