Of all the rumours we’ve seen in the past decade, the Apple Tablet is without a doubt the most consistently frequent and annoying… When you’ve been hearing about a product since August 2004, (yeah, really) you just want to get your hands on the damn thing! No-one outside of Apple, to our knowledge, has managed to do that, but surely we’d have gathered some solid evidence of the tablet’s existence after 5 and a half years? Here’s what we know so far…well perhaps…
More recently, only 2 months ago actually, we heard that Apple’s tablet will consist of a 10.6” panel, which puts it in between the iPhone and the 13.3” Macbook in terms of size. One thing’s for sure, Apple won’t be wanting this device to be known as the ‘Apple Netbook’ – not if recent price estimates are well founded anyway…
Prices estimates for the evasive tablet have gone all the way up to a whopping $2000, which puts it firmly out of netbook territory for now! How Apple decide to market this device may also put it out of Tablet territory and into the e-Book market, competing directly with the Amazon Kindle 2, Kindle DX and the Nook, although if it was marketed as an e-Book reader, it would most probably be the most expensive e-Book reader in the history of technology!
There have been suggestions that Apple may be offering book publishers a similar offer to that of the music and apps in the iTunes store, in terms of a 70/30 split of revenue made from their content. If this is the case, we’ll be seeing a lot of content hitting Apple’s ‘book store’ for the release of their tablet / netbook / e-book reader – after all, there’s no point in having an amazing device without third party content; an iPhone without third party applications isn’t as appealing is it? But anyway, here’s a mock-up image of what an Apple Tablet device might look like…
A key detail that nobody’s been able to divulge as of yet is the OS that the tablet will run. Personally, this makes all the difference; load it with the iPhone OS and you’re faced with a device limited to app store applications and hardware barely fit to run Windows XP (dare I make such a comparison?).
On the other hand, if Apple ship the tablet running a full fledged version of Mac OS X, it becomes a device that’s far more customisable, extremely powerful and full of potential in the future. If a consumer’s paying $1000 – $2000 for a device, they’re going to want to do more than they can on, say an iPhone, especially if more Windows 7-based tablets start appearing like Archos’ recent tablet offering.
If for some reason Apple did decide to run the iPhone OS, or a similar modified OS, on the tablet, we’d no doubt see the doors open to a host of hacks and modifications to further enable the device – but then again, surely Apple have learnt that from the iPod Touch?
Whatever the Apple Tablet turns out to be, I’m sure Apple will have something special up their sleeves as per usual. Hopefully, we’ll all be able to get one from the Apple Store in a few months, but we were saying that in 2008, so who knows? Although, perhaps it’s closer than some people might think? Apparently, Apple might be planning a press event for 26th January 2010!
Do you think it will actually ever happen? Or is the Apple Tablet just a rumour that will never see the light of day?
Image Source – Innosight