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Rumor: Apple Tablet for Early 2010

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Citing “people well-respected for their striking accuracy in Apple’s internal affairs,” AppleInsider has put its mongering reputation on the line by reporting the near-mythical Apple (s aapl) tablet will be unveiled in the first quarter of 2010.

Photo courtesy AppleInsider

According to AppleInsider, the tablet will have a 10″ inch display and be a 3G device. Pricing is pretty much a mystery. Bore than an iPhone, less than a Macbook, but that would be in line with previous reports of an $800 device. Reinforcing previous rumors, the company is in talks with Verizon (s vz) for a network partner. If that were not enough rumor buzz, the device will not have Intel (s intc) inside, but use a CPU from Apple-acquired P.A. Semi. The rumor theory is that Apple was dissatisfied with battery life of Intel’s Atom.

This would mark the culmination of development for a project that has been years in the making. According to AppleInsider, during that time “development was frozen and key aspects of the device rethought, retooled and repositioned.” Not surprisingly, Steve Jobs personally oversaw the product “from his home, office and hospital beds.” How fitting it would be to see the iconic CEO at an Apple Event that is not Macworld Expo in January, holding aloft the Next Great Thing.

I want to believe, too.

16 Responses to “Rumor: Apple Tablet for Early 2010”

  1. I have a feeling that this will be an oversized iphone, especially if it’s going to be released through a carrier. If that’s the case Apple will do anything they can to control the content on the tablet. We need an open tablet with no ties to any specific carrier. Come to think of it, we need that in the iPhone too.

  2. It’s going to be interesting to see what the final product is once it’s released. It’s hard to take rumors like this seriously until it’s announced — just like the iPhone two and a half years ago. It turned out to be totally different from everyone’s expectations.

  3. While I am bummed that this is (supposedly) a Q1-2010 release versus a Q4-2009 release, this is good news, and as I have stated it’s a real complex undertaking, as this is no mere iPod with a bigger screen.

    Most fundamentally, it forces the company to define its “matrix” thinking between hardware form factors and software forking decisions (e.g., iPhone OS, Mac OS, hybrid OS, download anything anywhere, exclusively limit to App Store), not to mention the service layer and developer tool interconects between same, a topic that I blogged about in:

    Apple, the ‘Boomer’ Tablet and the Matrix

    Check it out, if interested.


  4. Paul Alex

    James, I second your opinion on AI – they clearly have the best track record of any Apple-related news site on the Web. Actually, what seems to set AI apart from all others is their leading reports and in-depth analysis of products rather than reactionary posts.

    Anyways, with respect to the tablet, it’ll be interesting to see how Apple addresses text input via keyboard. I imagine that the tablet with have both a touch-screen keyboard (a la iPhone) and an optional peripheral keyboard via bluetooth as well. It’s potential functionality (in commerce, education, medicine, personal lifestyles) will be quite interesting to observe though. Cheers.

  5. Question — do you think this device would “not” have a bluetooth keyboard, but instead, have the keyboard directly on the glass tablet? Yes it would cut into some of the viewing screen, but you’d have a keyboard already installed like the iphone? Though…as others have said….typing on a flat surface would be strange as the angle to view the screen would be weird. Honestly, I saw this as a step towards replacing all magazines — a reading device primarily. Imagine subscribing to digital versions of your favorite magazines each page filling the tablet with video options and flash too. Pretty cool.

  6. Hobbes Doo

    If this comes true, being it a 3G device tied to a contract and monthly fees would totally be a no-no for me. I don’t really care about 3G access. WiFi yes, but 3G should be optional. Not everybody would use this all over the place.

    Again, we’re debating specs based on rumours. :-(

  7. degrees_of_truth

    I would like to see a keyboard with a clamshell lid, into which the tablet would dock and create a netbook-like form factor, as well as providing transport protection for the tablet screen. With an extra battery under the keyboard which would also provide physical stability when operated like a netbook.

  8. While being 3G-enabled appeals to the part of me that likes that kind of portability, I’m more than a little hesitant to sign up for a 3G wireless plan with Canada’s current iPhone provider, Rogers. Getting more than 1GB of data monthly costs $70 for 3GB or $100 for 5GB, which is far more than I’m willing to pay (especially in addition to the household’s existing DSL service). Hopefully, any 3G functionality is an option, not a mandatory contract signup.

    • James, by October (or so) both Telus and Bell are expected to have HSPA networks running as well. Hopefully we will have more choices coming soon!

  9. That is true, MacRat, but AI has the best track record among apple rumor sites, too, at least in my opinion. If they are wrong, I will certainly mock them, as I did over the Mac mini miss. However, recent tablet rumors on multiple sites seem more akin to the months before the iPhone launch, a lot of gossip being distilled slowly into some few facts.

  10. Lots has been written saying this device will be an ergonomic nightmare. I agree typing on it could be awkward, if you were writing much more than a URL.

    But instead of comparing it directly to a netbook why not consider it an alternative to a netbook? Not everyone has tons of stuff to type on their netbook. Not everyone uses it the same way.

    I’d rather take this tablet on a trip than a laptop. I could pull photos from an SD card and upload them. I could use a Bluetooth keyboard. I could read the web without squinting. Read books, watch TV.

    Typing might be tricky. But that’s not enough to say there’s not market for this device.