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More corroboration of tablet device brewing at Apple

post #1 of 61
Thread Starter 
Apple is indeed working on tablet-like device that may finally surface sometime next year according to a trio of sources who've been in touch with high-tech blog TechCrunch.

The news should come as little surprise to avid followers of the Cupertino-based company. Back in September of 2007, AppleInsider exclusively reported on plans for the larger multi-touch device in its report titled "Up next for Apple: the return of the Newton."

Although it's been more than a year since that initial report with no sign of the product from Apple, AppleInsider has maintained confidence that the company is still actively developing the device and intends to bring it to market only when it meets the stringent demands of chief executive Steve Jobs.

In its own report Tuesday, TechCrunch cited three independent sources close to Apple who say to "expect a large screen iPod touch device to be released in the Fall of ‘09, with a 7 or 9 inch screen."

"Prototypes have been seen and handled by one of our sources, and Apple is talking to OEMs in Asia now about mass production," the publication said. It added that there were some early concerns amongst Apple managers over the potential market for such a device but that those fears have been quelled by the blistering success of the App Store:

"The difference now is the iTunes app store, which has thousands of games and other applications that are perfect for a touch screen device with an accelerometer."

AppleInsider will provide a brief update on the status of Newton tablet following next week's Macworld Expo.
post #2 of 61
If appleinsider knows more then why wait?
post #3 of 61
This doesn't entirely make sense. What's the point of a large touchscreen device? It's questionable if it can replace a laptop configuration with a mouse and keyboard, and too big just for games and browsing. It would work as an eBook reader too I guess but does that add up to something people are willing to shell out almost as much as a laptop for? Apple has to show that touchscreen devices are useful for real work, not just games and browsing, to make a successful product, if they're moving away from handheld devices.
post #4 of 61
Wait, you are saying a tablet device by the end of the year? So in the next 27 hours? Am I confused?
post #5 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by johngettler View Post

Wait, you are saying a tablet device by the end of the year? So in the next 27 hours? Am I confused?

heh-heh! You took the words right out of my mouth and beat me to the punch in the comments!

Indeed, later this year.

Just the usual hyperactive rumor mill overcoming logic and reason.
post #6 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by merdhead View Post

This doesn't entirely make sense. What's the point of a large touchscreen device?

Has little to do with the laptop market.

Newtons were selling well in the corporate environment. There were customized Newtons for medicine as well as for power utility workers in the field. When the Newton went away, other technologies were used to replicate the solution.
post #7 of 61
My goodness, I just today published an article about how Apple's next new device will be a NetPad, about the size of three iPhones side by side. I've included a lot of detail about how this would look and work. http://www.myallo.com/blog
post #8 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ecphorizer View Post

heh-heh! You took the words right out of my mouth and beat me to the punch in the comments!

Indeed, later this year.

Just the usual hyperactive rumor mill overcoming logic and reason.

Later next year... Sorry. A few days ahead of ourselves here =P

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post #9 of 61
Being the nerd that I am, I was at microcenter early this morning checking out their netbooks. While I was fiddling with their Samsung Q1U, I was wondering how cool would it be if Apple had such a device with an interface similar to the iPhone's. The computer was nice but a standard UI did not seem to fit.
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post #10 of 61
As usual, artists are screwed. Unless they are in kindergarden and are into the finger painting thing.

We heed a hybrid device. Touch and tool. If I can get a Wacom-like device combined with a large iPhone-like device I'd be in heaven. Touch the tools, scroll, etc with my hands, then draw with the tool.
post #11 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by mercury7 View Post

If appleinsider knows more then why wait?

Because we'll be double checking some things with people we'll be meeting at the conference...
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post #12 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by John the Geek View Post

We heed a hybrid device. Touch and tool. If I can get a Wacom-like device combined with a large iPhone-like device I'd be in heaven. Touch the tools, scroll, etc with my hands, then draw with the tool.

I was thinking along the same lines and how that might be a pretty cool device ...at least it might justify it's size then and if filled to the brim with Flash storage... tasty.
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post #13 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by lepton View Post

My goodness, I just today published an article about how Apple's next new device will be a NetPad, about the size of three iPhones side by side. I've included a lot of detail about how this would look and work. http://www.myallo.com/blog

Lepton, that's a pretty interesting coincidence and seems pretty much what I'd imagine an Apple NetPod to be. Since it would be in the iPod touch/ iPhone family, it seems that the name would need to be a closer fit. NetPod. iPod net? (ugh)

If it had built-in telephony and plenty of memory, it could be killer!

Price would really be the big determining factor. But, often coolness trumps thriftiness!
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post #14 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by merdhead View Post

This doesn't entirely make sense. What's the point of a large touchscreen device? It's questionable if it can replace a laptop configuration with a mouse and keyboard, and too big just for games and browsing.

If you don't see the opportunity here then I really don't know what to say. Done right Apple could release a whole family of such devices and and rake in millions maybe billions. In any event if you think this is a replacement for a desktop you are not on the right page. Touch represents a new approach to personal communications and computing.
Quote:
It would work as an eBook reader too I guess but does that add up to something people are willing to shell out almost as much as a laptop for?

Who says it will cost as much as a laptop? It doesn't have to but knowing Apple it will likely use state or the art technology which will jack up prices a bit. In any event the underlying hardware doesn't have to cost much more than twice the current price of Touch.
Quote:
Apple has to show that touchscreen devices are useful for real work, not just games and browsing, to make a successful product, if they're moving away from handheld devices.

It is not a move away from handheld devices. At least I can't think of Apple walking away from all the potential that exists for these devices. Finally Apple doesn't have to show anything as the Touch devices demonstrate a strong market for such devices.


Dave
post #15 of 61
Seems Apple has found an incredible brand and integration with
iTunes
iPod
iPhone
laptop/desktop

Why not build out something between iPhone, etc. and the laptop line? As someone who travels extensively, I'm finding a stronger desire to leave the weight behind and get something easy to work with on the road. Currently considering the MacBook Air as i get ready to upgrade from PB G4 17".

I LIKE the idea of a between device that is easy to carry, quick to boot, and could give me a portable keyboard when I need it.

Deja Newton! Love it.
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post #16 of 61
Someone should call Ireland and wake him up.
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post #17 of 61
As others have said, I can see them being used in a corporate/education environment. A few of them chained to a conference room table lets each participant add their own notes to slides.

But not sure what private individuals would use them for. Maybe built in to car? The iPod connectors are common now. Maybe it is a car attachment, not a carry around thing.
post #18 of 61
So, uhm, Lepton, you mean something like THIS? http://www.maclife.com/article/featu...ign?page=0%2C4

Seriously, I don't mean to be flippant, but I will be. If this news comes as shock to anyone, you clearly have not been keeping up.
1) AppleInsider has been letting us know repeatedly that this was still in the works. Their confidence level about this has been higher than almost anything else I've seen on this site.
2) The iPod Touch was a HUGE hit this holiday season. As soon as that was in the news, on the radio, etc., it was pretty obvious that it was now a matter of time before we saw the larger form factor.
3) Apple has gone out of it's way to say that a netbook is NOT in the works. Which, as always, means that something IS in the works, but it won't necessarily be what you expect.

If Apple is smart, they will release the tablet in 7 inches, and actually give us some sort of 700-800 dollar netbook in a ten inch format.

But odds are, they won't do that.

They will be as stubborn as good ol' Mr. Steve. Meaning that the MacBook Air will continue to be their answer for an "ultra-portable," and the larger format iPod Touch/Tablet thingie will be intended to shush up those who want something smaller than a laptop. And many of those people will still be upset that the device isn't as capable as a laptop, and it has no keyboard, etc. etc.

And round and round we go on the apple tree.

I do hope they provide some sort of e-reader capability and start providing e-books on iTunes. It's time to expand the store to include the written word, and it's time to show Amazon how it's done. Even better, make it wall mountable or at *least* desk, uhm, "standable" so that when it's not with you on the road, you can have it double as a digital photo frame.

I'm so glad I bought my 12" PowerBook when I did. It may be long in the tooth, but it's still the closest thing to a damn netbook we're likely to see from Cupertino for quite some time.

Happy New Year to all, and to all, a good byte.
post #19 of 61
It'll be the size of a paperback novel. 8 or 9 inches diagonal. Sign me up.
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post #20 of 61
The timing for iTablet is just perfect. In fact, iNewton3 is just the post-Jobs era device which would thrive if Apple would change its tune for the development/release of this device. It will have no carrier services, so those"evil forces" cannot put an ounce of control on it. Wifi with 802.11n 5Ghz wideband.
USB and Bluetooth fully profile. Thats it. Let the market develop which it will go.
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post #21 of 61
I would imagine that this could be, if real, the size of half the screen of a MacBook. The health and science community could use such a device. Parcel carriers, police, utility, and so many other fields could use such a device. This would not be a consumer product and it would have to be ruggedized.

My only issue would be data input. None of Apple's devices use a stylus and there would be many uses for such a pointing device. Checking off check boxes, circling items, precision selecting, etc.

This does not seem like an Apple product. I would place my money on an AppleTV with PVR before Apple releases a tablet.
post #22 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by merdhead View Post

This doesn't entirely make sense. What's the point of a large touchscreen device? It's questionable if it can replace a laptop configuration with a mouse and keyboard, and too big just for games and browsing. It would work as an eBook reader too I guess but does that add up to something people are willing to shell out almost as much as a laptop for? Apple has to show that touchscreen devices are useful for real work, not just games and browsing, to make a successful product, if they're moving away from handheld devices.

It all depends on the pricepoint. Personally I would LOVE to have a device like this. When I'm not working at my actual workstation (Mac Pro) I'm using my laptop in the living room or out on the deck. When I'm using my laptop 99% of the time I'm simply reading rather than inputting. I suppose if you really needed to type you could have it interact with the bluetooth Apple keyboard. I use my iPhone for a lot of those periods now but the screen is a bit small to be a really convenient internet reader.

With the decline of printed news sources and the rise of people getting most of their news from online sources, a reader is about the perfect device. Add in multitouch and the selection of neat apps and games already on the iPhone and you've got a really killer device. If it can connect to a cell network or adhoc off of the iPhone's then it's even better. Other than when I travel for work, when I travel my MacBook Pro is used almost exclusively in "read" mode rather than input mode.
post #23 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Whisper View Post

Seriously, I don't mean to be flippant, but I will be. If this news comes as shock to anyone, you clearly have not been keeping up.
1) AppleInsider has been letting us know repeatedly that this was still in the works. Their confidence level about this has been higher than almost anything else I've seen on this site.

Do you mean like the Atom processors? They were really confident about that. And look at all the Apple products that have the Atom processor!
post #24 of 61
No full-Mac OS X inside? NO PURCHASE!
post #25 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

If you don't see the opportunity here then I really don't know what to say. Done right Apple could release a whole family of such devices and and rake in millions maybe billions. In any event if you think this is a replacement for a desktop you are not on the right page. Touch represents a new approach to personal communications and computing.

Who says it will cost as much as a laptop? It doesn't have to but knowing Apple it will likely use state or the art technology which will jack up prices a bit. In any event the underlying hardware doesn't have to cost much more than twice the current price of Touch.


It is not a move away from handheld devices. At least I can't think of Apple walking away from all the potential that exists for these devices. Finally Apple doesn't have to show anything as the Touch devices demonstrate a strong market for such devices.


Dave

Your post is full of hype (I'm being polite) but short on cogent argument. Touch screens have been around since forever and because they're a bit more slick these days doesn't make them revolutionary or the answer to everything.

Have you ever tried doing anything than pressing a button on an iPhone or touch? It sucks unless you're doing very limited. You can't see what you're editing and it's hard to get any sort of accuracy. The loupe device helps but it's not fast or efficient.

For a small device the interface is fine. Scaling to a larger device is different question.
post #26 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by admactanium View Post

It all depends on the pricepoint. Personally I would LOVE to have a device like this. When I'm not working at my actual workstation (Mac Pro) I'm using my laptop in the living room or out on the deck. When I'm using my laptop 99% of the time I'm simply reading rather than inputting. I suppose if you really needed to type you could have it interact with the bluetooth Apple keyboard. I use my iPhone for a lot of those periods now but the screen is a bit small to be a really convenient internet reader.

With the decline of printed news sources and the rise of people getting most of their news from online sources, a reader is about the perfect device. Add in multitouch and the selection of neat apps and games already on the iPhone and you've got a really killer device. If it can connect to a cell network or adhoc off of the iPhone's then it's even better. Other than when I travel for work, when I travel my MacBook Pro is used almost exclusively in "read" mode rather than input mode.

You and other people may well find this useful and it might even be useful, but how many are willing to pay what will most likely be the better part of a grand for such a device? If it started well under $500 it may well be useful as a reader of sorts. But Apple being Apple it won't be cheap.
post #27 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by merdhead View Post

You and other people may well find this useful and it might even be useful, but how many are willing to pay what will most likely be the better part of a grand for such a device? If it started well under $500 it may well be useful as a reader of sorts. But Apple being Apple it won't be cheap.

Who knows? The original iPhone was $500 and it sold out immediately. The original iPod was around $400 I think. I bought a Newton Messagepad back in 1995 for $700. If it's under, say, $800 I'd probably buy one. People who see the need will buy it. What's the potential market? I don't know but I know that Apple right now can get away with charging probably a $150 premium on something like that just because so many new people have entered the fold. Plus apple has the App Store now, so they understand that they can make a lot of money on the back-end of these devices. They might be willing to keep the price lower to expand the marketshare for OS X Mobile/iPhone.

If they allow it to pair with a bluetooth keyboard and keep it even within shooting distance of a Netbook they'd probably have a winner on their hands.
post #28 of 61
The return of the Newton? - fab!

What next? HyperCard?
post #29 of 61
I don't buy it. I can see the use of a iPhone-like tablet device which is a little bigger so one could read the internet, e-books, etc, but with this sharp decline of the economy, I can't see anyone bringing this up with good number results. Everyone needs a phone, and most love to have an iPod, and if it can read the internet, great! Give it the best OS and you have the numbers that the iPhone brought about.

Now, a tablet which doesn't operate as a phone (and Wimax is still in its infancy), and which its only better advantage over the iPhone is the ability to not fit into your right or left pocket, and be more expensive, it will be probably a market failure, specially within these dark economic times.

It's all a big speculation of course, no one knows the future. It may be the crown jewel for many people, but I say that it's not enough people for it to be a success. Most people, like me, are counting the money and use it pragmatically and in an austere way. If in 2007 I'd have probably bought an iPhone, now I wouldn't. And I won't buy this product, it hasn't nearly enough payback in usage for its cost.

And that's the memo.
post #30 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by John the Geek View Post

As usual, artists are screwed. Unless they are in kindergarden and are into the finger painting thing.

We heed a hybrid device. Touch and tool. If I can get a Wacom-like device combined with a large iPhone-like device I'd be in heaven. Touch the tools, scroll, etc with my hands, then draw with the tool.

So we can't get a simulated pen that will work as an input device rather than using a separate device?

If it has USB input, then you could probably still use a separate Wacom too.
post #31 of 61
I have a tablet and there are issues with the format, mainly to do with holding it up all the time.
It seemed like an ideal device for the travel I do on trains, planes and automobiles, but the constant need to hold it up is a pain. For reading, you basically sacrifice the use of a limb and progressive gorilla-wrist. Inputting is worse as you have to combine holding it up wih your thumb and fingers with pushing the screen. Two-handed thumb-texting is great on the iPhone, but for broader computer-like use, it's a pain. Character recognition isn't there yet, even though Wacom is impressive at first, you constantly have to go back and correct, and that part is really clunky, plus Steve is right about the stylus - it becomes an interruption to pull out a stylus while you are comfortable reading.

I know that Apple are great at innovating to fix issues that no-one else has, and if they announce such a device, they will certainly have my full attention, but these are issues to be addressed if this is going to be an Apple consumer device for the masses ( and that's their direction right? ).

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post #32 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by PXT View Post

I have a tablet and there are issues with the format, mainly to do with holding it up all the time.
It seemed like an ideal device for the travel I do on trains, planes and automobiles, but the constant need to hold it up is a pain. For reading, you basically sacrifice the use of a limb and progressive gorilla-wrist. Inputting is worse as you have to combine holding it up wih your thumb and fingers with pushing the screen. Two-handed thumb-texting is great on the iPhone, but for broader computer-like use, it's a pain. Character recognition isn't there yet, even though Wacom is impressive at first, you constantly have to go back and correct, and that part is really clunky, plus Steve is right about the stylus - it becomes an interruption to pull out a stylus while you are comfortable reading.

I know that Apple are great at innovating to fix issues that no-one else has, and if they announce such a device, they will certainly have my full attention, but these are issues to be addressed if this is going to be an Apple consumer device for the masses ( and that's their direction right? ).

There are tons of valid points in this comment and others. Still, I think tablets will be back eventually. I look at cops on mounted laptops in cars and think, how can they type like that? They're all diagonal... It seems like a mounted tablet with a keyboard would be better. Then they could take it out of the car easier too, if that's a need.

They use tablets at doctors offices, but they're sooooo clunky because they're actually laptops. I have zero interest in that kind of tablet, I'd rather dock it. I can't imagine carrying the tablets I've seen docs carry from room to room.

Agreed on many points in previous comments. Typing anything beyond a few sentences on my iPod - I just don't do it. And I don't like the loupe correction at this point. Part of it is that it's a bit of a hassle to invoke.

Then again- I second the idea that Apple will be the company to innovate past these issues. Just like nobody else had a touch screen phone. And so far the imitation phones have been dull copies of the iphone with regard to the touch screen.

A lot of it comes down to what are you going to use it for. A reader. Entertainment. A remote desktop. GPS. Lots of those things are suitable. Typing is the sticking point....
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post #33 of 61
If Apple produce a tablet, I assume they would be targeting PC netbooks with the same device.

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post #34 of 61
I don't see the need for this, Apple shouldn't be releasing something like this especially in this economy.
post #35 of 61
As a scientist, I'm often away from my desk doing an experiment. (at my bench or God knows where) and I carry around a little notepad that I jot things down on. It would be awesome to have something like this that I could carry around with me to keep track of my notes for the day and then when I get done I could just simply download the entries to my laptop. I get so tired of trying to keep track of the 900 different places that I write something down. If I could just use it as a notebook. Man. I think it sounds really cool and helpful. Plus, if it could double as a iPod/email/internet device when I am away from my laptop that would be great. I do have an iPod touch (which I love) and I guess I could use that for entering in data and notes, but it's so small and a little hard to type. Plus, it seems like the internet of the Touch is really slow and I get tired of zooming in and out to read things. AND....if we could put a bunch of PDFs on it, that would be great, too. I could catch up on some reading during an incubation period. I don't know if the everyday user would like it, but I'm sure the science/medical world would love it.
post #36 of 61
I enjoy reading newpapers every morning, but current trends indicate many are in financial trouble. I also read them online, but it's just not the same. Plus , if you read them online, you are limited as to where you can actually read them.

I think that an Apple tablet a little smaller than a std. letter size could be a solution for today's newspapers. I'm assuming that an Apple tablet would work the same as the iPhone touch screen. You could subscribe to a newspaper that would be downloaded daily in its entirety, including adds, articles, etc. It would be laid out in the same way as the had copy. The tablet would work like an E-book except you would be able to zoom and pan like an iphone. Because the paper would be downloaded rather than streaming, moving around the paper would be pretty instantaneous.

There could be a new area in ITunes called The Newsstand. You could buy a New York Times or a Chicago Tribune for 99 cents. Or a Time or Newsweek magazine - or any other magazine.

I would prefer a larger screen than a smaller one. You could see each page in its entirety and zoom or pan to what you were reading. I was surprised how readable documents are on an IPhone with its small screen, so I think a much larger screen would be great.

Plus it would also be basically a laptop. This could be a big thing.
post #37 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacTel View Post


My only issue would be data input. None of Apple's devices use a stylus and there would be many uses for such a pointing device. Checking off check boxes, circling items, precision selecting, etc.

The Newton 2000 did (handwriting recognition) and did it way better than the WinMo devices of recent built ever did. I would suggest a specialised writing area much like the Palm Pilot (remember the Pilot rocked the market during its time). The main screen will do the multi-touch stuff and cursor positioning.

Apple needs a radical change in the post-Jobs era. See what Mark Hurd did for HP!. He is almost invisible to the press and did great work to move HP where it is today. Amazing.
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post #38 of 61
Yes! I am TOTALLY going to run out to buy one, only to recoil at the price tag!!
post #39 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by PXT View Post

If Apple produce a tablet, I assume they would be targeting PC netbooks with the same device.

Possibly, but when I'm taking notes, I still prefer a KB over writing on the screen, but that might just be me, and I always worry about having such a large screen, without something to close up and protect it. Apple could use their own version of OneNote if they really do release a tablet; OneNote is probably the best app I've used from MS in years, and it made taking notes a breeze.

But the only real sticking point I would have is possibly what OS Apple will use (the IPhone OS won't cut it), and the price, as Apple will add in some high markup, even it is nothing more than the guts of the iPhone, with a bigger screen.
post #40 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by PXT View Post

I have a tablet and there are issues with the format, mainly to do with holding it up all the time.
It seemed like an ideal device for the travel I do on trains, planes and automobiles, but the constant need to hold it up is a pain. For reading, you basically sacrifice the use of a limb and progressive gorilla-wrist. Inputting is worse as you have to combine holding it up wih your thumb and fingers with pushing the screen. Two-handed thumb-texting is great on the iPhone, but for broader computer-like use, it's a pain. Character recognition isn't there yet, even though Wacom is impressive at first, you constantly have to go back and correct, and that part is really clunky, plus Steve is right about the stylus - it becomes an interruption to pull out a stylus while you are comfortable reading.

I know that Apple are great at innovating to fix issues that no-one else has, and if they announce such a device, they will certainly have my full attention, but these are issues to be addressed if this is going to be an Apple consumer device for the masses ( and that's their direction right? ).

I've used tablets as well and I know some of these comments are true, but if you imagine a much lighter, smaller tablet a lot of them go away.

The majority of tablets I have seen are like a large heavy laptop with a 13" screen weighing many pounds. What we are talking about here is a light book-like device I think. Either the size of a pocketbook, or perhaps a standard 6x9.

Also, as an artist, I know that some of these "problems" are the same problems that anyone with a sketchpad has faced since paper was invented. Sure your wrist will get tired, but that's no different from the non computerised alternative. I would expect that such a tablet from Apple could easily capture the entire vertical tablet market that already exists as well as make serious inroads into areas where people already use tablets of some kinds that are *not* computerised. I'm thinking that this would be good for a doctors clipboard replacement, or UPSs' for that matter.

It would be better for using the web on a portable device also. I mean let's face it, the web on an iPhone is barely useable and people will eventually find that out. It could be a couch-based web surfing tool, it could also display video around your house etc. Lots of uses really.
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