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Former Google China president reveals details on Apple's tablet

post #1 of 227
Thread Starter 
The ex-president of Google China has revealed on his microblog supposed details on Apple's forthcoming tablet: 10.1-inch screen with webcam, "awesome UI."

Kaifu Lee, former president of Google China, someone with supposed close ties to Apple, has revealed several details about Apple's tablet on his microblog (translation from Gadget Mix):

"The Apple Tablet looks like a bigger iPhone that sports an awesome UI packed in a beautiful 10.1-inch screen. The tablet combines the functions of both netbook and kindle, an ebook reader. It has virtual keyboard for text entry and a webcam for video conferencing."

This falls in line with recently reported details on the tablet. Earlier in December analyst Yair Reiner of Oppenheimer predicted that the device would have a 10.1-inch multi-touch display using the same technology as the iPhone. He also stated that Apple has been reaching out to book publishers in order to strengthen the position of the tablet as an ebook platform.

AppleInsider reported earlier last week that Apple had plans for a virtual keyboard with a dynamic surface that would give users tactile feedback when typing in order to identify individual keys. Supporting the idea of a "bigger iPhone," iPhone developers were reportedly asked to prepare their apps for a demo next month by making them support full-screen resolutions rather than the fixed 320x480 resolutions of the iPhone and iPod touch.

All signs point to Apple holding an event focusing on the "mobility space" on January 26 at Yerba Buena Center in San Francisco, where it is believed that the company will finally unveil the tablet to the world.
post #2 of 227
And we can all rely on a long-lasting, integrated battery, thanks to their R&D in that department. Really going to blow the competition out of the water!
post #3 of 227
Well, well, well.

So the beans are spilled.

Webcam is good, virtual keyboard?

Like the virtual keyboard on the iPhone?

Or something else? If it gives feedback, it's real, not virtual. Or what the screen taps or something, like making clicky clack sounds when one types?

Perhaps this time the iPhone apps will be allowed on OS X. But somehow I don't think so, Apple looks like it's slowly introducing a new UI on us, one that will replace OS X UI as we know it.

Will we be able to use other browsers? Ad block software? Privacy and security software? Third party apps? Or be stuck forever in what the App Store approves?

The iSlate will cannibalize MacBook sales, that's a given, probably not much MacBook Pro sales.

The threat from Linux, VM software, the cloners and common Intel/like processors, Apple is headed for closed UI machines, mark my words. The App Store is proof of it.


I would like to add this from a article:

Quote:
The success of the smartphone has shown that consumers are ready for Internet-enabled devices smaller than laptops. By the end of 2010, IDC predicts there will be more than 1 billion mobile devices on the Internet, compared to 1.3 billion online PCs. With sales of mobile devices growing much faster than laptops, the former are expected to eventually surpass PCs.

http://www.informationweek.com/news/...leID=222100232
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post #4 of 227
Remember how good the Apps looked projected on the big screen at the keynotes.... so at 10", they'll be great.
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post #5 of 227
The device does seem to run Mac OS X, which Ireland really wanted, but he’s been claiming a 10.1” tablet for such a long time and has had pretty really nice mockups (sans the Mac OS X UI) that I think he deserves some accolades if his longtime vision is even half right.
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post #6 of 227
A webcam. Hmm. A webcam works really well with a laptop because the screen is roughly perpendicular to the keyboard. With a tablet, there's an obvious difference. I don't think holding the tablet up in your hand is an elegant solution. This appears to be an opportunity for Apple to create an innovative stand for the tablet. Something that will allow for ichat functionality and at the same time not topple over or slide across a park bench when objects on the screen are manually manipulated (touched).
post #7 of 227
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacTripper View Post

So the beans are spilled.

Webcam is good, virtual keyboard?

Like the virtual keyboard on the iPhone?

Or something else? If it gives feedback, it's real, not virtual. Or what the screen taps or something, like making clicky clack sounds when one types?

Perhaps this time the iPhone apps will be allowed on OS X. But somehow I don't think so, Apple is slowly introducing a new UI on us, one that will replace OS X UI as we know it.

The iSlate will cannibalize MacBook sales, probably not much MacBook Pro sales.

1) I wouldnt exactly say this is beans being spilled but the weight has definitely shifted to there being a tablet in the near future.

2) I will be severally disappointed if the virtual keyboard looks and works like the iPhone OS keyboard. Its just not practical for a large keyboard taking up a 1/3 of the screen when your hand positions typically dont warrant it and there a several more placement combinations with a tablet over a pocketable device with a 3.5 display.

3) I hope iPhone OS X apps are allowed. I think this will help sell this device which is be design already niche when you look at the current tablet market.

4) I dont it will cannibalize much Mac sales. I think its designed as an accompaniment for your PC, not a replacement. I expect a file system like Finder, but that it will also be synced via iTunes.
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post #8 of 227
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brometheus View Post

A webcam. Hmm. A webcam works really well with a laptop because the screen is roughly perpendicular to the keyboard. With a tablet, there's an obvious difference. I don't think holding the tablet up in your hand is an elegant solution. This appears to be an opportunity for Apple to create an innovative stand for the tablet. Something that will allow for ichat functionality and at the same time not topple over or slide across a park bench when objects on the screen are manually manipulated (touched).

Maybe the web cam tilts inside the case.
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post #9 of 227
Quote:
Originally Posted by aplnub View Post

Maybe the web cam tilts inside the case.

I’m invoking Occam’s Razor. I’ve used my Mac’s camera and had to adjust my head and/or the display to center the image. I figure this mostly novel feature will simply require the user to adjust the device accordingly.
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post #10 of 227
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacTripper View Post

The iSlate will cannibalize MacBook sales, that's a given, probably not much MacBook Pro sales.

It wont. You'll still need a Mac to sync it with.

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post #11 of 227
Huh? I don't get it. Who is the market audience for this device? My MacBook and MacBook Pro and iPhone do everything that I need... why would I want a tablet?
post #12 of 227
Quote:
Originally Posted by aplnub View Post

Maybe the web cam tilts inside the case.

That would be interesting, but I'm having some difficulty imagining that in a thin case. So much to think about with every new rumor tidbit...
post #13 of 227
Quote:
Originally Posted by scotty321 View Post

Huh? I don't get it. Who is the market audience for this device? My MacBook and MacBook Pro and iPhone do everything that I need... why would I want a tablet?

Well have to find out. Sometimes what we want/need is clear and the market gets flooded quickly. Other times what we want/need isnt realized until something demonstrates what we could have and a paradigm shift occurs rapidly. I think the iPhone falls into that category. Smartphones existed before the iPhone just as tablets have existed for many years. I seem to recall hearing, perhaps even these forums of people having essentially the same reservations about the iPhone. They never thought that using the internet and other apps on such a small display could work for them.
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post #14 of 227
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brometheus View Post

This appears to be an opportunity for Apple to create an innovative stand for the tablet.

And you're supposed to type on a virtual keyboard while it's vertical on a stand?

A device like this screams out for a swivel and fold physical keyboard that can act as it's own stand.
post #15 of 227
I wish those Chinese businessmen would learn to SHUT THE HELL UP! You all think Jobs can be an egotistical control freak sometimes? If I was running Apple I would hire some mercs to fly to china to beat that guy up!
post #16 of 227
post #17 of 227
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacTripper View Post

Well, well, well.

So the beans are spilled.

Webcam is good, virtual keyboard?

Like the virtual keyboard on the iPhone?

Or something else? If it gives feedback, it's real, not virtual. Or what the screen taps or something, like making clicky clack sounds when one types?

Perhaps this time the iPhone apps will be allowed on OS X. But somehow I don't think so, Apple looks like it's slowly introducing a new UI on us, one that will replace OS X UI as we know it.

Will we be able to use other browsers? Ad block software? Privacy and security software? Third party apps? Or be stuck forever in what the App Store approves?

The iSlate will cannibalize MacBook sales, that's a given, probably not much MacBook Pro sales.

The threat from Linux, VM software, the cloners and common Intel/like processors, Apple is headed for closed UI machines, mark my words. The App Store is proof of it.

The beans are spilled? The features mentioned isn't anything that hasn't already been predicted, and talked and debated about over and over and over again for the last several months.
Still though, Steve Jobs has GOT to get very angry when loud mouths like that Lee guy go gabbing like there is no tomorrow.
post #18 of 227
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris_CA View Post

Back-Side Interface for Hand-Held Devices

Multiple manufacturers are exploring this type of control scheme. It's where the actual back side of a unit's casing can be used as a control mechanism.
I for one would like to see Apple use some sort of auxiliary control scheme (besides multitouch) on the iPhone and other handhelds.
I won't take the iphone seriously as a platform for games (serious games) until they do.
post #19 of 227
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brometheus View Post

A webcam. Hmm. A webcam works really well with a laptop because the screen is roughly perpendicular to the keyboard. With a tablet, there's an obvious difference. I don't think holding the tablet up in your hand is an elegant solution. This appears to be an opportunity for Apple to create an innovative stand for the tablet. Something that will allow for ichat functionality and at the same time not topple over or slide across a park bench when objects on the screen are manually manipulated (touched).

Also you would need a stand when watching teh 720p videos on it.
post #20 of 227
Quote:
Originally Posted by scotty321 View Post

Huh? I don't get it. Who is the market audience for this device? My MacBook and MacBook Pro and iPhone do everything that I need... why would I want a tablet?

You will find out the answer to your question on Jan. 26th. Steve will explain it all to you then.
In the meantime, get your wallet ready.
post #21 of 227
so i guess this is coming with a stand right? At 10.1 inches that doesnt exactly make it 2 hand friendly and if you have to peck at it with 1 hand...f that.

I am doubting this as a Kindle killer, but this is a good answer to the netbooks if priced appropriately and runs a full version of OSX (or slightly modified for touchscreen input)
post #22 of 227
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris_CA View Post

Back-Side Interface for Hand-Held Devices

I forgot about that patent. That is somewhat what I had in mind with the back knowing the hand placement, but I wasnt considering that backside finger manipulation to control frontside display actions. This could be huge if it works well and its certainly not anything anyone else has, that Ive seen.
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post #23 of 227
Quote:
Originally Posted by Olternaut View Post

I wish those Chinese businessmen would learn to SHUT THE HELL UP! You all think Jobs can be an egotistical control freak sometimes? If I was running Apple I would hire some mercs to fly to china to beat that guy up!

It's not surprising. It's just an entirely different mindset. Just look at the fake iPhones from China ~ I was playing with one the other day, which my friend's dad got. I mean, they took the trouble to develop a whole UI that virtually copied the iPhone, but with a clearly entirely different codebase. That team that did the copying probably could do some amazing stuff with Android.

It's a wild world out there.

To be honest, I'm surprised there hasn't been more definitive leaks from Apple. They really are keeping as tight a lid on this as possible.

My only concern is what kind of marketshare do they hope from the Tablet? It's nice and it rounds out their product range but I see it as contributing only about 10%-20% of their bottom line. Unless it is the "gateway drug" to a Mac. And it has massive rollout in the education market ~ an entirely new paradigm in education. Business, maybe, but tablets only really apply in vertical markets which is tricky for Apple's broad consumer focus.

I think it would be something ahead of its time in some ways, borrowed ideas in some ways, and like I said, grouped together with the iPhone and iPod as a minority but significant "halo effect" driver to Macs.
post #24 of 227
Quote:
Originally Posted by Olternaut View Post

You will find out the answer to your question on Jan. 26th. Steve will explain it all to you then.
In the meantime, get your wallet ready.

Oh boy, it's ready. USD $800? Is that about right? Hope it's not more. Well, it's this tablet or my Spain trip.
post #25 of 227
This happens this time every year. It's a rumor.
post #26 of 227
Quote:
Originally Posted by nvidia2008 View Post

My only concern is what kind of marketshare do they hope from the Tablet? It's nice and it rounds out their product range but I see it as contributing only about 10%-20% of their bottom line. Unless it is the "gateway drug" to a Mac. And it has massive rollout in the education market ~ an entirely new paradigm in education. Business, maybe, but tablets only really apply in vertical markets which is tricky for Apple's broad consumer focus.

I think it would be something ahead of its time in some ways, borrowed ideas in some ways, and like I said, grouped together with the iPhone and iPod as a minority but significant "halo effect" driver to Macs.

Well we have to assume (for now) this is Apple's answer to not only the Netbook craze but the Kindle. It has to be priced appropriately (im thinking 599...), too low could cannibalize iPhone sales, especially if it runs iPhone apps and too high will possibly hurt the 999 macbook or keep the device from getting any real traction.

We have to think it has a purpose beyond what we expect. I for one dont care for 720p videos on a 10 inch device...especially with mobile phones increasingly getting higher res, but we will have to see the ENTIRE package before one can pass judgement
post #27 of 227
Quote:
Originally Posted by bsenka View Post

And you're supposed to type on a virtual keyboard while it's vertical on a stand?

A device like this screams out for a swivel and fold physical keyboard that can act as it's own stand.

That's why I've been saying for years it should be foldable dual touchscreen. So that you can read it vertically in the form of a book, or set it up like a conventional laptop. Or, fold it backwards onto itself so you have a tablet form factor. A bit too non-minimalist for Apple to do though.
post #28 of 227
Quote:
Originally Posted by ifail View Post

Well we have to assume (for now) this is Apple's answer to not only the Netbook craze but the Kindle. It has to be priced appropriately (im thinking 599...), too low could cannibalize iPhone sales, especially if it runs iPhone apps and too high will possibly hurt the 999 macbook or keep the device from getting any real traction.

We have to think it has a purpose beyond what we expect. I for one dont care for 720p videos on a 10 inch device...especially with mobile phones increasingly getting higher res, but we will have to see the ENTIRE package before one can pass judgement

Yeah, it's something that kinda dances around the netbook, ultraportable laptop, kindle, and so on, feeding into and feeding off the netbook/ ultralight notebook/ eBook "craze"... $699 for 32GB and $799 for 64GB, perhaps.

Apple's education market and education sales division needs to be appropriately positioned because the tablet could mix up how Macbooks are used.

I wasn't too serious about 720p, I don't think it would officially support that, just 480p downloads and video and so on.
post #29 of 227
Quote:
Originally Posted by nvidia2008 View Post

That's why I've been saying for years it should be foldable dual touchscreen. So that you can read it vertically in the form of a book, or set it up like a conventional laptop. Or, fold it backwards onto itself so you have a tablet form factor. A bit too non-minimalist for Apple to do though.

too non-minimalist for apple and too-john-scully for steve jobs.
post #30 of 227
Quote:
Originally Posted by scotty321 View Post

Huh? I don't get it. Who is the market audience for this device? My MacBook and MacBook Pro and iPhone do everything that I need... why would I want a tablet?

Well, that's just it. Apple hasn't released a product here because there's no obvious benefit to a tablet. That they're likely to introduce one tells us they've solved a problem that benefits a tablet form factor. That's what makes Apple different - they don't just make gadgets, they make gadgets that solve problems nobody else has solved.

If I had to guess, Apple plans on bringing full electronic publication to the masses. They've been flinging at that wall for a decade now, but Apple's really huge success in the last 5 years is solving the micropayment problem - selling stuff for under a buck and having everyone make money off of it. That's what the publishers have always failed at. I'm guessing we'll see Kindle services plus a payment system for broader electronic publishing. $0.99 for a weeks subscription to a local newspaper when you travel, that sort of thing. Apple will make it all nice and swizzy, operate the store so the publishers just need to upload, and bake in a bunch of other useful stuff. My guess is that they also landed the textbook publishers and plan on selling these to universities and after the price comes down to public schools.
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post #31 of 227
Quote:
Originally Posted by johnsonwax View Post

Well, that's just it. Apple hasn't released a product here because there's no obvious benefit to a tablet. That they're likely to introduce one tells us they've solved a problem that benefits a tablet form factor. That's what makes Apple different - they don't just make gadgets, they make gadgets that solve problems nobody else has solved.

If I had to guess, Apple plans on bringing full electronic publication to the masses. They've been flinging at that wall for a decade now, but Apple's really huge success in the last 5 years is solving the micropayment problem - selling stuff for under a buck and having everyone make money off of it. That's what the publishers have always failed at. I'm guessing we'll see Kindle services plus a payment system for broader electronic publishing. $0.99 for a weeks subscription to a local newspaper when you travel, that sort of thing. Apple will make it all nice and swizzy, operate the store so the publishers just need to upload, and bake in a bunch of other useful stuff. My guess is that they also landed the textbook publishers and plan on selling these to universities and after the price comes down to public schools.

Quote:
Originally Posted by scotty321 View Post

Huh? I don't get it. Who is the market audience for this device? My MacBook and MacBook Pro and iPhone do everything that I need... why would I want a tablet?

Well, my iPhone is mainly a phone with access to important Internet stuff when I need to. Other than that I don't play games on it and I can't doze off on the couch or bed with it, the screen's too small.

My MacBook Aluminium 13" is for work/life stuff. But it's a little heavy, and folding it open and close and carrying it around everywhere is a little clunky now. MacBook Air is overkill.

As such, enter the Tablet.

Home use ~ I can basically chill out where I need to while reading forums, checking Facebook [not that I am a big social networker or anything], news, YouTube, etc. Some light gaming, a bit of reading (Wired in print, for example, in Asia, is way way overpriced. Direct digital downloads using my iTunes Store US account will be much more affordable)... Just nice for a bit of chillout before my afternoon nap.

Education use ~ positioned correctly, this will totally ignite and revolutionise the way laptops or "computer labs" are used in schools and colleges/universities.

Corporate use ~ Ah, therein lies the rub. But the Tablet will be, like the iPhone, the gateway drug to growing or at least sustaining Mac sales for business use.
post #32 of 227
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

I hope iPhone OS X apps are allowed. I think this will help sell this device which is be design already niche when you look at the current tablet market.

Sorry do you want iPhoneOS apps, or MacOSX apps?

I believe that if OSX apps are allowed then people will use them. The side effect of that is that the tablet interface will suffer as it will emulate a keyboard/mouse interface. This will mean that the best place to run your apps would actually be a laptop.

That's what's happened previously with tablets.

Quote:
Originally Posted by scotty321 View Post

Huh? I don't get it. Who is the market audience for this device? My MacBook and MacBook Pro and iPhone do everything that I need... why would I want a tablet?

Yeah. It has to offer something different or do it better.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aizmov View Post

You'll still need a Mac to sync it with.

Or PC.

But I wouldn't be surprised to see it entirely sync with MobileMe if you didn't have a computer. That would give it a backup too. All data accessible via web too.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ifail View Post

so i guess this is coming with a stand right? At 10.1 inches that doesnt exactly make it 2 hand friendly and if you have to peck at it with 1 hand...f that.

Yep. Single hand interface is a different beast!

Quote:
Originally Posted by ifail View Post

Well we have to assume (for now) this is Apple's answer to not only the Netbook craze but the Kindle. It has to be priced appropriately (im thinking 599...), too low could cannibalize iPhone sales, especially if it runs iPhone apps and too high will possibly hurt the 999 macbook or keep the device from getting any real traction.

Perhaps they can subsidise by forcing a mobileme subscription for 2 years?
post #33 of 227
Quote:
Originally Posted by johnsonwax View Post

That's what makes Apple different - they don't just make gadgets, they make gadgets that solve problems nobody else has solved...

Bingo. They'll take this whole netbook/ nettop/ tablet/ slate/ ultrathin/ ultralight/ whatever madness and develop something actually useful and not just a gadget for gadgetry's sake.

I like my Macbook Aluminium 13" but it needs to be slightly smaller, lose one half of it that is not screen and be at least 1/5th lighter. Or, my iPhone needs to have a 5x bigger screen, if you look at it that way.
post #34 of 227
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brometheus View Post

A webcam. Hmm. A webcam works really well with a laptop because the screen is roughly perpendicular to the keyboard. With a tablet, there's an obvious difference. I don't think holding the tablet up in your hand is an elegant solution. This appears to be an opportunity for Apple to create an innovative stand for the tablet. Something that will allow for ichat functionality and at the same time not topple over or slide across a park bench when objects on the screen are manually manipulated (touched).

I'd imagine the webcam to work when you are working on the tablet, looking directly down at it while getting a crick in your neck...

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post #35 of 227
Quote:
Originally Posted by GregAlexander View Post

Sorry do you want iPhoneOS apps, or MacOSX apps?

...I believe that if OSX apps are allowed then people will use them. The side effect of that is that the tablet interface will suffer as it will emulate a keyboard/mouse interface. This will mean that the best place to run your apps would actually be a laptop.

...That's what's happened previously with tablets.

...Yeah. It has to offer something different or do it better.

...Or PC.

...But I wouldn't be surprised to see it entirely sync with MobileMe if you didn't have a computer. That would give it a backup too. All data accessible via web too.

...Yep. Single hand interface is a different beast!

...Perhaps they can subsidise by forcing a mobileme subscription for 2 years?

That's why it will be iPhone++ OS. Because a desktop/laptop OS crammed into a tablet just doesn't cut it.

It will sync with Mac and PC. Apple has to go this route because iPod and iPhone and iTunes and Apple is successful because it actually has a lot of PC users.

MobileMe won't be forced but will be useful for push/ sync etc. like with the iPhone and iPod touch.
post #36 of 227
Quote:
Originally Posted by nvidia2008 View Post

Oh boy, it's ready. USD $800? Is that about right? Hope it's not more. Well, it's this tablet or my Spain trip.

Your choice is clear dude. Your choice is clear.
post #37 of 227
Steve Jobs is not going to be happy with this apparent leak about the new Apple tablet.

Sounds like a nice piece of hardware, with great software included. I want one!
post #38 of 227
Quote:
Originally Posted by nvidia2008 View Post

Yeah, it's something that kinda dances around the netbook, ultraportable laptop, kindle, and so on, feeding into and feeding off the netbook/ ultralight notebook/ eBook "craze"... $699 for 32GB and $799 for 64GB, perhaps.

Apple's education market and education sales division needs to be appropriately positioned because the tablet could mix up how Macbooks are used.

I wasn't too serious about 720p, I don't think it would officially support that, just 480p downloads and video and so on.

im gonna go out on a limb here and say its probably going to utilize a hard drive...699 for only 32GB would just be absurd imo, thats big for a phone but horrid for a device thats "more than a ebook reader". If Apple is going for mobile media playback bigger storage is guaranteed. Also for the price of 699--799 it had better support 720p, cause many people are expecting a resolution bump of the iphone to atleast 480p to match many competitors.

I was talking about the Tablet in education and i think it would have minimal impact unless the scope of textbooks changed and made a real push towards online books. The loss of a keyboard is a huge one as well (but we assume it would work with Apples bluetooth keyboard, would be REALLY stupid if it didnt) and would need to run full OS X in general.

This is really targeted to the consumer market than it is for education purposes (even though it could be) but the potential in education could be huge if publishers shift to digital content
post #39 of 227
Quote:
Originally Posted by nvidia2008 View Post

That's why I've been saying for years it should be foldable dual touchscreen. So that you can read it vertically in the form of a book, or set it up like a conventional laptop. Or, fold it backwards onto itself so you have a tablet form factor. A bit too non-minimalist for Apple to do though.

A foldable dual touchscreen would solve a lot of problems. How about one screen that is foldable? Flexible display technology?

Bah, one can dream can't one?
post #40 of 227
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brometheus View Post

A webcam. Hmm. A webcam works really well with a laptop because the screen is roughly perpendicular to the keyboard. With a tablet, there's an obvious difference. I don't think holding the tablet up in your hand is an elegant solution. This appears to be an opportunity for Apple to create an innovative stand for the tablet. Something that will allow for ichat functionality and at the same time not topple over or slide across a park bench when objects on the screen are manually manipulated (touched).

Why not? When your chatting, that is probably all you will be doing. You just hold it up like you hold up your phone now.
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