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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)

Apple CEO Steve Jobs is reportedly devoting most of his time trying to perfect the new device and push his engineers to create the best product possible.  (Source: AP)
Can Apple craft a successful tablet device where others have failed?

When it comes to electronics product design, few executives or managers are as demanding or as uncompromising as Apple CEO Steve Jobs.  While others have played arguably more important roles in the technical or artistic direction of the iPod, iPhone, and unibody MacBooks, it has consistently been Mr. Jobs that has pushed his engineers to cut the devices' weight and footprint, all while packing in top functionality.

Many feared that the iPhone would be his final opus, when he departed the company with a failing liver.  However, less than a year later, Mr. Jobs is back in action, and according to the Wall Street Journal, he has one thing on his mind -- the new Apple tablet.

Last October in an earnings call, Mr. Jobs famously remarked, "We don't know how to make a $500 computer that's not a piece of junk."

However, that's exactly what Apple is trying to do, in essence.  They're trying to create a luxury-brand netbook with more power and functionality, that's a small step up from traditional netbooks in price -- similar to its business model in the notebook sector that sees it selling ultralight, long-battery life notebooks for a markup.

Reportedly, Mr. Jobs is acting as a ruthless and relentless captain, demanding long hours, efficiency, and secrecy of his employees.  This comes to a shock to many Apple employees who were beginning to enjoy more freedoms while Mr. Jobs was on leave.  States a source at Apple, "People have had to readjust."

In a brief email Mr. Jobs reportedly contradicted these comments, telling the WSJ, "Much of your information is incorrect."

The new device is reportedly very important to Apple.  With iPod sales slowing, Apple is looking for a new hit to recharge its lineup and keep the so-called "halo effect" going.  The tablet market -- sparked by Microsoft a decade ago, but with currently only 1.4 percent PC marketshare -- seems an ideal place to start.

Reportedly Apple has been working on a tablet for almost a decade now, first filing a patent in 2000.  Mr. Jobs reportedly killed the project twice due to disappointing battery life among other things.  Now, with the iPhone's development lighting the way, it appears Apple is finally set to green light the device.  According to the WSJ, Apple may be pressured to release its tablet at $499 or less, due to the plethora of Windows and Linux netbooks priced in the same range.

Apple's tremendous secrecy makes it hard to determine fact from fantasy, but its clear that something is afoot in Cupertino. 



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RE: first things first...
By Chudilo on 8/25/2009 11:17:01 AM , Rating: 2
You forgot the following:
6) Replaceable battery requirement.
7) SD memory port.
8) Bluetooth
9) 801.2n WIFI
10)Capacitive multi-touchscreen with full GUI support (not just moving the mouse pointer around like MS did it
11) Front and back webcams(or one that you could twist.
12)


RE: first things first...
By StevoLincolnite on 8/25/2009 11:22:30 AM , Rating: 2
6) Replaceable battery requirement. - Yeah I did forget that!

7) SD memory port. - This doesn't bother me, as long as it has USB.

8) Bluetooth - I don't use any Bluetooth devices.

9) 801.2n WIFI - I would need this though. :)

10)Capacitive multi-touchscreen with full GUI support (not just moving the mouse pointer around like MS did it - Of course. :)

11) Front and back webcams(or one that you could twist. - I'm not a webcam fan, hence this would be an added cost I don't need.


RE: first things first...
By rudy on 8/25/2009 12:03:12 PM , Rating: 3
I dont know if you want a capacitive TC on a tablet then you cant use a stylus, dell has a capacitive tablet and it is not as popular as HP or Lenovos because of this.


RE: first things first...
By Chudilo on 8/25/2009 12:21:04 PM , Rating: 2
The reason they are not popular is because you have to use the stylus to move the cursor around and type and click and so on.
Which renders the touchscreen interface pretty useless.
With an interface similar to the iPhone, this could actually work.
1) If you wanted to click on an on-screen button you would just touch it with your finger. Not move the mouse pointer with your finger and then click.
2) If you wanted to scroll a document you'd Click-and-Drag your finger on the screen, rather then take the stylus and click the scroll buttons around.
3) You can apply the rest of the gestures that apple first implemented in the iPhone.
4) Type with both hands to type. Not touch 1 letter at a time with a stylus.
And so on and so forth.
MS and PC vendors only took the idea half way, because of the lack of interest. The interest wasn't there because they only took it half way. Apple might actually do it right by putting all the missing pieces together all the way through the Hardware and software including OS support because it all comes from the same vendor.


RE: first things first...
By orgy08 on 8/25/2009 12:43:03 PM , Rating: 2
well, typing will still be annoying with only one hand while the other one holds up the tablet. It isn't has small as an iphone, so you cant use just both of your thumbs to type. Only way you can type with both hands has it to put it on a table or your lap while sitting down.


RE: first things first...
By thecoldanddark on 8/25/2009 10:17:35 PM , Rating: 2
Uhh no, have you used a Vista Tablet PC?

1. No you don't. You can set it to a mouse or set it up so that it just clicks, for right click you just hold your finger. On W7 you can double finger tap it.

2. Umm, no again. When scrolling in Vista it uses flick scrolling. In Windows 7 it's inertia based.

3. Windows Vista has basic gesture support fw, back, cp, paste, delete, undo, flick up, flick down, Windows 7 has a few more gestures.

4. In Windows Vista this was a problem, but in Windows 7 it's not an issue.

I own a latitude XT. fyi.


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