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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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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.

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.

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.

"Nowadays, security guys break the Mac every single day. Every single day, they come out with a total exploit, your machine can be taken over totally. I dare anybody to do that once a month on the Windows machine." -- Bill Gates

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