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Apple tablet set for Q2 launch with aluminum casing - report

post #1 of 117
Thread Starter 
Touchscreen panels for Apple's forthcoming tablet have begun shipping, and aluminum casings are expected to arrive next month, sources allegedly told Reuters.

The report, issued Friday, claims that two Taiwanese companies are supplying parts: AVY Precision Technology will begin production of the aluminum casings in February, while TPK Solutions is manufacturing the touchscreen panels. Three anonymous sources were cited in the report.

"Production of the cases will begin in February, so everything points to a second-quarter launch right now," one of the sources reportedly said. "It doesn't take that long for the company to assemble the PC together, but a second-quarter shipment date is what we're looking at now."

The alleged leaked information comes as a number of companies at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas are hoping to ride the wave of tablet hype that has built for months as rumors have swirled about Apple's still-unconfirmed device. Microsoft and HP introduced what was dubbed as a slate PC, Dell previewed a 5-inch tablet concept akin to an iPod touch, and Nvidia boasted that its Tegra 2 chip would be featured in numerous tablets due to arrive in 2010.

Countless hardware makers have seen CES as an opportunity to land a preemptive strike against Apple, which is expected to announce its own touchscreen device, sized between 10 inches and 11 inches, at an event on Jan. 27. Sources this week told The Wall Street Journal that Apple would unveil the product this month and ship it to customers in March.

The Journal also alleged that Apple was experimenting with "two different material finishes" for the hardware. Friday's report, if true, would suggest that Apple settled on an aluminum backing for the device.

As Apple prepares to officially announce its tablet, reports from supposed suppliers have continued to leak. In December, it was alleged that the Cupertino, Calif., company had been seeking solutions to strengthen the glass of the 10-inch tablet displays it outsourced, which was said to delay the product's launch.
post #2 of 117
Well, well, well. Guess we'll eventually find out who we can believe (for the moment).

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post #3 of 117
Wonder if the tablet will follow the same progression as the iPhone: aluminum case 1st gen -> plastic case 2nd gen...
BTW, did teckstud get banned - haven't heard from him in a while? Kinda miss his acerbity.
post #4 of 117
This observation isn't overly original or thought-provoking, but what if the January 27 event is used to introduce a super new iPhone?

Just a thought.
post #5 of 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by estolinski View Post

... BTW, did teckstud get banned - haven't heard from him in a while? Kinda miss his acerbity.

If by acerbity you mean in the sense of "acerbic wit" then you must be joking. One needs to be both very insightful, very intelligent, and have a good sense of humour for that.

If you mean in the sense of just being "sour or bitter" then I think you've nailed his style of comments perfectly.

Personally, I don't miss him at all. If I feel the need I can just suck a lemon or drop a hammer on my toe or something similar.
post #6 of 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gazoobee View Post

Personally, I don't miss him at all. If I feel the need I can just suck a lemon or drop a hammer on my toe or something similar.

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post #7 of 117
Maybe they will use plastic for a low-end model and aluminum for a high-end model like the MacBook and MacBook Pro.

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     197619842013  

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post #8 of 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by 1984 View Post

Maybe they will use plastic for a low-end model and aluminum for a high-end model like the MacBook and MacBook Pro.

my guess is probably not. I somehow think the tablet will be a one-size-fits-all approach, at least at the start. Who knows, though.
post #9 of 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by estolinski View Post

Wonder if the tablet will follow the same progression as the iPhone: aluminum case 1st gen -> plastic case 2nd gen...
BTW, did teckstud get banned - haven't heard from him in a while? Kinda miss his acerbity.

He's not even in the membership database anymore. There is another TECHSTUD (all caps) who only has five posts and hasn't posted in years. So it looks like he is gone for good. Of course, there's always the possibility of his sock puppet being alive and well here, but I think we would all recognize the "style".
post #10 of 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by 1984 View Post

Maybe they will use plastic for a low-end model and aluminum for a high-end model like the MacBook and MacBook Pro.

My personal preference would be for a perfect, seamless, aluminium back with just a plastic Apple logo for the Wi-Fi antenna. No camera hole, no ports, no volume rocker, and no silent switch. Just a power button on one edge and a home button on the (glass) front.
post #11 of 117
I think its a given, I had always assumed it would be aluminum. I just don't see it being any other material given apples recent direction.
post #12 of 117
I thought I read that some TV manufacturers were designing 3-D televisions that don't require the glasses. If so, wouldn't it be sweet if this new iSlate had that polarized film on it? Imagine navigating around the UI when it looks like it's 10 inches deep into the glass.

post #13 of 117
Nope!! This thing, if it exists, is BLACK AND GLOSSY.
A reputation is not built upon the restful domain of one's comfort zone; it is made out of stalwart exposition of your core beliefs, for all challenges to disprove them as irrelevant hubris.- Berp...
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post #14 of 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by macinthe408 View Post

This observation isn't overly original or thought-provoking, but what if the January 27 event is used to introduce a super new iPhone?

Just a thought.

I would suspect much more than a tablet at this debut. I'm thinking iPhone OS 4, MBP revs and yes possibly more iPhone models.

Apple needs more iPhone models to meet the needs of different users. Like it or not I think a clam shell iPhone with a keyboard would sell like hotcakes. Woman would like a smaller iPhone and guys could always use something bigger.

As to that clam shell design think of it this way. The screen is a transparent OLED that functions like a normal iPhone when closed. When open you go to horizontal mode and have an expansive screen that is free of keyboard clutter. Note that I don't think a real keyboard makes text entry any better, my experience is that they aren't any better than Apples keyboards. What this does do though is give you a much larger view of E-Mails and other documents you may be generating. Better yet would be a clam shell with a folding screen but we aren't there yet.


Dave
post #15 of 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by 1984 View Post

Maybe they will use plastic for a low-end model and aluminum for a high-end model like the MacBook and MacBook Pro.

Well, then you would have everybody griping about the lower end model having so much better WiFi reception then the high-end model.
post #16 of 117
For a sub Macbook price and position in the range, I thought it would have been a plastic unibody. But if it is aluminium, and still a sub Macbook price, thats all good.
post #17 of 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by estolinski View Post

Wonder if the tablet will follow the same progression as the iPhone: aluminum case 1st gen -> plastic case 2nd gen...

not likely. to do that would be reinvent the wheel in part. they nixed the aluminum, they say, do to issues with the antennae. if this thing has any 3g/4g/wifi in it, they won't want similar issues.

Quote:
BTW, did teckstud get banned - haven't heard from him in a while? K

I've had him on my ignore list for ages, I'd forgot about him in truth.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 1984 View Post

Maybe they will use plastic for a low-end model and aluminum for a high-end model like the MacBook and MacBook Pro.

or perhaps the 2 finish issue was an attempt to mix two materials in a pleasing design without signal issues, over heating etc.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleStud View Post

my guess is probably not. I somehow think the tablet will be a one-size-fits-all approach, at least at the start. Who knows, though.

i'm thinking if there are two models it will be size or color not finish.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gazoobee View Post

My personal preference would be for a perfect, seamless, aluminium back with just a plastic Apple logo for the Wi-Fi antenna. No camera hole, no ports, no volume rocker, and no silent switch. Just a power button on one edge and a home button on the (glass) front.

won't happen.

for one, it's a rechargeable battery, you have to have a way to charge it. that's one port right there. and getting content onto it. that's perhaps the same one or another port. plus headphones. you can be sure there will be a jack for head phones.
and there will be some kind of camera. either back side like the phone and nano or front like the laptop.
that said, I could see 2 ports -- dock connector and headphone, the camera and that's it. other than the speaker area. no toggle, no rocker. perhaps the power and home will be the same button.
i don't really see them making this device, at least at this time, into a wacom style tablet or a second display. so there's really no need for much else.
post #18 of 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gazoobee View Post

If by acerbity you mean in the sense of "acerbic wit" then you must be joking. One needs to be both very insightful, very intelligent, and have a good sense of humour for that.

If you mean in the sense of just being "sour or bitter" then I think you've nailed his style of comments perfectly.

Personally, I don't miss him at all. If I feel the need I can just suck a lemon or drop a hammer on my toe or something similar.

Actually, despite his inability to police himself, Teckstud made plenty of valid arguments around here that you and the rest of the fanboy troll circus never could or would admit to.
post #19 of 117
So true! The CES tablet unveilings totally feel like the kind of preemptive strike that you see in the movies when the United States military decides to attack some powerful UFO hopeful that unloading every Poseidon nuclear warhead in our arsenal will result in triumphant victory. Only for the dust to clear and see the UFO still just hovering completely unscratched; at which point the UFO opens its main hatch as a glowing beam powers up inside and our big-bad military commander (all the companies at CES) with a cigar hanging from his mouth whispers "dear god, holy s..." and quivers in shock as he stares at his approaching doom muttering "it's so beautiful..."
post #20 of 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by 1984 View Post

Maybe they will use plastic for a low-end model and aluminum for a high-end model like the MacBook and MacBook Pro.

"1984" is probably the best username I've seen in a while! Congrats.
post #21 of 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by heathsnow View Post

I thought I read that some TV manufacturers were designing 3-D televisions that don't require the glasses. If so, wouldn't it be sweet if this new iSlate had that polarized film on it? Imagine navigating around the UI when it looks like it's 10 inches deep into the glass.


I've known of some companies trying to develop 3D TV sets since the early 90's, and who knows, it may go back further. There is just no satisfactory way to view a 3D display without glasses, short of a holographic display, and then you've got color shift issues.

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post #22 of 117
Rumors asides, because they will just keep going back and forth, how do we expect this to work from a logistical standpoint. What is likely and unlikely?

After looking at the poor Notion Ink stand-in HW being demoed at CES with a large space on the back for a touch panel I think it is likely for Apple to go this route. I think that a cursor could be applied to the tablet, something I hadnt thought possible when considering a device that only uses finger-based input on the screen itself.

With a trackpad on the back, perhaps similar to yet larger than Mac notebook trackpads, Apple isnt breaking any HW ground here, just finding a unique way of reusing current tech. It allows for complete access to the system without having to cover the display. This seems easily usable while holding the device securely.

The only downfall seems to be with typing, which would likely require covering a portion of the display, thought hopefully with smart layout that changes depending on how you are holding the device.


Quote:
Originally Posted by estolinski View Post

Wonder if the tablet will follow the same progression as the iPhone: aluminum case 1st gen -> plastic case 2nd gen

Even with cellular data, 802.11a/b/g/n and Bluetooth the size of the device doesnt require the majority of the case to be plastic in order to get good reception. At this point I think plastic would be easier and better to hold on to than metal.


Quote:
Originally Posted by 1984 View Post

Maybe they will use plastic for a low-end model and aluminum for a high-end model like the MacBook and MacBook Pro.

Interesting thought. They could make a high and low model. How else would you expect these models to be different to warrant the dramatic case varuances?


Quote:
Originally Posted by lkrupp View Post

He's not even in the membership database anymore. There is another TECHSTUD (all caps) who only has five posts and hasn't posted in years. So it looks like he is gone for good. Of course, there's always the possibility of his sock puppet being alive and well here, but I think we would all recognize the "style".

His account is gone including all his posts. Not sure if they did the Tachy Goes to Coventry" global ignore list or actually deleted him. Regardless, he is aware of the situation and can back under the name Mr. Koolaid, which he created during one of his previous ban sessions. He came back more contemptible than ever so I think that name has been banned and deleted, as well, since a quick search brings up nothing. The board is better for it so Im certainly glad.
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post #23 of 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by c4rlob View Post

So true! The CES tablet unveilings totally feel like the kind of preemptive strike that you see in the movies when the United States military decides to attack some powerful UFO hopeful that unloading every Poseidon nuclear warhead in our arsenal will result in triumphant victory. Only for the dust to clear and see the UFO still just hovering completely unscratched; at which point the UFO opens its main hatch as a glowing beam powers up inside and our big-bad military commander (all the companies at CES) with a cigar hanging from his mouth whispers "dear god, holy s..." and quivers in shock as he stares at his approaching doom muttering "it's so beautiful..."

So true...

Truly something beautiful.
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post #24 of 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gazoobee View Post

My personal preference would be for a perfect, seamless, aluminium back with just a plastic Apple logo for the Wi-Fi antenna. No camera hole, no ports, no volume rocker, and no silent switch. Just a power button on one edge and a home button on the (glass) front.

While I can agree with the camera deletion the rest of that stuff I use. Some of them very often.

The silent switch is huge and is the quickest way to avoid being marked as rude or inconsiderate. There are all sorts of places where shutting off sound makes sense. E ereything from libraries, to the movies to company meetings.

Like wise a volume control allows for fine tuning sound no matter what app is front and center.

As to ports I really really want at least one USB port. It would make possible more portable applications than you might imagine.

In any event I do hope that you realize you are suggesting deleting some of the most useful mechanical controls on the unit. Some of those (volume) people caught for as they add value to the device. Keep it up and you will become very unpopular here.



Dave
post #25 of 117
post #26 of 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by isaidso View Post

Well, then you would have everybody griping about the lower end model having so much better WiFi reception then the high-end model.

I imagine that regardless of the material on the main body, it's possible the screen will be bordered by a black (or white?) plastic bezel. They could string the antenna around the edges of the device just behind the plastic. Would the screen itself interfere with reception?
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post #27 of 117
You know, looking at this:

Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 395 (39 members and 356 guests)

at the bottom of the page, some of you guests should join in if you've got something you want to add. It's not hard to register and it helps that you can ask questions or give an opinion or input. We love more conversation, so give it a shot.
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post #28 of 117
originally posted by wizard69
Apple needs more iPhone models to meet the needs of different users. Like it or not I think a clam shell iPhone with a keyboard would sell like hotcakes. Woman would like a smaller iPhone and guys could always use something bigger.
and a replaceable battery. (the new camera flash is a given.)Although I'm not going to hold my breath. And if Apple follows their current design philosophy, we'll see only one version of the tablet as well.
post #29 of 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by Boogerman2000 View Post

Actually, despite his inability to police himself, Teckstud made plenty of valid arguments around here that you and the rest of the fanboy troll circus never could or would admit to.

Nah. His arguments weren't even consistent. The only "hits" I recall him having, were when he called out someone else for inconsistency and was (occasionally) right about it. It's easy to call out the faults in others though. We all have them.

Forums are about debate and teckstud couldn't even string a logical sentence together most of the time, let alone an argument.

It's like that old Monty Python joke. The mere naysaying of everything the other person says is not an argument. Anyone can do that. You have to have logical points of your own, and realistically, you have to admit you are wrong sometimes, because of course, we all are.

I don't recall him doing either. Ever.
post #30 of 117
Does this mean no built-in 3G? Am I correct in recalling that was the reason for the switch from the (great-looking) Gen 1 iPhone with metal backing, to the current (so-so looking) plastic version?
post #31 of 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

While I can agree with the camera deletion the rest of that stuff I use. Some of them very often.

The silent switch is huge and is the quickest way to avoid being marked as rude or inconsiderate. There are all sorts of places where shutting off sound makes sense. E ereything from libraries, to the movies to company meetings.

Like wise a volume control allows for fine tuning sound no matter what app is front and center.

As to ports I really really want at least one USB port. It would make possible more portable applications than you might imagine.

In any event I do hope that you realize you are suggesting deleting some of the most useful mechanical controls on the unit. Some of those (volume) people caught for as they add value to the device. Keep it up and you will become very unpopular here.

Well I kind of got caught up in my fantasy a bit there perhaps. Obviously I didn't think the post out very thoroughly, but I still would like to see a smooth aluminium back instead of a plastic one.

As someone already pointed out I totally forgot about the syncing port which I didn't intend to. I mean I didn't intend to imply that it would sync wirelessly or that it wouldn't' sync at all or whatever. I also forgot about the headphone jack, which is likely to be needed.

The reason I thought the volume control and the silent switch would go is just because Steve Jobs doesn't like buttons, and since the screen is bigger, I thought the software controls might suffice.

My biggest hope is that the thing *doesn't* have a cell phone in it, and doesn't have a camera in it either. I saw the silent switch as only being important for cell phones (given the likely existence of software volume controls), and the lack of both of these things would allow a lot less physical buttons and holes on the thing.

I think overall that Apple needs to differentiate this thing from the iPods and iPhones and IMO, no one needs a camera or a cellphone, the size of a dinner plate. I've been 100% wrong many times before though.
post #32 of 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

Does this mean no built-in 3G? Am I correct in recalling that was the reason for the switch from the (great-looking) Gen 1 iPhone with metal backing, to the current (so-so looking) plastic version?

one rumor mentioned built-in 3G for VZ and/or AT&T. I'd also appreciate a USB port so I could use CLEAR here in Philly if I didn't like VZ or AT&T data plans. Who knows what to expect from this thing, though.
post #33 of 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

Does this mean no built-in 3G? Am I correct in recalling that was the reason for the switch from the (great-looking) Gen 1 iPhone with metal backing, to the current (so-so looking) plastic version?

I thought the reasoning was because the GPS chip didn't work well with a metal housing. If there's no GPS in the iSlate then it may very well be metal.
post #34 of 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

Does this mean no built-in 3G? Am I correct in recalling that was the reason for the switch from the (great-looking) Gen 1 iPhone with metal backing, to the current (so-so looking) plastic version?

They needed more room for the antenna signle, but a case that is at least 4x as big doesn’t need to have the entire thing encased in plastic to allow for good reception. Just look at the iPod Touch with a plastic are carved out for reception. Surely it would have to be bigger for cellular radios but that it could be done with a mostly metal back.

I hope the 3G is included in every device, similar to the Kindle, so that iTS and publisher store access can be had, with an option to pay for 3G data from your carrier for service for internet access.


Quote:
Originally Posted by heathsnow View Post

I thought the reasoning was because the GPS chip didn't work well with a metal housing. If there's no GPS in the iSlate then it may very well be metal.

It should get a GPS chip. I expect all Mac notebooks to get a GPS chip at some point. It just has too many convenient possibilities not to eventually get one.
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post #35 of 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by c4rlob View Post

So true! The CES tablet unveilings totally feel like the kind of preemptive strike that you see in the movies when the United States military decides to attack some powerful UFO hopeful that unloading every Poseidon nuclear warhead in our arsenal will result in triumphant victory. Only for the dust to clear and see the UFO still just hovering completely unscratched; at which point the UFO opens its main hatch as a glowing beam powers up inside and our big-bad military commander (all the companies at CES) with a cigar hanging from his mouth whispers "dear god, holy s..." and quivers in shock as he stares at his approaching doom muttering "it's so beautiful..."

To continue this analogy, these movies usually end with the US military defeating the aliens in some unlikely way...
post #36 of 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by donvreug View Post

To continue this analogy, these movies usually end with the US military defeating the aliens in some unlikely way...

Yeah but the movies that the aliens are making/watching on their home planet don't end that way do they? :-)
post #37 of 117
Everyone's been focusing on the lack of a useable Microsoft tablet and I agree wholeheartedly with the criticisms of those shown in the keynote but a third company seems to have an honest to gosh winner on its hands.

Has anyone else heard about the enTourage eDGe? Any thoughts? It looks, at first glance, like a really compelling product. It runs Android, has a wonderful form factor and costs less than $500. It's even got two screens, one large digital ink screen for reading written words and a second, smaller, conventional color screen for general purpose computing. They claim 16 hour battery life. If it had cellular internet connectivity, I'd be sold outright.

http://www.entourageedge.com/devices...rage-edge.html
post #38 of 117
Sweet, I was hoping for aluminium, such a superior material. Dents a bit easily but so what.
post #39 of 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gazoobee View Post

Personally, I don't miss him at all. If I feel the need I can just suck a lemon or drop a hammer on my toe or something similar.

ha

My bet's he's still here lurking.
post #40 of 117
That guy always irked me. I have tears in my eyes I'm laughing so hard !!
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