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An Apple tablet is reportedly confirmed and set for a launch in Q1 2010. The tablet is pictured here in an artist's rendition, next to an iPhone for perspective.  (Source: Apple Insider)
New Apple Tablet harkens back to memories of the Newton

Speculation has been high that Apple may be developing a tablet device and that Apple co-founder Steve Jobs himself may be handling the design.  Now, according to a report from Apple Insider, those reports have been confirmed and a solid release date has been scheduled for the new device, which harkens back to memories of Apple's much beloved Newton PDA.

Apple Insider cites sources close to Apple as saying that the tablet has been added to Apple's internal roadmap by Mr. Jobs and that a Q1 2010 release is planned.  The new tablet will measure approximately 10 inches and will feature 3G connectivity.

The product has been in the works since September of 2007, but reportedly never received the official go-ahead, instead being reset and re-envisioned several times.  The device is expected to retail for somewhere between the high end iPhone's price and the intro price for a MacBook -- with a likely price point seemingly being $799.

People familiar with the device say Apple is in active talks over a contract with Verizon Wireless to provide wireless services for the device.  The tablet will likely use system-on-a-chip processors designed by Apple itself, with the help of its acquired assets from defunct P.A. Semiconductor.

Apple had explored using Atom processors with the device and the iPhone, but it reportedly was unhappy with their power consumption, so it designed its own ARM-based processors, which are found in the iPhone currently.  The move led to Intel vice president of mobility Shane Wall and Pankaj Kedia, the chipmaker's ultra-mobility ecosystems director attacking Apple during a trade show.  Intel's senior vice president Anand Chandrasekher hurriedly issued a correction to his junior executive’s comments.

The new tablet may lure buyers looking for the form factor and battery life of a netbook, but are willing to spend a bit more than the average netbook in exchange for greater functionality.  While it may in essence be a premium netbook of sorts, Apple insists on not billing it as such. 

Apple CEO Steve Jobs once famously dismissed the netbook market commenting, "We don't know how to make a $500 computer that's not a piece of junk."



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I don't get it
By chmilz on 7/24/2009 8:32:53 PM , Rating: 3
They can't build a decent netbook for $500 using quality off-the-shelf parts in a market that has parts suppliers competing like mad, but they can build a proprietary device with a full size touchscreen that we'll assume will be of good quality construction with integrated 3G?




RE: I don't get it
By rudy on 7/24/2009 10:38:27 PM , Rating: 3
That is how apple plays just do something different and charge alot for it. Honestly it works great for them and it is rediculous that other companies do not try more. On the other hand when I really get to know a product I often find apple is not the first others have done it but for what ever reason because people like mick are around apple gets the most press about everything.


RE: I don't get it
By ZmaxDP on 7/27/2009 7:12:58 PM , Rating: 2
Last time I checked, companies are responsible for marketing their own products...

Apple does a great job at marketing, so is it any surprise that they get good coverage? I work for a company that does some pretty innovative stuff, but we don't market it at all. I'm not surprised we don't get published, nor do I blame Mick (As tempting as it is, I mean come on, his name is Mick! What is that? Does he wear Alligator boots and jackets and carry a giant knife? Does he have really big, round ears and Mick is just the monosyllabic shortened name he ended up with on Dailytech?).

If a company makes something cool, they have to market it. End of story.


RE: I don't get it
By headbox on 7/28/2009 12:37:36 AM , Rating: 3
oh, that tired argument?

Remind me... what PC maker makes a solid "unibody" aluminum notebook with 8 hours of battery life? The real question is "why is there only one computer maker that actually builds computer out of something other than cheap plastic or old ATX cases filled with a bird's nest of cables?


RE: I don't get it
By tmouse on 7/28/2009 8:11:33 AM , Rating: 1
Since Apple does not make any computers per say (ALL of their parts are made by PC component manufactures) their computers do not have any less wires than any PC. The "unibody" notebook was more about making throw away computers by sealing the batteries than constructing super durable laptops.


RE: I don't get it
By artemicion on 7/24/2009 10:58:23 PM , Rating: 5
It's not that they can't - it's that they don't want to. Apple isn't in the market for making value computers. It'd be like BMW selling a sub-compact aimed at budget car buyers. Some people buy Apples so they can say they have an Apple. When the brand-name has value like that, you don't want people to have access to it for cheap.


RE: I don't get it
By chick0n on 7/25/09, Rating: -1
RE: I don't get it
By teldar on 7/25/2009 9:48:27 AM , Rating: 1
You mean like the BMW 1 series that is going to be introduced in the US in the next year or two?


RE: I don't get it
By Legolias24 on 7/25/2009 12:10:08 PM , Rating: 2
Really, the BMW 1 series has not been released in the US? I'm only saying this because here in Canada, I've started seeing a lot of them on the roads. Nice little car, but they retail for around $33k from the minor research I've done.


RE: I don't get it
By themelon on 7/25/2009 2:01:34 PM , Rating: 3
The 1's came out in the US about 14 months ago. They started out as a 2009 model.


RE: I don't get it
By Scabies on 7/25/2009 5:02:22 PM , Rating: 2
RE: I don't get it
By melgross on 7/25/2009 3:14:56 AM , Rating: 2
There aren't any decent netbooks. I just bought a Toshiba mini BF205 for my daughter who only wanted something that she could do Skype, IM and internet for the summer.

This is new, and got some very good reviews. But even with the upgrade to 2 GB RAM, it's real slow. Works, which came with it, is real slow. Everything is real slow.


RE: I don't get it
By Boze on 7/26/2009 2:04:11 AM , Rating: 2
That's because you haven't wiped it clean and installed Windows 7.


RE: I don't get it
By Alexstarfire on 7/27/2009 8:16:45 PM , Rating: 2
Like MS Works? Open Office works wonders on the Atom Asus EEE that I got my girlfriend around Christmas time. It's not really meant for things that are intensive, like Photoshop. Last time I checked MS Works was poorly optimized and took up a lot of resources. That was a couple years ago though.

I can say that the Asus EEE does run Sims 2, though very slowly, and even Sims 3 (or so she says).


RE: I don't get it
By DarkElfa on 7/25/2009 3:18:50 PM , Rating: 2
Read between the lines. what he said was "We aren't about to sell an actual functioning notebook that would compete because then we would have to let the rabble in.


RE: I don't get it
By GeorgeOu on 7/27/2009 4:21:06 AM , Rating: 4
Apple can build it for $300, but won't sell it for less than $700. They like their fat margins too much.


RE: I don't get it
By peterlws08 on 7/28/2009 7:28:08 AM , Rating: 2
This device will be scary. I think that it will end up being a standard public information terminal. With the face recognition etc. Identify....


OS X
By Pippy on 7/24/2009 8:58:06 PM , Rating: 3
If this thing runs iPhone OS instead of OS X it will be utterly useless at that price point. With such a week CPU, it looks like it'll run iPhone OS. Le sigh... There's no reason why this can't run on an Atom.




RE: OS X
By rudy on 7/24/2009 9:01:20 PM , Rating: 2
I agree also it is funny mick said that it people might buy it over a netbook for more functionality. I wonder what that could possibly be with an in house CPU probably ARM no way it is going to do more then an atom with a fill chipset which would trounce it.


RE: OS X
By BlendMe on 7/25/2009 12:15:30 PM , Rating: 2
I'm pretty sure it will not run iPhone os. That wouldn't really make much sense. But snow leopard seems to be a good fit. In snow leopard they are implementing a lot of technology fro
the iPhone. Multitouch is one of them. The os will be much lighter and "snappier" than the current version. And with opencl they can really use the potential of their SOC's. As for CPU it will probably be ARM based and multicore (which was P.A. Semi's speciality).

I bet we all want to see how it turns out.


RE: OS X
By akugami on 7/25/2009 1:54:22 PM , Rating: 2
I don't disagree that it most likely will be running a version of the iPhone OS. It's also likely the ARM CPU won't be a powerhouse but neither are the Atom CPU's. The other thing is that we don't even have proper specs or even a preview of the capabilities of the machine. So how can you brand it as weak when we have almost zero information on it?

Another question is why would it be weak and useless because it'll be running the iPhone OS? What are you going to use it for? Web browsing? Organizer? Document viewing or editing? Email? Games? Watching a video? The iPhone OS can do all of that and more.

The things the iPhone would probably choke on are high end gaming or anything that's processor intensive such as 3D rendering, video encoding, etc. However, those are tasks that I'm not expecting to do on a netbook or tablet notebook. I doubt 99% of the people are looking at netbooks and tablets and crapping on them because they don't have the most powerful of CPU's as well.

My take is the ARM CPU will be fine. A netbook or tablet notebook is not meant to be a powerhouse. Maybe it will in the future as technology gets better but for right now, if it can do at a minimum what an iPhone can do, it's good enough for Joe Consumer. Joe Consumer only really needs email, web browsing, instant messaging, watching a video. Some more advanced uses are organizers, document viewers, maybe some other slightly more specialized apps but it seems none of these are beyond the capabilities of the current iPhone and shouldn't be out of the reach of whatever is in the Apple Tablet.

More importantly than pure processing power or graphical power is IMHO battery life. If it can do the common tasks I listed but get 8-12 hours on full usage then screw the Atom, bring on the ARM CPU's.


RE: OS X
By Alexstarfire on 7/27/2009 8:21:01 PM , Rating: 2
If it could only do what the iPhone can do then why the hell would anyone get this tablet? It has to do more else it truly will be useless, and overpriced.


RE: OS X
By akugami on 7/27/2009 9:01:43 PM , Rating: 2
What the heck else do you need it to do? Seriously, this isn't a workstation computer here. I'm not saying the Apple brand doesn't carry a premium, it does, but what I'm saying is that labeling this thing as underpowered and useless is idiotic. People have been known to spend more money on items more useless than what this Apple Tablet sounds like it'll be.

If all it does is do what the iPhone does then you will have 90% of the market covered as far as what people use their mobile PC's or phones for. Not only that, if it can run iPhone apps right off the bat then it has a huge software catalog with the possibility of Apple Tablet specific apps later on.

With all that said, I likely wouldn't buy one. As most say, it's pricey at $800. However, I wouldn't just label it as an underpowered POS just because it's not for me. Understanding what Joe Consumer uses their computers for, an ARM based netbook or tablet PC would be more than powerful enough for their uses.


RE: OS X
By pcfxer on 7/27/2009 8:19:12 AM , Rating: 2
iPhoneOS and OS X share extremely similar architecture and slightly modified kernels.


Missing a word...
By CZroe on 7/24/2009 8:32:30 PM , Rating: 1
"The move led to Intel vice president of mobility Shane Wall and Pankaj Kedia, the chipmaker's ultra-mobility ecosystems director attacking Apple during a trade show."

Physically? Verbally? If the reader is expected to already know, why are you telling us? ;)




RE: Missing a word...
By CZroe on 7/24/2009 8:34:04 PM , Rating: 2
And, yes, Apple does have a physical embodyment which can be "attacked." Either the people who were there or Steve Jobs.


RE: Missing a word...
By murphyslabrat on 7/25/2009 10:57:10 AM , Rating: 2
This isn't madness, this...is...INTEL!!!!!


RE: Missing a word...
By dark matter on 7/25/2009 4:38:49 AM , Rating: 2
Usually when reporting the term "attack" does not mean physically. It implies that the attack is verball, often with regards to some aspect of the target organisation/groups method of operation.


Looks purdy...
By skaaman on 7/24/2009 8:34:58 PM , Rating: 1
Success will be how it differentiates itself. I have read some saying Apple is behind the curve, but I like their chances of creating a monster given the benefit of observing the netbook evolution... Time will tell.




RE: Looks purdy...
By DarkElfa on 7/25/2009 3:01:17 PM , Rating: 3
I'm no Apple fan, but this is something I would buy if not for the fact that Jobs will have it locked down with proprietary formats and programs and it will of course only function with itunes. Now if I could put Windows 7 on it...


RE: Looks purdy...
By pcfxer on 7/27/2009 8:22:00 AM , Rating: 1
You are worried about proprietary formats and you want to run Windows 7? Sorry bro, I'm at a loss with people in general and their love for Windows 7. It still is windows and it still uses \CR\LF.


I still
By Etern205 on 7/25/2009 1:01:32 AM , Rating: 5
Below $500 Apple NetBook?
By pxavierperez on 7/24/2009 8:54:22 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Apple CEO Steve Jobs once famously dismissed the netbook market commenting, 'We don't know how to make a $500 computer that's not a piece of junk.'


If by that statement you're implying that Steve Jobs will eat his words and that Apple will release a Mac branded product with a price tag under $500, I'm afraid that's not going to happen.

I'm guessing this Mac Tablet will actually be priced at $700 to above.




RE: Below $500 Apple NetBook?
By cparka23 on 7/25/2009 1:19:35 AM , Rating: 2
Did you read the article too quickly? It gives a $799 "likely price point."


well...
By BusterBluth on 7/25/2009 2:27:50 AM , Rating: 2
I don't want a giant ipod... I want a compact computer with a keyboard. But if I had $800 to throw around I guess it would be cool for media purposes.




RE: well...
By tim851 on 7/28/2009 3:46:01 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I want a compact computer with a keyboard.


Yeah, if only someone would make those...


Looks like a ...
By taisingera on 7/25/2009 10:38:30 AM , Rating: 2
iPhone with a bigger screen.




RE: Looks like a ...
By 3minence on 7/27/2009 4:51:27 PM , Rating: 2
Maybe the tablet PC's time has come. The tablet PC has tried and failed before. However, the flexibility of the current OS's, wireless & touch screen technology, CPU power, and battery life may be at the point where the tablet finally succeeds. And Apple is big enough to make it successful.

Apple doesn't invent anything new, they just make it usable by the unwashed masses.


Ha
By sprockkets on 7/24/2009 9:09:45 PM , Rating: 2
$20 this will be a large iPhone based GUI and of course Apple won't let you use a real BT keyboard with it killing any functionality with the device.




By oxymojoe on 7/25/2009 2:07:21 AM , Rating: 2
I thought this might be cool for the living room table to hit a web page, check mail, and play a mindless game. Now I see there is speculation of tying it to wireless carrier. Forget it. I love multimedia functionality, think the iPhone is great, but hate being locked into a contract. You never really feel like you own the thing.




three words
By Zensen on 7/25/2009 7:59:37 AM , Rating: 2
This will fail




Weird
By InternetGeek on 7/25/2009 10:24:32 AM , Rating: 2
Microsoft tried a tablet PC way before this and it didn't work out. I guess the technology wasn't quite there.

Apple will now try this, and I reckon the iSheeple will say 'Apple invented this'.

BTW, whatever happened to the multi-touch patents both Apple and Microsoft hold?




By Tom mc3s on 7/27/2009 3:23:06 AM , Rating: 2
The fabled Apple tablet has been rumored for half of a decade. I will say it seems more likely now, though. I'm sure Apple wouldn't mind a bit of that netbook market. The only difference is is that Apple does not do well in markets that they can't make larger profit margins in (other than iPod/iPhone markets) because they won't be selling as large of volumes as their competitors.

Personally I would consider buying one of these sort of just to play around with but probably not for that price. Although a rumored price on a device that may not exist is far from concrete, I could see it going for somewhere in that range. The iPhone OS or a derivative of that would be a major hurdle for Apple to convince me to shell out the cash. If they did go with their Mobile OS then I would personally like to see a better way to interact with the device than just iTunes. Could you imagine only being able to import video by way of iTunes. One shudders at the thought.




Netbooks
By TechJunko on 7/29/2009 1:05:44 PM , Rating: 2
I started a blog about netbooks and posted my thoughts about the apple tablet.

http://www.newnetbookreviews.com




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