Apple to answer netbook market with $500-$700 tablet - report

Posted:
in Future Apple Hardware edited January 2014
With a conventional netbook clearly out of the question, researchers for Piper Jaffray said Thursday there's mounting evidence to suggest Apple next year will introduce its own take on the market in the form of a tablet-based device that will sell for $700 or less.



"Between indications from our component contacts in Asia, recent patents relating to multi-touch sensitivity for more complex computing devices, comments from [chief operating officer] Tim Cook on the April 22nd conference call, and Apple's acquisition of P.A. Semi along with other recent chip-related hires, it is increasingly clear that Apple is investing more in its mobile computing franchise," analyst Gene Munster and his team wrote in lengthy research note to clients.



More specifically, the analyst said these investments will likely culminate with the launch of a touch-screen tablet with a display somewhere between 7- and 10-inches at a special event sometime in the first half of 2010. Such a move, he added, would be consistent with management's comments that Cupertino-based company has no interest in catering to the existing segment for "cheap" miniaturized notebooks and its spoken desire to differentiate in a market currently dominated by cramped computers with razor thin margins and a subpar user experience.



Thus far, Munster's contacts in the component supply chain have not seen a prototype of the device but say there's ongoing discussions between the company and its suppliers about the parts that will eventually be required to build the product.



For his part, the analyst believes the device will end up retailing somewhere in the range of $500 - $700, bridging the gap between the $399 iPod touch and the $999 MacBook. He expects that it will be driven by a proprietary microprocessor designed in-house by engineers Apple adopted in the acquisition of P.A. Semi and others it's known to have hired in recent months.



Apple has also been consistent in its communications that software will play a vital role in any and all of its efforts to achieve success in the mobile space, and therefore Munster anticipates that the tablet will run an operating system more robust than the iPhone's but optimized for multi-touch, unlike Mac OS X. He envisions a new "hybrid" piece of software that would meld traits from both its Mac-based OS and the one that runs on both the iPhone and iPod touch.



"The device's OS could bear a close resemblance to Apple's iPhone OS and run App Store apps," the analyst wrote. "Apple could possibly introduce a second screen resolution into the iPhone OS software development kit (SDK), enabling developers to build apps specifically for the larger tablet device." The larger screen real estate offered by a tablet could also pave the way for more than one iPhone application to run simultaneously in unaltered form.



"Key apps, like Safari and Mail, could make use of the larger screen resolution, making Apple's tablet appealing for more extended use, but the company could continue to leverage its primary asset in mobile computing, the App Store, in this scenario," he explained.



Alternatively, Munster said Apple may be working on a customized version of Mac OS X for traditional computers that would be optimized for its multi-touch platform. Such an effort would be extensive and time consuming, even if it's already underway, and therefore the analyst believes it may not be ready for consumption until sometime next year.



"In other words, we expect the end result of the expected product to be launched later but with more dramatic differentiation than the Street is expecting," he wrote. "Another important possibility for the tablet that we expect Apple to launch in 2010 is that of wireless carrier subsidies."



Apple has become all too familiar and rather comfortable with subsidy pricing on its iPhone 3G, and Munster believes the company may take a similar approach to sales of the tablet. He also points to recent media reports about ongoing talks with Verizon wireless, which lead him to believe the company "could include an integrated mobile data feature such as 3G wireless into the device and partner with AT or Verizon to subsidize the device together with a contract for a wireless data plan."



The Piper Jaffray analyst also told clients that a tablet device could pave the way for Apple to get more serious about eBooks and give devices like the Kindle and Kindle DX from online retailer Amazon.com some unwanted competition.



"While we do not expect this to be a core selling point for the device, it would make sense for Apple to develop an electronic reading app for the device (and possibly for iPhones and iPod touches too) along with digital books sold on the iTunes Store," he wrote.



Munster maintained his Buy rating and $180 price target on shares of Apple.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 243
    teckstudteckstud Posts: 6,476member
    While this is great, 2010 is simply way too long away for an announcement. See what happens when all your energies go into the iPhone? Macs get pushed aside.
  • Reply 2 of 243
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 4,639member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by teckstud View Post


    While this is great, 2010 is simply way too long away for an announcement. See what happens when all your energies go into the iPhone? Macs get pushed aside.



    Do you EVER have anything nice to say about Apple?
  • Reply 3 of 243
    buckbuck Posts: 293member
    Does it really make sense for Apple to develop yet another operating system? Unless it's going be the same iphone OS with added resolutions I just don't see them recouping the costs of development.
  • Reply 4 of 243
    istinkistink Posts: 250member
    I'm excited. I can't wait to see what they have to offer. I know it won't be cheap, but I hope it will at least be practical.
  • Reply 5 of 243
    teckstudteckstud Posts: 6,476member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by macxpress View Post


    Do you EVER have anything nice to say about Apple?



    WTF- I said it was a great that it's happenening! READ.
  • Reply 6 of 243
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 4,639member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by teckstud View Post


    WTF- I said it was a great that it's happenening! READ.



    Yeah...then READ what you said afterwards! Dipshit!
  • Reply 7 of 243
    teckstudteckstud Posts: 6,476member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Buck View Post


    Does it really make sense for Apple to develop yet another operating system? Unless it's going be the same iphone OS with added resolutions I just don't see them recouping the costs of development.



    I hope it come with some sort of wireless plan (hopefully Verizon) whereas every update of the software is not charged $$ like the Touch.
  • Reply 8 of 243
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by teckstud View Post


    I hope it come with some sort of wireless plan (hopefully Verizon) whereas every update of the software is not charged $$ like the Touch.



    Having a subsidy option has no baring on how the device is accounted.
  • Reply 9 of 243
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 4,639member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by teckstud View Post


    I hope it come with some sort of wireless plan (hopefully Verizon) whereas every update of the software is not charged $$ like the Touch.



    Apple wouldn't charge for the Touch update if they didn't have to. I doubt they'd use Verizon. Wishful thinking there.... That is unless some miracle happens and Apple uses Verizon for the new iPhone too. AT&T isn't the reason why Apple charges for its updates on the Touch.
  • Reply 10 of 243
    aplnubaplnub Posts: 2,582member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by macxpress View Post


    Yeah...then READ what you said afterwards! Dipshit!



    Ahhhh, everyone is always so nice on here.
  • Reply 11 of 243
    teckstudteckstud Posts: 6,476member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by macxpress View Post


    Yeah...then READ what you said afterwards! Dipshit!



    I can't help it if the truth hurts you so much. I'm not the only one saying that Mac development has been hindered by iPhone. Look at all the updates and lateness of Leopard. Look at MobileMe fiasco. Now this. Get over it.
  • Reply 12 of 243
    vercordiovercordio Posts: 49member
    I just don't understand why everyone is so in love with this tablet idea. These things have such an exceedingly limited usefulness.



    Do you really want to keep it flat on your lap while you type on it? Because that won't add an incredible amount of strain to your neck or anything. Or maybe you can hold it up with one hand, and type with the other one. Yeah, that'll be a blast. Try it now with your keyboard. Hold it up with one hand and type with the other. See how long you keep that up.



    Plus, no mouse means no rollover, so even if this thing has Flash support, good luck visiting any Flash-based websites and not wanting to throw that $700 tablet like a frisbee.



    If there were no more client-side hard drives, if everything (including your applications) was stored on the internet and you could access it anywhere, then maybe something like this - essentially just a portable window to the internet - might be useful. Otherwise, as a second computer, this thing is going to be a $700 paperweight.



    Honestly, I love Apple, and I don't think they're dumb enough to build something like this. However, they did create a Shuffle with no buttons, so I've been wrong before...
  • Reply 13 of 243
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 4,639member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by teckstud View Post


    I can't help it if the truth hurts you so much. I'm not the only one saying that Mac development has been hindered by iPhone. Look at all the updates and lateness of Leopard. Look at MobileMe fiasco. Now this. Get over it.



    I don't see much truth in that. I see conspiracy, but no truth in the matter at all. I can't see how Leopard can be late. Yes, they pushed it back ONCE to get the iPhone out the door. Since then there's no evidence to the iPhone OS hindering Leopard. These are 2 separate teams.



    MobileMe was just the wrong time to roll it out. Absolutely have NOTHING to do with the iPhone. Its great how you can take everything wrong and blame it on the iPhone.
  • Reply 14 of 243
    teckstudteckstud Posts: 6,476member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by macxpress View Post


    Apple wouldn't charge for the Touch update if they didn't have to. I doubt they'd use Verizon. Wishful thinking there.... That is unless some miracle happens and Apple uses Verizon for the new iPhone too. AT&T isn't the reason why Apple charges for its updates on the Touch.



    Oh I thought the iPhone updates were factored into its plan and therefor claiming it payment is over 2 years (Sarbanes Oxley)- therefor no charge. Touch does not have this due to no plan. Correct me if I'm wrong.
  • Reply 15 of 243
    teckstudteckstud Posts: 6,476member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by macxpress View Post


    I don't see much truth in that. I see conspiracy, but no truth in the matter at all. I can't see how Leopard can be late. Yes, they pushed it back ONCE to get the iPhone out the door. Since then there's no evidence to the iPhone OS hindering Leopard. These are 2 separate teams.



    MobileMe was just the wrong time to roll it out. Absolutely have NOTHING to do with the iPhone. Its great how you can take everything wrong and blame it on the iPhone.



    And what's your excvuse for the MAcMIni? This will be good- I'm waiting to hear how'll you excuse everything in favor of the iPhone.
  • Reply 16 of 243
    teckstudteckstud Posts: 6,476member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by solipsism View Post


    Having a subsidy option has no baring on how the device is accounted.



    yes it does . Apple uses the 2 year AT&T plan as a factor into it's payment of the device.
  • Reply 17 of 243
    quadra 610quadra 610 Posts: 6,741member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by teckstud View Post


    While this is great, 2010 is simply way too long away for an announcement. See what happens when all your energies go into the iPhone? Macs get pushed aside.





  • Reply 18 of 243
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    Munster anticipates that the tablet will run an operating system more robust than the iPhone's but optimized for multi-touch, unlike Mac OS X. He envisions a new "hybrid" piece of software that would meld traits from both its Mac-based OS and the one that runs on both the iPhone and iPod touch.



    In what way is the current Mac OS X NOT optimized for multi-touch? (For those who might not know, the new laptops come with multi-touch enabled track pads.)



    Hybrid OS? Apple has made it clear that the iPhone OS is a subset of Mac OS X.



    Does this guy really have a clue?
  • Reply 19 of 243
    asciiascii Posts: 5,941member
    I don't think the success of subnotebooks should be taken as evidence that people want a computing device that size. It should be taken as evidence that they want, specifically, smaller and/or cheaper notebooks.



    Otherwise, why have so many tablets failed in the past?
  • Reply 20 of 243
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by teckstud View Post


    yes it does . Apple uses the 2 year AT&T plan as a factor into it's payment of the device.



    You made a statement that implies that they are linked. They are not. Apple can choose go for whatever accounting model they choose. The AppleTV is on that same model and it isn?t subsided by any carrier. Are you really that dense or are you choosing to be ignorant to the same topics we?ve discussed over and over? If you have a psychological problem let me know and I?ll back off, otherwise I can?t but think you are trolling.
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