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Apple engineers ramp up overseas trips for tablet - report

post #1 of 59
Thread Starter 
Apple employees are reportedly taking numerous trips to manufacturing plants in China, including some scheduled during the upcoming holiday season, as the company's long-rumored tablet comes closer to reality.

Citing an anonymous source, The Business Insider said that Apple engineers have been taking numerous trips between the U.S. and Asia recently to visit manufacturing plants where the 10-inch touchscreen device will go into production. That manufacturer is likely to be Foxconn, the Taiwan-based electronics manufacturer who has partnered with Apple on numerous products, and earlier this month was rumored to have secured the production of the still-unannounced tablet.

"A source tells us a system integration engineer friend of his at Apple has been ramping up his travels back and forth between China lately, broadcasting word of his travels over the Internet," the report said. "There's even a few weeks scheduled during the Christmas holiday season."

Christmas trips would confirm what sources have told AppleInsider: that the Cupertino, Calif., company is racing towards a launch in the first quarter of 2010 for its 3G-enabled multi-touch device.

Earlier reports suggested the initial run in early 2010 would include the production of 300,000 to 400,000 devices for sale.

Rumors as of late have said that Apple has been courting publishers of newspapers and magazines to provide their content on the tablet. The belief is the device would serve as an e-reader, as well as a media player and mobile Web browser.
post #2 of 59
I wonder why Apple aimed to launch after the Christmas period. I would have thought it would have made an excellent time to launch, leading up to Christmas I mean.
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post #3 of 59
Exciting news.

Anybody NOT going to buy one of these?

Der-rool, der-rool...

The End game against the Wintel Hegemony is in sight.

Lemon Bon Bon.

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You know, for a company that specializes in the video-graphics market, you'd think that they would offer top-of-the-line GPUs...

 

WITH THE NEW MAC PRO THEY FINALLY DID!  (But you bend over for it.)

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post #4 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post

I wonder why Apple aimed to launch after the Christmas period. I would have thought it would have made an excellent time to launch, leading up to Christmas I mean.

I think it will be the driving force in the Q1Y09 sales, a typically slow period. Right?
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post #5 of 59
Hopefully TWO models:

iTablet with ARM inside. Big iPod touch. Extra-large battery life.
iTablet with Intel Atom inside. Mac OS X 10.6 (touch) inside. The Mac in your pocket.

Looking forward to the second if it has video-out and USB 2 ports for Keynote and PowerPoint presentations.
post #6 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post

I wonder why Apple aimed to launch after the Christmas period. I would have thought it would have made an excellent time to launch, leading up to Christmas I mean.

It might have something to do with the fact that it won't be available until sometime next year.
post #7 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post

I wonder why Apple aimed to launch after the Christmas period. I would have thought it would have made an excellent time to launch, leading up to Christmas I mean.

Might not be ready for launch, but they might want to have this start the new year. Theyve introduced a lot of products for the first time in January over the years. If they are readying an SDK and publishers for this iTunesLP-like interface then these may require some new refinements.

Quote:
Originally Posted by zunx View Post

Hopefully TWO models:

iTablet with ARM inside. Big iPod touch. Extra-large battery life.
iTablet with Intel Atom inside. Mac OS X 10.6 (touch) inside. The Mac in your pocket.

Looking forward to the second if it has video-out and USB 2 ports for Keynote and PowerPoint presentations.

I hope its neither of those. Neither is ideal for a 10 touch screen. Unless you are using a stylus there are many aspects of Mac OS X that dont work for finger-based touch. That is a core reason all the other tablets suck big monkey balls at this point. If its just a 10 screen mirroring the Touch then its a wasted opportunity. I expect something between the two with a new UI designed for the HW inside.
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post #8 of 59
Great. Already got 2 universities here interested. Go Go Tablet!!
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post #9 of 59
boy I can't wait. exciting news, exciting times.
post #10 of 59
If the reports of a bigger touch, with web browsing and magazine content is all they got then i won't be buying and personally think it'll be a flop. There MUST be way more to it hopefully.
post #11 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by ad4m.phillips View Post

If the reports of a bigger touch, with web browsing and magazine content is all they got then i won't be buying and personally think it'll be a flop. There MUST be way more to it hopefully.

Agreed. If that's the only differentiating factor from an iPhone/iPod, that it's bigger and you can read books/magazines on it, than it will be the next AppleTV. Part of me believes Apple wouldn't be this stupid, but the other part of me realizes Apple can sometimes be that stupid.
post #12 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by zunx View Post

Hopefully TWO models:

iTablet with ARM inside. Big iPod touch. Extra-large battery life.
iTablet with Intel Atom inside. Mac OS X 10.6 (touch) inside. The Mac in your pocket.

Looking forward to the second if it has video-out and USB 2 ports for Keynote and PowerPoint presentations.

Do you ever comment anything else besides that you want a tablet with an Atom chip, video-out and USB 2 ports for your PowerPoint?

It ain't gonna happen and it's a really bad idea.
post #13 of 59
Yea I want this to be a Macbook Nano. That way you put it in a small protective case and carry it with you to class like a notebook. Long battery life would help with this, if it can last 7-8 hours continious use. I don't think I would want iPhone OS on it, I am kinda hoping for full OSX, though there is probably not much to gain from that, as this won't run Photoshop or AfterEffects anyways. This could be a very good device, but if its just an eReader then I think it will flop.
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post #14 of 59
Dear A.I.
Ya know at some point investigative reporting and being an Apple fan crosses over to stalking and just plain creepy. Line crossed.
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post #15 of 59
Full OSX with connectability up to the existing wireless bluetooth keyboard or something smaller if you need it would be my preference. iPhone OS is just a bit too limiting for much productivity.

Though most of its use is being associated with it being a reader device and umm for presentations can you imagine the backpacker market taking these things everywhere on their travels to do occassional emails/social networking and photo uploads.

They dont want an expensive machine and they certainly dont want it to be heavy but they know there is a better solution than all those net cafes with half broken PC boxes with Win XP and IE6 installed in them.
post #16 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by sheff View Post

Yea I want this to be a Macbook Nano. That way you put it in a small protective case and carry it with you to class like a notebook. Long battery life would help with this, if it can last 7-8 hours continious use. I don't think I would want iPhone OS on it, I am kinda hoping for full OSX, though there is probably not much to gain from that, as this won't run Photoshop or AfterEffects anyways. This could be a very good device, but if its just an eReader then I think it will flop.

There IS much to gain for having full OSX on it: open development. But I have a feeling Apple will lock this thing down... mostly because it'll have 3G.

I want full OS X too. I think it needs to be running a touch enabled version of full snow leopard to really be a breakthrough device. Slapping the iPhone OS on a bigger screen seems underwhelming to me. Then again, if they add multitasking, notification handling, etc. and it trickles down to an iPhone update, I'll be a happy man.
post #17 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by utsava View Post

Agreed. If that's the only differentiating factor from an iPhone/iPod, that it's bigger and you can read books/magazines on it, than it will be the next AppleTV. Part of me believes Apple wouldn't be this stupid, but the other part of me realizes Apple can sometimes be that stupid.

I'm not sure you're looking at it the right way. Apple is talking about changing the way people read.

Let's set aside the fact that it will be a music player, internet browser, movie player, and via bluetooth headset, a phone- at a 10" screen size it will be much more enjoyable to use. If that were all it was, you're right- it might sell moderately well to the faithful.

But let's be honest, the iPhone and other mobile devices, by their nature, are pocket sized and not perfect for reading. It's a compromise. I've read my fair share on my iPhone and I couldn't imagine reading a full length novel unless I was really stuck. The internet on your phone is primarily an information oriented convenience. Need to look up something, you can. Need to find somewhere, you can. At the other end, notebooks are OK in some situations, riding on a train or plane, but not for casual commuter use.

In an article about comic books on the tablet the other day- someone mentioned that Apple would be going after a niche market. Well, that's correct. Comics are a niche market. So are e-books. But if you look at the combined strength of all the possible niches this thing will appeal to- medical, student textbooks, comic books, magazines, books, newspapers... then it starts to amount to something with a pretty wide appeal. On a device that makes the reading enjoyable and convenient.

As for it having full OSX. Beyond basic functions like word processing, I think it would be enough to be able to display content like powerpoint presentations, etc. I think someone who thinks it would be a good idea to edit and build material on a 10" tablet isn't being realistic. Sure, it would be cool to have Final Cut on the device, but I'm not sure I'd want to spend much time cutting on a 10" screen. At the same time, I'm sure we'll see something in the iMovie category- which is fine for casual cutting. But serious work will still be done on laptops and desktops, which is the best ergonomic solution for now.
post #18 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by 15inchbrich View Post

I think it will be the driving force in the Q1Y09 sales, a typically slow period. Right?

Yep I think you are right, they know they will have a good Christmas anyway. Darn it though I wanted to ask Santa for one ... I guess I'll tell him I'll take a late delivery

Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

Might not be ready for launch, but they might want to have this start the new year. They’ve introduced a lot of products for the first time in January over the years. If they are readying an SDK and publishers for this iTunesLP-like interface then these may require some new refinements.

Yep, agreed.
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post #19 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by 11thIndian View Post

I'm not sure you're looking at it the right way. Apple is talking about changing the way people read.

Let's set aside the fact that it will be a music player, internet browser, movie player, and via bluetooth headset, a phone- at a 10" screen size it will be much more enjoyable to use. If that were all it was, you're right- it might sell moderately well to the faithful.

But let's be honest, the iPhone and other mobile devices, by their nature, are pocket sized and not perfect for reading. It's a compromise. I've read my fair share on my iPhone and I couldn't imagine reading a full length novel unless I was really stuck. The internet on your phone is primarily an information oriented convenience. Need to look up something, you can. Need to find somewhere, you can. At the other end, notebooks are OK in some situations, riding on a train or plane, but not for casual commuter use.

In an article about comic books on the tablet the other day- someone mentioned that Apple would be going after a niche market. Well, that's correct. Comics are a niche market. So are e-books. But if you look at the combined strength of all the possible niches this thing will appeal to- medical, student textbooks, comic books, magazines, books, newspapers... then it starts to amount to something with a pretty wide appeal. On a device that makes the reading enjoyable and convenient.

As for it having full OSX. Beyond basic functions like word processing, I think it would be enough to be able to display content like powerpoint presentations, etc. I think someone who thinks it would be a good idea to edit and build material on a 10" tablet isn't being realistic. Sure, it would be cool to have Final Cut on the device, but I'm not sure I'd want to spend much time cutting on a 10" screen. At the same time, I'm sure we'll see something in the iMovie category- which is fine for casual cutting. But serious work will still be done on laptops and desktops, which is the best ergonomic solution for now.

Agreed. IMHO Jobs is about to do to publishing what he did to music distribution. No doubt it will take a few years then one day Apple will have 80% of all on line publications and printers will be like CD duplication companies ...
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post #20 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lemon Bon Bon. View Post

Exciting news.

Anybody NOT going to buy one of these?

Me. What is anyway this (yet to be released) tablet and why is it so great to get that much excited about it?
post #21 of 59
I'm hoping it runs the full OS instead of just the iPhone OS. Also, it should be able to connect to a keyboard and mouse. That's key in my opinion.
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post #22 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by icyfog View Post

I'm hoping it runs the full OS instead of just the iPhone OS. Also, it should be able to connect to a keyboard and mouse. That's key in my opinion.

When you write full OS Ic ant help but think you mean the Mac OS X desktop UI, too. That just wont work. It has to be something completely new that has elements of both to make it an ideal device for a 10 finger-accessed touchsceen.

Access for a keyboard and mouse are key, but will Apple even have one USb port for the keyboard and mouse to connect to or require Bluetooth devices?

I expect it to be a complementary device for a Mac so Apple may make it sync via iTunes like iDevices. I hope that it shows up on the network in Finder and allows for Screen Sharing so that you can have a a keyboard and mouse remote access to it without having to do physical setup.
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post #23 of 59
Given Apple's unique branding strategy, using the word tablet is less likely.



Quote:
Originally Posted by zunx View Post

Hopefully TWO models:

iTablet with ARM inside. Big iPod touch. Extra-large battery life.
iTablet with Intel Atom inside. Mac OS X 10.6 (touch) inside. The Mac in your pocket.

Looking forward to the second if it has video-out and USB 2 ports for Keynote and PowerPoint presentations.
post #24 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by utsava View Post

Agreed. If that's the only differentiating factor from an iPhone/iPod, that it's bigger and you can read books/magazines on it, than it will be the next AppleTV. Part of me believes Apple wouldn't be this stupid, but the other part of me realizes Apple can sometimes be that stupid.

Example?
post #25 of 59
For all that is good and holy in our world, please I beg you....

[CENTER]DO NOT LOCK THIS INTO A CELLULAR CARRIER![/CENTER]

It would be the cruelest cut of al...
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post #26 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by Intense View Post

Given Apple's unique branding strategy, using the word tablet is less likely.

I'd say they'd lean towards 'Gel-Tab'...
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post #27 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by PB View Post

Me. What is anyway this (yet to be released) tablet and why is it so great to get that much excited about it?

Please don't make me break out the Picard jpg again okay?!?!
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post #28 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by icyfog View Post

I'm hoping it runs the full OS instead of just the iPhone OS. Also, it should be able to connect to a keyboard and mouse. That's key in my opinion.

Why do you want duplication of efforts, not only does this cause an issue on quality, since you have to ensure that the product meets Apple's QA standards and that is very high, but also you really going to cause an issue with macbook, since what you are saying is buy $999 or buy $600 and their both do same thing for average consumer. Remember I said average consumer.

I hoep the tablet does not run full OS or I will not purchase it, since it just waste of money and i can do the same on my macbook Pro. Yes it maybe lighter, but thats not enough to part with my cash.

P.S. I see the quantity of comments has gone down, since Teckstud was forced on a holiday..lol
post #29 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by utsava View Post

There IS much to gain for having full OSX on it: open development. But I have a feeling Apple will lock this thing down... mostly because it'll have 3G.

Question...

Is 'mostly because it'll have 3G' a euphemism for, "Because Steve gets a chubby over the control he has with the iPhone and iPod Touch **AND** the though of ever releasing a product where he can't get a cut of the profits off of every single Application ever made for it is simply unthinkable"?

If so then I think you're right!
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post #30 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by 15inchbrich View Post

I think it will be the driving force in the Q1Y09 sales, a typically slow period. Right?

It may not be released in calendar Q1. I think it's a given that this will have it's own SDK, probably with some mix of iPhone OS and Mac OS features, perhaps trending more toward iPhone OS, and I think it would be best for Apple to have developers ready with apps and content for it before it's released. So, I'm sort of expecting that there will be an announcement and SDK/development tools sometime before the actual release, with perhaps some developers getting advance hardware. That would seem to "blow the cover" of the device, but I imagine it will be so far ahead of the competition that a couple of months advance won't give anyone time to catch up, and it might actually help buid the buzz to a fever pitch.
post #31 of 59
One of the biggest things for me would be mobile gaming on the iTablet, with a faster GPU/Processor, can you even imagine the games? wow I can not wait for this new device to come out. Definitely getting one for myself and my daughter. Damn, there goes my credit card again.
post #32 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post

I wonder why Apple aimed to launch after the Christmas period. I would have thought it would have made an excellent time to launch, leading up to Christmas I mean.

A much hyped tablet can sell any time, provided it is done right. Launch timing has little impact on highly anticipated devices. It makes sense to boost sales in a slow period with a tablet. Or maybe it just wasn't done in time...

Quote:
Originally Posted by zunx View Post

Hopefully TWO models:

iTablet with ARM inside. Big iPod touch. Extra-large battery life.
iTablet with Intel Atom inside. Mac OS X 10.6 (touch) inside. The Mac in your pocket.

Looking forward to the second if it has video-out and USB 2 ports for Keynote and PowerPoint presentations.

The iPhone has video out and keynote and powerpoint are an app away. I have yet to see a compelling reason for full OSX with the exception perhaps of some very specialized fields. I'm also not sure if Apple would want to confuse customers with 2 completely different models. If they did that, expect them to have different names (mac something and iSomething) and very different price points.
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post #33 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

Might not be ready for launch, but they might want to have this start the new year. Theyve introduced a lot of products for the first time in January over the years. If they are readying an SDK and publishers for this iTunesLP-like interface then these may require some new refinements.

Ironically, the timing of this product release appears to be perfect for a MWSF announcement -- which Apple no longer attends because, well, you know.

FWIW: The 2010 CES show is January 7-10.
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post #34 of 59
A tablet would be cool with a built-in 3G card. I'd buy one for my wife. She's always taking my laptop (well our laptop).

The only issue I'd have is that we'd need iWork on there. If this is going to have the iPhone OS then, as of now, there is no iWork for the iPhone. Apple needs iWork on the iPhone/Touch anyway.
post #35 of 59
I believe Apple will create a new word to render the old "e-reader" word obsolete and out of date. A word that covers advanced and interactive media. Media that you interact with.. not just a reader.
post #36 of 59
I'm gunning for iPhone OS with a massive overhaul of MobileMe and Backtomymac - instead of a VNC style remote desktop, the ability to have individual app shortcuts that open Apps that are on my Mac OS X machines, maybe with skinned interfaces to make them suitable for touch - effectively turn your home iMac into an app server, with the slate as a thin client - take all your data with you without having to sync by just having it available over the air through backtomymac/mobileme etc. Also, iPhone OS4.0 that allows multiples of the iphone screen reolution, for larger apps, smaller ones, so you can mosaic your home page with multiple apps as you like.
post #37 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lemon Bon Bon. View Post

The End game against the Wintel Hegemony is in sight.

It'll use an AMD?

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post #38 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aizmov View Post

It'll use an AMD?

It'll use whatever crazy-ass ARM chip that PA Semi have been quietly noodling away with at my guess...
post #39 of 59
iPal (yes I know it's taken, so was iPhone) = palette? apple loves french nomenclature

Maybe part of the draw of the "3G" nomenclature on the end of iphones is that some of these iPals will talk to phone carriers and some will just be wifi. eg: iPal 3G, iPal 4G, or just iPal

UMPCs suck because they "run" full windows so poorly. Re: apple, even if it were possible to do, it would cannibalize higher margin macs, so there is no way this puppy is running a full OSX. Sorry. That would just make you long for a keyboard, etc and say you wish they'd just made a netbook.
Having said that, it will do MORE than an ipod touch, by virtue of interface but also because other capabilities will likely be pulled down from OSX. For instance, with a bigger battery, doesn't multitasking seem more doable?
post #40 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by stuffe View Post

It'll use whatever crazy-ass ARM chip that PA Semi have been quietly noodling away with at my guess...

or, perhaps, chips
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