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Apple's much-anticipated tablet device coming early next year

post #1 of 332
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Exclusive: After four years of meticulous development riddled with setbacks, Apple is now racing toward an early 2010 launch of a device that may see the electronics maker redefine the portable computing market for the second time in twice as many years.

It seems like a long time coming. Nearly two years have passed since AppleInsider exclusively reported in September of 2007 that Apple's next big product initiative would be a modern day reincarnation of its beloved-but-defunct Newton MessagePad. And it's believed the device had been slowly evolving as an R&D project for at least a year prior.

The 10-inch, 3G-enabled tablet, akin to a jumbo iPod touch, is the latest brainchild of chief executive Steve Jobs. That distinction, as insiders will tell you, carries its share of baggage. Under the critical eye of Jobs, contours must be precise, each pixel of the interface has to match a particular vision, and there can be no fault -- no matter how slight -- or it's back to the drawing board.

As such, AppleInsider has observed silently as the project was reset at least a half-dozen times over the past 24 months. Each time, development was frozen and key aspects of the device rethought, retooled and repositioned. At times, those close to the Apple co-founder had their doubts that it would ever see the light of day, just like a smaller PDA device he canned a few years after returning to the company.

However, the past six months have reportedly seen the critical pieces fall into place. Jobs, who's been overseeing the project from his home, office and hospital beds, has finally achieved that much-sought aura of satisfaction. He's since cemented the device in the company's 2010 roadmap, where it's being positioned for a first quarter launch, according to people well-respected by AppleInsider for their striking accuracy in Apple's internal affairs.

That means that the device, which is expected to retail for somewhere between the cost of a high-end iPhone and Apple's most affordable Mac notebook, is bound to turn up any time between January and March, should there be no last minute setbacks. Analyst's following the Cupertino-based company may consider factoring first full-quarter sales of the device into their models for calendar Q2.

Although Apple maintains publicly that it's thrilled with the relationship it has with exclusive U.S. wireless provider AT&T, the company has a bone or two to pick with the carrier behind closed doors. It's no secret AT&T's lagging has delayed some vital aspects of the iPhone experience stateside, and as such, other people familiar with the matter say Apple is now in active talks with rival Verizon Wireless over the possibility of the carrier playing a key role in providing Internet access for its tablet device.

AppleInsider has also picked up in recent months that its initial artist's rendition of the tablet device was off the mark proportionately and has since taken another stab at what the product may look like in respect to the iPhone, as can be seen below.

Much of the holdup in bringing the multi-touch tablet to market is thought to have revolved around a particular issue for which Apple struggled to find a solution, before ultimately settling on a brain transplant. Upon conception, it's believed the device was destined to be based around Intel's first Atom processor, then dubbed Silverthorn.

Deborah Conrad, a vice president in charge of Intel's Apple division, went on record in March of 2006 as saying that her colleagues were excited that Apple was "thinking different" about her company's upcoming offerings and the possibility for future Apple gadgets using the chipmaker's technology. Though she ruled out the possibility of an Intel-based iPod, it was the prospect of other devices that reportedly got her team "very, very excited."

Indeed, rumors would follow that Apple had signed on to adopt Atom in some of its products. These products never materialized. Though AppleInsider admittedly lacks hard evidence to this end, hints from insiders suggest that the company was dissatisfied with the battery life it was achieving from pre-production devices employing such chips.



It was around this time that the company moved forward with its $278 million buyout of fabless chip designer P.A. Semi. Dissatisfied with existing system-on-a-chip solutions incapable of producing the results it sought, Apple's objective was to create its own around ARM-based designs renowned for their superior power management characteristics. This decision is believed to have led to considerable discontent on the part of Intel executives who -- looking to jump-start their Atom platform -- were less than thrilled over the loss of Apple's business.

Sentiment over the matter appeared to come to a head a few months later when a pair of Intel executives had a field day badmouthing the iPhone and its embedded ARM processor at the company's developer forum in Taipei. That was the same forum where the chip maker was touting its upcoming Moorestown platform for next-generation mobile Internet devices (MIDs) that encompasses a future-generation Atom chip.

Intel vice president of mobility Shane Wall teamed with colleague Pankaj Kedia, the chipmaker's ultra-mobility ecosystems director, in lambasting the iPhone as a device dependent on technology that was, so they claimed, a full two to three years behind that which Intel could offer.

"If you want to run full Internet, you're going to have to run an Intel-based architecture," Wall told a gathering of engineers, further asserting that the iPhone "struggles" when tasked with running "any sort of application that requires any horse power."

"The shortcomings of the iPhone are not because of Apple," added Kedia. "The shortcomings of the iPhone have come from ARM." Wall then jumped back in and alleged that "even if they do have full capability, the performance will be so poor." To that, Kedia added: "I know what their roadmap is, I know where they're going and I'm not worried."

It was a nasty one-way exchange that prompted Intel's senior vice president Anand Chandrasekher to issue a correction less than 48 hours later over the "inappropriate" comments made by his lower-level executives. In the correction, Chandrasekher distanced Intel from the executives' remarks and conceded that Atom had a long ways to go before it could attempt to rival the power efficiency and battery life characteristics that ARM chips provide for handheld devices.
post #2 of 332
I'd hope that the artist's rendition has been changed... while the iPhone is a pretty device, I'd rather have some brushed aluminum... I say, make it look like a macbook air in terms of the curves, but no hinged screen.
post #3 of 332
Yeah, the chrome ring just doesn't scale for me. Kind of throws the whole self-assured "this is happening" tone of the article into doubt.
post #4 of 332
Ding ding... for the commencement of round two of the New Predictions for the Forthcoming iTablet / AirTouch. Or was that round three? or four?

I'll stand by my past comments that I can't be bothered to re-iterate even if I could remember them, and wait for the product to actually turn up.
post #5 of 332
Quote:
Originally Posted by unferth View Post

Yeah, the chrome ring just doesn't scale for me. Kind of throws the whole self-assured "this is happening" tone of the article into doubt.

FWIW, it's just a rendition of what the device likely looks like based on verbal descriptions. We used the iPhone materials as a basis for the rendition but I have no idea if it has chrome on it or not.

K
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post #6 of 332
Quote:
Originally Posted by jr0ckett View Post

I'd hope that the artist's rendition has been changed... while the iPhone is a pretty device, I'd rather have some brushed aluminum... I say, make it look like a macbook air in terms of the curves, but no hinged screen.


I prefer the bead-blasted aluminum of the MacBook Pro series.
Personally, I'm also curious if they will use glossy screen. I realize the glossy is nice from an ID standpoint because the glass is thicker and stronger, but I'm a matte fan.
post #7 of 332
It looks like it has a 4:3 aspect ratio: surely this can't be true?
post #8 of 332
One has to wonder (assuming this story is right in the particulars) why this device had to go back to the drawing board so many times if it's "just" an iPod touch with a much better screen. Actually, that probably pretty easy to answer: I would assume that this thing would need to be a bit more like the Mac OS while still keeping the features of the iPhone OS. I mean, you at least need a Finder, right? And the ability to edit iWork files.
post #9 of 332
Quote:
Originally Posted by cbw87 View Post

It looks like it has a 4:3 aspect ratio: surely this can't be true?

You guys are reading too much into the rendition. It's just to show a size comparison to the iPhone. The aspect ratio should mirror that of the iPhone.

K
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post #10 of 332
Quote:
Originally Posted by cbw87 View Post

It looks like it has a 4:3 aspect ratio: surely this can't be true?

I don't think that would be too bad, because I can't see living with a widescreen and a keyboard.
On your comment though, the aspect ratio must have been an interesting challenge.
I'm sure they'll position this to do eReader, along with a soft keyboard, video, and photos.
Hopefully it will have enough video power to output to an external projector.
This form factor would also generally be large enough to include a pico-projector?
post #11 of 332
Quote:
Originally Posted by paxman View Post

Ding ding... for the commencement of round two of the New Predictions for the Forthcoming iTablet / AirTouch. Or was that round three? or four?

More like twice a year for the past 4 years.

Kinda like all those AppleInsider posts about the Mac mini being discontinued in 2007.
post #12 of 332
Quote:
Originally Posted by jr0ckett View Post

I'd hope that the artist's rendition has been changed... while the iPhone is a pretty device, I'd rather have some brushed aluminum... I say, make it look like a macbook air in terms of the curves, but no hinged screen.

I'd agree with all the design comments so far. Here's hoping it doesn't resemble a big iphone/touch. It needs power sipping oled screen, and a form factor more in line with the new macbooks and imac...glass to the edge with crisp corners, slightly tapered on the back. Maybe even the black back panel like the imac, non-slip surface. I'm drooling !
post #13 of 332
Quote:
Originally Posted by paxman View Post

and wait for the product to actually turn up.

agreed. I opened the article expecting to see "Apple has announced that they are in fact working on a tablet/net book device" and instead I get a bunch of rumors which may or may not come true.

that headline really should read "Apple's much rumored tablet could come early next year"

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A non tech's thoughts on Apple stuff 

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post #14 of 332
Isn't Appleinsider, being bold here. I mean we've all seen the rumors of tablet pc come and go. I don't know hwo they can be sure this time. I wonder if this is just another stab in the dark. Trying to predict something that probably won't happen. Anyway I really wish they are right.
post #15 of 332
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Under the critical eye of Jobs, contours must be precise, each pixel of the interface has to match a particular vision, and there can be no fault -- no matter how slight -- or it's back to the drawing board.

Wow...you broke my hyperbole meter!

-kpluck

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post #16 of 332
Quote:
Originally Posted by malax View Post

One has to wonder (assuming this story is right in the particulars) why this device had to go back to the drawing board so many times if it's "just" an iPod touch with a much better screen. Actually, that probably pretty easy to answer: I would assume that this thing would need to be a bit more like the Mac OS while still keeping the features of the iPhone OS. I mean, you at least need a Finder, right? And the ability to edit iWork files.

Apple (with PA Semi) outdoing Atom seems possible, but to do it with any large difference was probably the real challenge.

What I find ironic, is that if Microsoft would/could make Office for iPhone and the new tablet, they would have a rather large market. I'm sure Apple would rather make iWork the standard, though.
post #17 of 332
I would not be surprised if we learn some day that the key to allowing this type of device to finally happen was the rewrite of the last pieces of Mac OS X in Cocoa.
post #18 of 332
wife and I have 2 iphones. 3G and 3GS and like them. unlike Mac's these actually have the most powerful hardware on the market in their category. we have the internet everywhere we have a cell phone signal. and they replace a few other devices on the go.

what exactly is the point of this tablet except as a complementary device?
post #19 of 332
So the truth starts to appear, just proving the axiom: All corporations lie, right up to the point that it benefits them to tell the truth.

Why? Because corporate charters make no one morally responsible for those lies, since a corporation is a fictional "person" undertaking the action of its employees and exempting them from any legal risk.
post #20 of 332
Quote:
Originally Posted by randythot View Post

Apple (with PA Semi) outdoing Atom seems possible, but to do it with any large difference was probably the real challenge.

What I find ironic, is that if Microsoft would/could make Office for iPhone and the new tablet, they would have a rather large market. I'm sure Apple would rather make iWork the standard, though.


OHH, iwork on this tablet would be a dream, screw office, can't stand it. What if they also included one of the new mini projector's being discussed in future phone's...!!!
post #21 of 332
Quote:
Originally Posted by al_bundy View Post

wife and I have 2 iphones...what exactly is the point of this tablet except as a complementary device?

Oh AaaaaL......
post #22 of 332
I hope it looks somewhat like this...

post #23 of 332
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kasper View Post

You guys are reading too much into the rendition. It's just to show a size comparison to the iPhone. The aspect ratio should mirror that of the iPhone.

K

Ok, sorry. Maybe you need a * and disclaimer stating that the rendition doesn't reflect actual anticipated construction materials or product size. Or anything else.
post #24 of 332
Quote:
Originally Posted by zunx View Post

The lighter, the better. 300 g or less would be great.

The smaller, the better. Pocketable would be great.

Firewire for repairs via Target Disk Mode.

At least two USB 2 ports for wireless remote control and pendrive.

Ethernet port.

Wifi.

Bluetooth.

Touch screen.

Full and true GPS (TomTom compatible).

Full Mac OS X for full blown presentations from NATIVE Apple Keynote and Microsoft PowerPoint via video-out port to videoprojectors (with VGA adapter cable).

Here it is:

iNetbook rerendered
http://www.flickr.com/photos/fotoboer/3226244527

First picture of:
Next Apple moves will be Books and Games
http://spidouz.wordpress.com/2008/09...ooks-and-games

We need thousands for our University.

Integrated pico style projector is the future, no video out port.
post #25 of 332
So the device will be used to only play Kro-Mag Rally?
post #26 of 332
Quote:
Originally Posted by zunx View Post

The lighter, the better. 300 g or less would be great.

The smaller, the better. Pocketable would be great.

It'll definitely be light, but it won't be pocketable . From the large order of 10 inch screens, this will not be a pocketable device. It'll be Apple's answer to the netbook, albeit a premium priced netbook.

Quote:
Firewire for repairs via Target Disk Mode.

At least two USB 2 ports for wireless remote control and pendrive.

Ethernet port.

How do you expect to fit all of this onto a pocketable device? The more I think about this, the more I realize that the MacBook Air was probably an early prototype for this device, much like the MacMini was an early prototype of the AppleTV. So, there will be no firewire, no ethernet, but probably at least one USB port.

Quote:
Wifi.

Bluetooth.

Touch screen.

Full and true GPS (TomTom compatible).

They should have no trouble adding all of these, as they should be standard features.

Quote:
Full Mac OS X for full blown presentations from NATIVE Apple Keynote and Microsoft PowerPoint via video-out port to videoprojectors (with VGA adapter cable).

It will probably be somewhere between the full-blown Mac OS X and the locked-down iPhone OS. As for VGA out, that will probably come from a mini displayport to VGA adapter cable, which will come separately.

Quote:
Here it is:

iNetbook rerendered
http://www.flickr.com/photos/fotoboer/3226244527

First picture of:
Next Apple moves will be Books and Games
http://spidouz.wordpress.com/2008/09...ooks-and-games

We need thousands for our University.
post #27 of 332
<After four years of meticulous of developmental riddled with setbacks, Apple is now racing toward an early 2010 launch of a device that may see the electronics maker redefine the portable computing market for the second time in twice as many years.
>


A 42 word sentence that contains the phrase "for the second time in twice as many years" is pretty much common for articles on AppleInside HapplessInsider but it sure would be nice if someone with some editing skills was involved. (I tried really hard but could only come up with a rambling 40 word sentence of my own)
I won't mention leading of with "After four years of meticulous of development..." (Oops, just did)

Come on guys, we're interested in what is being said here but saying it so badly is painful to watch.
post #28 of 332
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wil Maneker View Post

So the device will be used to only play Kro-Mag Rally?

yes. and you'll buy it too!
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post #29 of 332
Quote:
Originally Posted by jwyatt View Post

Integrated pico style projector is the future, no video out port.

I don't get the point of an integrated projector. While it would be okay for things like watching a movie it would absolutely be useless for presentations or sharing your screen with an audience. By utilizing the object as a projecter you lose the ability to use it as an input device and would need a second unit anyway.

It's like strapping a cup to a fork - it can pick up food or it can hold a beverage, but not both at the same time
post #30 of 332
What a horrible looking "rendition"

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post #31 of 332
The Mac has been useful due to the browser applications and some local run apps like Office, iTunes, etc. It has quite a few useful applications, but nothing like what is available for the iPhone via the App Store... 50,000+ apps. If an Atom processor is used + MacOS, it may not be able to run the iPod apps. If the processor used and the OS is similar to the one on iPhone, then apps may run, but there may be limitations to tablet OS relative to the MacOS, such as multitasking, and incompatible with the MacOS. May be somebody knowledgeable here can comment on these issues.

The iPhone is good platform, but the screen is little small and multitasking would be nice. I understand that limitation of battery consumption, processor power probably kept Apple from implementing these features.

I would rather not be tied to any carrier. Rather supply my own data plan... and VoIP and a Bluetooth headset. Or just use WiFi, etc at work and at home. Don't want to get ripped by VZ in addition to paying up ATT or any other carrier for a phone+data plan.
post #32 of 332
If, and I mean if, Apple ever releases a tablet like this... I hope they take the iPhone/iPod Touch route... and provide a wireless carrier subsidized product as well as just an 802.11x enabled device.
post #33 of 332
In addition to the visual finesse, I bet Jobs was pretty obsessive over feel and weight, and wants the rigidity and weight of the device to be far superior to any potential competition, such as the iPod and iPhone were. It's gotta feel dense and stiff enough to feel "high-grade", but also be lighter than the MacBook Air.

I call it a "titanium baby" effect - Apple devices have this unique quality of initially looking so precious that you think they'll shatter in a million pieces on any impact; but then prove to be surprisingly resilient and sturdy.
post #34 of 332
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wil Maneker View Post

I don't get the point of an integrated projector. While it would be okay for things like watching a movie it would absolutely be useless for presentations or sharing your screen with an audience. By utilizing the object as a projecter you lose the ability to use it as an input device and would need a second unit anyway.

It's like strapping a cup to a fork - it can pick up food or it can hold a beverage, but not both at the same time



You can share a screen via a program like webex. If this is for business presentations than integrated projector is the way to go. Less stuff to carry. Laptop is becoming like a desktop in that no one wants to carry it around.
post #35 of 332
Quote:
Originally Posted by jwyatt View Post

OHH, iwork on this tablet would be a dream, screw office, can't stand it. What if they also included one of the new mini projector's being discussed in future phone's...!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by randythot View Post

Apple (with PA Semi) outdoing Atom seems possible, but to do it with any large difference was probably the real challenge.

What I find ironic, is that if Microsoft would/could make Office for iPhone and the new tablet, they would have a rather large market. I'm sure Apple would rather make iWork the standard, though.

If this is real, I don't think you'd want to use it for lengthy document writing. You're going to be holding it in two hands, like an iPhone, typing with your thumbs on an onscreen keyboard, like an iPhone.

Dose the size of a MacBook Pro's keyboard increase when you move up from a 13" screen to a 15" or 17" screen? No.
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post #36 of 332
Quote:
Originally Posted by jrandersoniii View Post

If, and I mean if, Apple ever releases a tablet like this... I hope they take the iPhone/iPod Touch route... and provide a wireless carrier subsidized product as well as just an 802.11x enabled device.

And allow tethering with the iPhone.
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post #37 of 332
Quote:
Originally Posted by AjitMD View Post

The Mac has been useful due to the browser applications and some local run apps like Office, iTunes, etc. It has quite a few useful applications, but nothing like what is available for the iPhone via the App Store... 50,000+ apps. If an Atom processor is used + MacOS, it may not be able to run the iPod apps. If the processor used and the OS is similar to the one on iPhone, then apps may run, but there may be limitations to tablet OS relative to the MacOS, such as multitasking, and incompatible with the MacOS. May be somebody knowledgeable here can comment on these issues.

The iPhone is good platform, but the screen is little small and multitasking would be nice. I understand that limitation of battery consumption, processor power probably kept Apple from implementing these features.

I would rather not be tied to any carrier. Rather supply my own data plan... and VoIP and a Bluetooth headset. Or just use WiFi, etc at work and at home. Don't want to get ripped by VZ in addition to paying up ATT or any other carrier for a phone+data plan.



Every telco wants to qualify a device on their network before they officially support it. Best we could hope for is a quad band radio like in the blackberry tour that works on gsm and CDMA. But I think you have to pay royalties to qualcomm for anything CDMA.
post #38 of 332
If they launch this after AT&T enables iPhone tethering, they could potentially ignore the whole wireless carrier issue. Let people use it primarily as a wi-fi device or tether it to whatever phone they want. Or really blow us away and introduce wireless tethering. They have plenty of leverage on AT&T to get their buy-in.
post #39 of 332
I highly doubt Apple will launch a 10" multitouch device. Why?

-A 10" inch capacitive multitouch screen of 1024x600 moreless resolution in expensive.
-To last an acceptable time, it have to have a good battery so it adds weigth to the device
-Working with a tablet it's the epitome of poor ergonomy. You must to hold it with the two hands so to write (in a virtual keyboard) you have to hold with one hand (tired) and write with the other, or hold it flat and look at it vertically and write.

I have never understood why everyone is willing to have an iTablet.

Please, make a 10"-11" Macbook and then yes, this can be the answer to netbooks, but an iTablet is not the answer to netbooks.
post #40 of 332
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gwydion View Post

I highly doubt Apple will launch a 10" multitouch device. Why?

-A 10" inch capacitive multitouch screen of 1024x600 moreless resolution in expensive.
-To last an acceptable time, it have to have a good battery so it adds weigth to the device
-Working with a tablet it's the epitome of poor ergonomy. You must to hold it with the two hands so to write (in a virtual keyboard) you have to hold with one hand (tired) and write with the other, or hold it flat and look at it vertically and write.

I have never understood why everyone is willing to have an iTablet.

Please, make a 10"-11" Macbook and then yes, this can be the answer to netbooks, but an iTablet is not the answer to netbooks.

thats what I was just going over in my mind. I'm picturing what people would look like using something like this. It just seems odd, but then again, I guess I'm just so used to the classic folding laptop style.
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