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Apple tablet speculation: high-end graphics, several models

post #1 of 173
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Amplifying the buzz for Apple's long-rumored tablet device, a new report suggests the hardware will include a high-end graphics card to produce a picture with "stunning resolution."

In a roundup of speculation on the still-unannounced device, CNNMoney.com spoke with a number of analysts about the forthcoming tablet, set to debut in the first quarter of 2010. Most analysts heaped praise on the mythical device, predicting that it will take on a number of markets and eliminate the need for numerous devices.

One analyst, Laura DiDio with ITIC, reportedly provided supposed specifics on the hardware. She said the device will sport a "high-end graphics card" that will offer picture at a "stunning resolution" greater than the iPhone and iPod touch. She also stated that the device will come in "several different models," suggesting that a 3G-enabled version would be tied to a contract with a wireless carrier such as AT&T.

"Any time Steve Jobs gets on stage, the expectations are incredibly high, but they are especially lofty for the tablet," the report said. "Analysts and investors are saying that this device could revolutionize the handheld world in the same way the the iPhone changed the smartphone market."

DiDio also said that Apple's successor to the Newton will include a Web cam that will allow simple mobile video conferencing. That would support a rumor that surfaced this summer, which also stated the tablet would have an "education edition" geared towards schools.

Analysts surveyed said they believe the device will "kill" single-function devices like the Amazon Kindle by offering books, Web browsing, gaming, entertainment and on-the-go computing. The belief that the hardware will serve as a general-purpose device was also recently stated by Walt Mossberg of The Wall Street Journal.

Many see the hardware as potentially filling a void between the iPhone and the low-end MacBook. Some believe it could be Apple's answer to the low-cost, ultra-portable netbook market. Analyst Gene Munster with Piper Jaffray has predicted that the hardware will sell about 2 million units in its first year.

While rumors of the Apple tablet have captivated Apple fans and the tech community, the hardware has reportedly also been the primary focus of company co-founder Steve Jobs. This summer, it was reported that the touchscreen device has been his No. 1 priority since returning to work from a liver transplant. Jobs' return to work was said to be "jarring" for those involved in the creation of the tablet, as the CEO is very hands-on.
post #2 of 173
Yes! I managed to comment before teckstud did!
Perhaps he's lying in bed sick today.

Edit: Oh and it will be very exciting to see what the tablet will have to offer. I doubt it'll ever reach the success the iPhone has, though.
post #3 of 173
Oh crap. I thought the tablet was going to be good, but if the analysts are in favor of it I am deeply worried.
post #4 of 173
2 million in the first year, what is he smoking.
post #5 of 173
Quote:
Originally Posted by Adjei View Post

2 million in the first year, what is he smoking.

I do not see why that is so far off the mark.

I guarantee everyone I know (within reason) will be buying one. Thats half way to the target already.
post #6 of 173
Quote:
Originally Posted by monstrosity View Post

I do not see why that is so far off the mark.

I guarantee everyone I know (within reason) will be buying one. Thats half way to the target already.

How many other tablets have sold 2 million in their first year?
post #7 of 173
If they don't call it Newton, I'll quietly do nothing.
post #8 of 173
Quote:
Originally Posted by Adjei View Post

How many other tablets have sold 2 million in their first year?

How many other tablets were made by Apple though? This thing will sell - and, as the article notes, it will kill the Kindle and the other e-readers and tablets we see trickling to market almost every week. Get ready.
post #9 of 173
There is no guarantee this device is even going to exist. Why are there "lofty exectations" at all? And since when has apple been the company to offer "high end graphics cards"?
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post #10 of 173
...and they can't get this stunning graphics on a macbook? Tablet being thinner and smaller should mean that it's easier to offer on a macbook so what gives.
post #11 of 173
So DiDio meant high end graphics (chip) instead of "high-end graphics card" - a little worrying that the analyst didn't really understand the technology, but this does suggest a HD media capable device (of course). But I agree with Adjei, this will be big and will open a huge market.
post #12 of 173
Making predictions about a device that doesn't even exist yet is what makes me hate analysts so much. At least wait until Jobs announces it and sets a price before obviously pulling figures out of their asses!
post #13 of 173
Quote:
Originally Posted by Adjei View Post

How many other tablets have sold 2 million in their first year?

How many other tablets have provided users with any clear benefits? None that I can think of. I remember assessing some of the original XP tablets with an organisation that would have really benefited from the tablet concept. Only the execution was so poor. Too heavy. Too poor a battery life. Too clumsy (with the required stylus input). Too much of a general purpose OS with 'pen' features tacked on.

What Apple do well is look at an existing problem, and take it back to first principles. They then create a tightly focussed device that generally (initially, at least) does a few key things well, while being simple to use and understand.

Personally, if the tablet has a Cocoa Touch type GUI, with a full HD display, and is small enough with a decent enough battery life to only need recharging overnight, then I'm interested. Make it a combination of the iPod Touch (or iPhone, if you need more than wifi) for the web browsing, email, and apps, and the Apple TV in terms of media, then I'm pretty much sold.

With luck, it'll be out just in time for bonus time!
post #14 of 173
I laughed when I read the "jarring" comment.
post #15 of 173
Apple is in the enviable (what competitor doesn't ENVY Apple?) position of having a two-years+-proven new platform/ecosystem in the iPhone/iPodTouch, as well as time to study such fits and starts as the Android toys, Kindle, Nook, et al.

The Apple Tablet would seem to be able to nicely complement its existing lines while not cannibalizing any of them, while easily outdoing all competing devices in features, aesthetics, and system integration, etc. Presumably, it would require only another slightly different version of OS X, too, as it accommodates another set of finger/stylus gestures, etc.

It would also be logical for the tablet to bring along Adobe's PDF, and, dare I say, "Flash!", to the mix, thus giving us truly rich content reader/mulitmedia functionality, while making it that much easier for publishers to sell content.

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post #16 of 173
DiDo doesn't know Diddley.

Seriously, while the screen resolution on a 10" device obviously will be higher than on a 3" device, I think low power consumption will be more important than high-end graphics.

Good to see some tablet rumors again. The Schiller comment that "the holiday line-up is set" seemed to kill a lot of the speculation fun.

Best,

Daniel

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post #17 of 173
The problem is it has been rumored and speculated on for years. By hearing about it for so long, people develop their own expectations of what it should be that Apple can never meet. Whatever comes out will be all that some people want and a disappointment to others.

As far as killing single use devices like the Kindle I wonder, as the Kindle and similar devices use E Ink that is quite different from LCD technology. I know many people who vastly prefer to read from a Kindle than from any LCD. It is easier on the eyes and produces less strain. Then again, Apple may well introduce color E Ink on its tablet, who knows.
post #18 of 173
Cool! May it be released in all iPod nano colours!
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post #19 of 173
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

One analyst, Laura DiDio with ITIC, reportedly provided supposed specifics on the hardware. She said the device will sport a "high-end graphics card" that will offer picture at a "stunning resolution" greater than the iPhone and iPod touch.

I think she's full of it. "Stunning resolution" is primarily about pixel density when talking about small devices, and I would say at most the tablet will sport an integrated mobile gpu of some grade. "High end" gpus are brick sized behemoths, and even the HD 4850s in the new iMacs require beefy heatsinks. Good luck stuffing one into a slim 10" tablet. I call BS on her statement.
post #20 of 173
"Several different models"?
When's the last time Apple debuted a new product in 'several different models'?

Here's a crazy prediction: If Apple introduces a tablet, there will be one. One configuration, one way to get it. There won't be 3G subsidized and unsubsidized. There won't be different screen sizes. There won't be mix-and-match internal components. It will be one proposition.

Variations might show up later, but not at launch.

I'm still not sure if most analysts are knowingly link-baiting with nonsense, or whether they truly are that ignorant of the companies and industries they write about.
post #21 of 173
Maybe they are seeing or hearing about what is actually a different sized iPhone which they think means there are different sized Apple Tablet PCs.

As for great graphics, I agree about the heat issue. But maybe it is great compared to the other products out there like the Kindle, etc., which don't have very good graphics because they only do text and weak graphics (non color to boot). So anything better than a Kindle has great graphics. Follow my line of reasoning?

As for whether it will be good or not. Think cover flow and album extras and then there is movies which I really think it will be able to play.

The question is. Standard def or high def? Is there a way to power HD movies and extra content on a tablet device? I'm not so sure about that. But again, if she is comparing it to a kindle ...
post #22 of 173
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Amplifying the buzz for Apple's long-rumored tablet device, a new report suggests the hardware will include a high-end graphics card to produce a picture with "stunning resolution."

Sounds like it's definitely gonna be made for reading text and comics if it's "stunning resolution".
post #23 of 173
Quote:
Originally Posted by Takeo View Post

I laughed when I read the "jarring" comment.

Same here, I imagined Jobs creeping up behind the Tablet team while they were all sitting around on Facebook.
post #24 of 173
Quote:
Originally Posted by Roc Ingersol View Post

"Several different models"?
When's the last time Apple debuted a new product in 'several different models'?

Here's a crazy prediction: If Apple introduces a tablet, there will be one. One configuration, one way to get it. There won't be 3G subsidized and unsubsidized. There won't be different screen sizes. There won't be mix-and-match internal components. It will be one proposition.

Variations might show up later, but not at launch.

I'm still not sure if most analysts are knowingly link-baiting with nonsense, or whether they truly are that ignorant of the companies and industries they write about.

This sounds a lot closer to the truth IMO also.

This whole "report" sounds bogus to me. The talk of a "graphics card" is also just silly as is the implication that it might have higher resolution than a MacBook.

I would translate the whole thing to "somebody's seen one, and he said it had a really nice screen." The rest is typical analyst BS.
post #25 of 173
Quote:
Originally Posted by iReality85 View Post

I think she's full of it. "Stunning resolution" is primarily about pixel density when talking about small devices, and I would say at most the tablet will sport an integrated mobile gpu of some grade. "High end" gpus are brick sized behemoths, and even the HD 4850s in the new iMacs require beefy heatsinks. Good luck stuffing one into a slim 10" tablet. I call BS on her statement.

I suspect that the graphic chip in the tablet will only need to push HD (720 or 1080, maybe) video (H.264, presumably). This is a lot more straightforward than the high end video cards in PCs, that require all the physics engines, shaders, anit-aliasing etc. for 3D graphics.

As long as the iBook (or whatever the tablet is called) can perform similar 3D graphics as the iPhone 3GS, then I think it will be sufficient. There are plenty of low power mobile GPUs that can hardware accelerate H.264 to HD resolution without requiring a huge heat sink.

I think 720 on a 7-8" screen or 1080 on a 10-11" screen would qualify as 'stunnning resolution'. Here's hoping!
post #26 of 173
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

One analyst, Laura DiDio with ITIC, reportedly provided supposed specifics on the hardware. She said the device will sport a "high-end graphics card" that will offer picture at a "stunning resolution" greater than the iPhone and iPod touch.

Isn't that a given for a device with a much larger screen size? That doesn't spell stunning resolution to me. She gives no hints at what the resolution could actually be and then regurgitates common rumors like a 3G and non 3G version. Anyone could have made these "predictions".
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post #27 of 173
IF apple is indeed coming out with a "tablet" device next year, then i'm now thinking that the "tablet" may be a device that could be in competition with the current macbook air for better speed and efficiency, compactness and lightness. MAYBE apple is trying to deplete the current macbook air stock, and MAYBE apple is anticipating that people looking for a light productivity/entertainment device will choose the "tablet" over the macbook air. so perhaps this is why apple has not done much with the macbook air since it was introduced–there is a chance that a "tablet" device may be introduced next year.

ps: this is a rumor site after all, so why not such speculations?
post #28 of 173
Still not sure how such a device would be useful to me. If they would just add a bare-bones Finder application to the iPhone, an adapter to plug in memory sticks to the USB port, and the ability to send the iPhone screen to the external video link in all modes (which Apple already does in their demos) , I think my iPhone would be able to do most of what I can imagine using a tablet for but with the huge advantage of fitting in my pocket.
post #29 of 173
Sounds to me like it just might be Tegra 2 inside - an ARMv8 dual core CPU and a GPU that can decode 1080p video and render graphics with a GPU core equivalent to a GF GT220. I blogged a few days ago after that whole Nvidia picture thing, and maybe thats what Nvidia was hinting at (as much as it could hint w/o pissing Apple off).

The Tegra 2 is supposed to have a GPU 2-4 times as powerful as the current Tegra in the same power usage envelope, and the current GPU is a GF-6 generation 30 GFLOP unit. Nvidia also has the capability to provide a daughterboard-based GPU like they did for Audi - so you can put a GF GT220M on the inside and get amazing performance for a tablet (and even CUDA/OpenCL).
post #30 of 173
The iTablet must run Mac OS X applications (full Mac OS X inside - Tablet version). Must be as light and small as possible. Must have video-out and USB 2 ports for Keynote and PowerPoint presentations.
post #31 of 173
I'll believe it when I see it. And so far, I see nothing.
Of course, I will never buy one, but who cares. Many other people will waste hard earned cash on the device (and most likely those who have both an Apple laptop and iPhone). If it doesn't have full blown OS X, it truly will be a waste. If it is just the iPod Touch OS, it will be horribly crippled as a device. If it has its own version of OS X that isn't compatible with the iPod Touch OS, then you'll make Devs angry (well, more angry than they are already over the App Store crap.) for having three systems to develop for.

This could be an amazing device, but I fear that it'll be Apple'd up to the point where its just another fancy toy that Apple tells you how to play with (iPod Touch, AppleTV for examples). Kinda like that kid growing up who told you exactly how to play. "No, your car must go this direction!" or "No, your doll can't act like that." etc...

Funny, that mentality has made a business such an empire and a boat load of cash! Who would-a-thunk! Go Apple I suppose. \
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post #32 of 173
iDon't have a need for a tablet.

iDon't understand why a mass market needs a tablet.

iDon't personally know any Mac user who wants one.

I am curious of the price point though.
post #33 of 173
Quote:
Originally Posted by Adjei View Post

2 million in the first year, what is he smoking.

Maybe it's you who is smoking something

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post #34 of 173
Quote:
Originally Posted by ghostface147 View Post

I am curious of the price point though.

Same as the MacBook air when it first came out. $1700.00 bucks. No way this thing will come out at $600. But we'll see.
post #35 of 173
Quote:
Originally Posted by zunx View Post

The iTablet must run Mac OS X applications (full Mac OS X inside - Tablet version). Must be as light and small as possible. Must have video-out and USB 2 ports for Keynote and PowerPoint presentations.

I don't see anything there as a must, except for video out, which it will obviously have. Full OSX and USB isn't required for a keynote presentation.
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post #36 of 173
Quote:
Originally Posted by cmf2 View Post

I don't see anything there as a must, except for video out, which it will obviously have. Full OSX and USB isn't required for a keynote presentation.

"zunx" has been posting that same sentence on every single thread on the tablet since day one. I think perhaps they have some kind of mental issue, not just because of the repetition, but because what they are asking for makes little sense.
post #37 of 173
Quote:
Originally Posted by camroidv27 View Post

I'll believe it when I see it. And so far, I see nothing.
Of course, I will never buy one, but who cares. Many other people will waste hard earned cash on the device (and most likely those who have both an Apple laptop and iPhone). If it doesn't have full blown OS X, it truly will be a waste. If it is just the iPod Touch OS, it will be horribly crippled as a device. If it has its own version of OS X that isn't compatible with the iPod Touch OS, then you'll make Devs angry (well, more angry than they are already over the App Store crap.) for having three systems to develop for.

This could be an amazing device, but I fear that it'll be Apple'd up to the point where its just another fancy toy that Apple tells you how to play with (iPod Touch, AppleTV for examples). Kinda like that kid growing up who told you exactly how to play. "No, your car must go this direction!" or "No, your doll can't act like that." etc...

Funny, that mentality has made a business such an empire and a boat load of cash! Who would-a-thunk! Go Apple I suppose. \

What's your point camroid?

I always wonder what guys like you and that teckstud i***t are doing in this forum. Apple is in the business to make money and if there's one thing they're doing right, it is just that. But neither one of you seem to understand that. Instead, you keep ranting about being controlled (if not screwed) by Apple. Well, go somewhere else! Please. And let us enjoy the things that Apple does right.
post #38 of 173
Quote:
Originally Posted by danielchow View Post

IF apple is indeed coming out with a "tablet" device next year, then i'm now thinking that the "tablet" may be a device that could be in competition with the current macbook air for better speed and efficiency, compactness and lightness. MAYBE apple is trying to deplete the current macbook air stock, and MAYBE apple is anticipating that people looking for a light productivity/entertainment device will choose the "tablet" over the macbook air. so perhaps this is why apple has not done much with the macbook air since it was introducedthere is a chance that a "tablet" device may be introduced next year.

ps: this is a rumor site after all, so why not such speculations?

I would think on the contrary that if they could get the performance people are speculating about into the tablet, that they would replace the guts of the Air with the same stuff.

The tablet is going to be a dodgy proposition for the old folks and the conservatives because it's a new paradigm. The same people that "can't handle" virtual keyboards will be those that don't want a tablet as long as there is a laptop shaped alternative. I don't think Apple will abandon that part of the market overnight and it will take years and years before all the conservative types die off and get used to the new tech.

The Air is a good computer but it's right on the edge in terms of performance. I see them coming out with one three times as powerful and cheaper to boot by means of using the tablet internals inside the Air.
post #39 of 173
Quote:
Originally Posted by Roos24 View Post

What's your point camroid?

I always wonder what guys like you and that teckstud i***t are doing in this forum. Apple is in the business to make money and if there's one thing they're doing right, it is just that. But neither one of you seem to understand that. Instead, you keep ranting about being controlled (if not screwed) by Apple. Well, go somewhere else! Please. And let us enjoy the things that Apple does right.

We are enjoying ourselves too much. This is not allowed!
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post #40 of 173
Anyone have a link to some of the "analysts" prognostications that were spewed prior to release of the iPhone? It'd be nice to see how wrong they were.
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