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Posts Tagged ‘iSlate’

Apple Tablet Rumour Roundup


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Like other Apple products, the Apple tablet has definitely generated a lot of buzz and rumors in the past few months, even its name has gotten a lot of rumors.

http://www.economist.com/daily/news/displaystory.cfm?story_id=15375810&fsrc=nwl

No matter what the device will be called, I just want to do a writeup on my thoughts based on some of the rumors out there. I have searched through all the rumor and news sites and here are some of the ones that I want to talk about.

It will look like a giant 1st generation iPhone. I think this is partially true because the form factor of an iPhone just doesn’t look right on a tablet and it’s not distintive enough. In the past, Apple has always reuse its proven design on new products. I don’t see why this time around, it will be an exception. It will probably be based on the aluminum unibody enclosure design with the same break-through battery used in the macbook pro line. It will also have a chrome bezel just like the iPhone.

The tablet is expected to be a multimedia device that will let people watch movies and television shows, play games, surf the Internet and read electronic books and newspapers. There have been numerous news reports about how Apple has been in discussion with books, newspaper publishers, and even television broadcasters regarding selling their content on this device. Apple already has the infrastructure of the iTunes store to sell. This is just a natural progression in order for Apple to dominate in consumer electronics.

The tablet will have a 10 inch screen, around the same size as a kindle 2, built-in wifi, 3G wireless capable, front facing camera.

For reference, here is what Tim Cook had said in the past about netbooks:

“For us, it’s about doing great products. And when I look at what is being sold in the netbook space today, I see cramped keyboards, terrible software, junky hardware, very small screens, and just not a consumer experience… that we would put the Mac brand on, quite frankly. And so it’s not a space, as it exists today, that we’re interested in, nor do we believe that customers in the long term would be interested in.”

A 10 inch screen seems suitable for a device like this. Anything bigger would affect its portability. The interesting question would be how Apple will position this device in its lineup of products. It’s been rumoured that it will run current iPhone/iPhone Touch applications, but I think they will probably have a new genre of applications built specifically for this device because it just doesn’t make sense to run some of the existing apps in the resolution of a 10 inch screen. One thing for sure though, it will definitely not run the full version of OSX.

Built-in 3G wireless capability is a no-brainer, especially for distributing contents from the iTunes store. I personally don’t see how the tablet will only be available through wireless carriers though. This type of business model makes more sense with a phone. Beside, most people who will be interested in the tablet device are probably people who have an iPhone or some type of smartphones. They will not want to pay another monthly fee. One thing that I do think Apple will do is follow what the Amazon Kindle has done in terms of distributing its content. Apple will most likely partner up with a wireless carrier. Making the contents available on the 3G network will allow true mobility and offer a better user experience.

I think putting a Front facing camera on the tablet is most likely not going to happen because it will be an awkward experience. Imagine holding the tablet on your hand and looking and talking to the screen. Video conferencing has its place but definitely not on a portable device of this size.

One thing that other rumor sites have talked very little about is on its integration with other Apple devices. This is an area that Apple focuses a lot of attention to in all their products because this can affect the user experience entirely. The way I see it is this device will not be a laptop replacement. Hence, I see this device more a multi-media extension of the iPhone. It will have full integration with iTunes as well as Apple TV. It might even have some extended features of the Apple TV. We can also expect full integration with MobileMe with some new features being built just for this device.