Apple tablet set for Q2 launch with aluminum casing - report

Posted:
in Future Apple Hardware edited January 2014
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.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 116
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 33,408member
    Well, well, well. Guess we'll eventually find out who we can believe (for the moment).
  • Reply 2 of 116
    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.
  • Reply 3 of 116
    macinthe408macinthe408 Posts: 1,050member
    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.
  • Reply 4 of 116
    gazoobeegazoobee Posts: 3,754member
    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.
  • Reply 5 of 116
    smiles77smiles77 Posts: 668member
    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.



  • Reply 6 of 116
    19841984 Posts: 955member
    Maybe they will use plastic for a low-end model and aluminum for a high-end model like the MacBook and MacBook Pro.
  • Reply 7 of 116
    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.
  • Reply 8 of 116
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 8,999member
    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".
  • Reply 9 of 116
    gazoobeegazoobee Posts: 3,754member
    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.
  • Reply 10 of 116
    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.
  • Reply 11 of 116
    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.



  • Reply 12 of 116
    Nope!! This thing, if it exists, is BLACK AND GLOSSY.
  • Reply 13 of 116
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 13,369member
    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
  • Reply 14 of 116
    isaidsoisaidso Posts: 750member
    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.
  • Reply 15 of 116
    ajpriceajprice Posts: 320member
    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.
  • Reply 16 of 116
    charlitunacharlituna Posts: 7,217member
    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.
  • Reply 17 of 116
    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.
  • Reply 18 of 116
    c4rlobc4rlob Posts: 277member
    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..."
  • Reply 19 of 116
    c4rlobc4rlob Posts: 277member
    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.
  • Reply 20 of 116
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 33,408member
    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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