Apple Tablet Round Up from All Sources

Hi Folks we have heard all the news and collected all informations about the Apples Tablet[Un Named Tablet May be iSlate] . Have a look at the post below :)

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Jason Calacanis (Founder of Weblogs, Inc., TechCrunch50, Silicon Alley Reporter, Engadget & Mahalo.com) has revealed lots of details of the new Apple Tablet… He pretty much reveals everything except for the name and the look of the device.

Below I have summarised all the information about the device that he has revealed:

  1. Can run Farmville
  2. Connects to other tablets over WiFi for gaming.
  3. Device has built-in chess app.
  4. Nintendo wii-level innovation.
  5. Inbuilt reader for New Your Times & Vanity Fair
  6. 2 cameras to shoot what’s in front of you + yourself. Augmented video conferencing!
  7. OLED Screen
  8. Back has solar pad for recharging, but it really doesn’t work quickly.
  9. Verizon & ATT Support. This means EVDO and/or 3F
  10. Apple Tablet has thumb pads on each side for mouse gestures,
  11. Reads fingerprint for security. Up to 5 profiles by fingerprint for family
  12. Battery life is great in eBook reading mode but not great when on wifi or playing games.
  13. Runs an iphone os flavour with ability to have multiple apps running at same time ie pandora, browser
  14. The price will be 599, 699 and 799 depending on size and memory in apple tablet.
  15. wireless keyboard + monitor connection for tv
  16. the apple tablet is really amazing for newspapers. Video conferencing is super stable, but nothing new.
  17. The best part of the apple tablet is the built in HDTV tuner and pvr, and the chess game.

Check out is tweets directly at http://www.twitter.com/jason

From BBC:

All eyes in the technology world are on Apple as it prepares to unveil its latest creation, amid a swirl of speculation it is a tablet computer.

At 1800 GMT on Wednesday the company will hold a news conference in San Francisco to launch the new product.

Media and tech blogs have been in overdrive, amid rumours the product will be a keyboard-less tablet device.

For weeks, a flurry of photos and videos purporting to show the new device have been circulating.

“One never knows what Apple might or might not do on any given Wednesday in January,” said Mike Gartenberg, vice-president of strategy and analysis at research firm Interpret.

Market winner?

“One thing we do know for sure is we are going to see some sort of new device or category of device.”

Apple has done an amazing job keeping this thing under wraps
Paul Miller
Engadget tech blog

The safe money is on the product being a tablet or slate-like computer which traditionally bridges the gap between smartphones and laptops.

“The question here is does Apple have a different take on this category? It has to be something that has a reason to exist all by itself and not something that lives between a phone and a computer,” Mr Gartenberg told BBC News.

Until now the tablet market has been regarded as a middling one with revenue of around $950m (£597m).

But many industry watchers believe Apple will do for this sector what the iPod did for MP3 players.

Apple invite

Apple has billed the new gadget as “a major new product”

Apple said it sold 21m iPods last quarter and, while that represented a drop of 8% on the previous year, the company boasts a 70% market share. “Our base case assumes the new tablet adds four million shipments, $3.2bn (£2.1bn) revenue and 82 cents of earnings per share in 2010, but we see potential upside to six million units,” said Morgan Stanley analyst Katy Huberty.

Interpret’s Mr Gartenberg agreed.

“Apple is not building products for tens of thousands of enthusiasts. They are building products for tens of millions of customers,” he said.

‘Jesus Tablet’

Speculation has been rife about what this mythical device, sometimes dubbed the “Jesus Tablet”, will actually do.

The closest followers of these trends are the blogs and so-called Apple fan sites which have tracked everything from patents to supposed leaks from various manufacturers and people claiming to have actual photographs.

iPhone

The iPhone has helped users adapt to doing things using multi-touch

“Apple has done an amazing job keeping this thing under wraps,” Paul Miller, editor of tech blog Engadget told the BBC.

“We have just tracked eight years of rumour and speculation about a tablet device from Apple, and here we are the day before the big announcement and there is basically zero tangible information on it,” said Mr Miller.

Among the rumours is that the gadget will be a gaming device, an “e-reader killer” or a really big iPhone.

Multi-touch will be at the heart of everything.

“Apple is looking at a new paradigm of user interface where the finger replaces the mouse and the keyboard,” said Leander Kahney, founder of CultofMac.com and author of Inside Steve’s Brain, a book about Apple boss Steve Jobs.

“This is a very important step in mainstream computing.”

The tablet is expected to connect to the internet via Wi-Fi and 3G cellular networks.

‘Very excited’

It will have a full browser and access to more than 125,000 software applications found in the Apple App store.

In terms of partners, Apple has reportedly been talking to publishers to bring books, newspapers and magazines to the tablet as well as to broadcasters to bring TV shows and movies to users.

Cost will be crucial and commentators say with an expected price tag of possibly between $700-$1000 (£440-£680) people could be put off.

“We’re betting even die-hard adopters [those who are first to embrace new gadgets] won’t be showing up en masse to buy the tablet,” said Wired blogger Daniel Dumas.

For those interested in technology, the wait will soon be over. But not without Apple’s boss doing his bit to whet everyone’s appetite.

Mr Jobs said on Monday: “The new products we are planning to release this year are very strong, starting this week with a major new product we are very excited about.”

From Engadget:

McGraw-Hill’s CEO confirms Apple tablet, debuting tomorrow

Interviewer [Erin Burnett]: “Briefly, before we go… Apple. Apparently you may get textbooks on the… the, this new tablet? That’s coming out.

Terry McGraw: “Yeah! Very exciting. Yes… you know, they’ll make their announcement tomorrow on this one. We have worked with Apple for quite awhile. And their… the tablet is going to be based on the iPhone operating system and so it’ll be transferable. So what you’re going to be able to do now… we have a consortium of e-books. And we have 95 percent of all our materials that are in e-book format… on that one. So now, with the tablet you’re going to open up the higher education market, the professional market. The tablet… the tablet is going to be just really terrific.”

From Gizmodo

1/27/2010: Hello, last minute, low quality photos of a possible tablet bolted to a table. (An Apple event tradition—remember the iPod nano or unibody MacBooks?)1/26/2010: The WSJ reports from last-minute negotiations with the publishing industry that Apple’s pushing prices of $12.99 and $14.99 for hardcover bestsellers for the tablet.

1/26/2010: Talking to game devs, Kotaku found out that one tablet game from EA “allows gamers to move a map with one hand and do the ‘mouse work’ with the other, using a combination of multitouch and ‘gestures.’ ”

1/26/2010: McGraw-Hill’s CEO just confirmed on CNBC that Apple’s announcing the tablet tomorrow and that it’ll run an iPhone-style OS, and gosh darn it, it’s “terrific.”

1/26/2010: The New York Times reports a few worthy bits: The tablet will have 3G, and iPhone apps will be compatible with the tablet. Presuming that’s true, the questions now turn to the carrier(s) and how those iPhone apps will work on the tablet.

1/25/2010: 9to5Mac claims to have talked to some publishers who have the scoop on the tablet, and they say the cost will be “[nowhere] near $1000, as has been reported elsewhere.”

1/25/2010: The LA Times reports that the NY Times has been cooped up in Cupertino for the last few weeks developing a version of its paper for the tablet. The article also has a quote from a Conde Nast press release in which the publishing giant just comes out and says it: they will develop “more content for the iPhone and the anticipated tablet from Apple.”

1/25/2010: Tech Crunch heard through the grape vine that Steve Jobs said of the tablet, “This will be the most important thing I’ve ever done.”

1/22/2010: Fox News’ Clayton Morris has heard Apple’s “in talks” with both Verizon and AT&T to provide data for the tablet.

1/22/2010: iLounge has a an oddball that they’ve “double-confirmed”: Double dock connectors, so it can be charged in both portrait and landscape mode. Making more sense, a tablet-wide plastic stripe for decent connectivity (plausible),

1/21/2010: A truckload from the WSJ: Apple “envisions that the tablet can be shared by multiple family members to read news and check email in homes,” and has experimented with facial recognition through a built-in camera, along with virtual sticky notes that can be left behind. Also backing up our earlier report, the WSJ Apple’s in discussions with newspaper, mag book publishers like the NYT, Conde Nast and Harper Collins, and has “exploring electronic-textbook technology.” EA is apparently on tap to demo video games for it.

Also curious: The WSJ says Steve Jobs is “supportive of the old guard and [he] looks to help them by giving them new forms of distribution,” referring to old media companies, which echoes a quote in the NYT that in the battle over ebook pricing with Amazon, apparently “Apple has put an offer together that helps publishers and, by extension, authors.”

1/19/2010: Apple’s shell company, Slate Computing, has also filed for a trademark on the name iPad. Oh God help us.

1/18/2010: Apple invited everyone to “come see our latest creation” on Jan. 27, matching reports from All Things D and the WSJ that Apple would hold an event in late January to announce the tablet.

1/18/2010: The WSJ reports Apple’s talking to HarperCollins about ebooks for the tablet—the first non-mag or newspaper reading content we’ve heard of.

1/14/2010: Apple hit Gawker with a cease-and-desist letter talking about how Gawker’s bounty for Tablet info is a no-no, which seems like a sorta soft confirmation there is something, since that’s when Apple tends to sue people.

1/13/2010: It might be like an “iPhone on steroids.”

1/12/2010: The Grubes hears there is “no camera, webcam or otherwise, on The Tablet.”

1/11/2010: Apple just turned off the lights at Fingerworks.com, whose IP could show up in the tablet.

1/10/2010: France Telecom/Orange exec Stéphane Richard may or may not have said “yes” to questions about a webcam in the tablet.

1/8/2010: Apple’s been working on a multitouch version of iWork for a couple of years, according to a former Apple designer. Could it be for the tablet?

1/8/2010: Reuters reports that AVY Precision Technology will start producing “aluminum casings” for the tablet next month, in time for a “second quarter” launch. AluminummMmmm.

1/7/2010: This is a really neat patent for using the screen’s pixels themselves as touch sensors (instead of placing the touch layer on top of the display), leading to super thin devices.

1/6/2010: Apparently, Apple expects to sell 10 million of them this year, according to a former Google exec, though his information didn’t come from Apple, so I’m not sure who’s expecting what then.

1/4/2010: The WSJ again says it’s shipping in March after being announced later this month (though the “ship date hasn’t been finalized and could still change”), while All Things D says more specifically it’s being announced Jan. 27. The WSJ also says it “will come with a 10 to 11-inch touch screen,” that “Apple was working on two different material finishes for the device” and cites analysts who claim it will be $1000, which might include unlimited Wi-Fi hotspot access of some kind.

Uh, What’s It Called?

The iPhone was called the iPhone years before Steve Jobs ever took the stage to announce it. We don’t have the luxury of such clarity here. I would think the name has no more than two syllables, personally.

Overwhelmingly what “evidence” there is points to some form of Slate. Not only did Apple register the domain iSlate.com through an intermediary to keep it a secret (discovered by Mark Gurman), they’ve trademarked it through a shell company called Slate Computing (signed for by Apple’s Senior Trademark Specialist) and registered domains and trademarks in Europe through their usual IP law firm, utilizing their standard secret trademark practices, last used with the iPhone. They’ve also registered “Magic Slate” through the same company. And, while we initially blew off NYT editor Bill Keller referencing an “Apple Slate” in a speech as meaningless, it’s a whole lot curiouser now.

Update 12/29/2009: Another shell company, iGuide Media—using Apple Senior Trademark Specialist Regina Porter as the signatory—applied for a trademark on iGuide, which seems, from the trademark description, to a be service less so than a piece of hardware:

Downloadable electronic publications in the nature of books, magazines, newsletters, journals, and blogs in the fields of entertainment, sports, science, history, culture, celebrities, news, current events, politics, technology, and education

Borders referenced an “Apple iPAD” in a survey, but it sounds like the sad invention of a survey copywriter who hit caps lock instead of shift, not to mention a digital feminine hygiene product. Apple also registered a trademark for TabletMac, but most likely to protect the Mac brand name from modders (it sounds unwieldy and gross).

Apple’s put a lot of effort into iSlate it seems. Is that the name of the Apple Tablet?

When’s It Coming?

Update 1/4/2010: The WSJ again says it’s shipping in March after being announced later this month (though the “ship date hasn’t been finalized and could still change”), while All Things D says more specifically it’s being announced Jan. 27.

Well, obviously everybody who picked a day before today is wrong. Which leaves everyday after today! The overall consensus is that’s being announced in late January—note, though, that a lot of the people who’re part of the new January cabal were the same people convinced it was coming in the fall.

iLounge predicted awfully specifically back in September that “Apple is currently planning to announce it on or before January 19, 2010.” The Financial Times
said two days ago
that Apple is expected “make a major product announcement on Tuesday, January 26th” at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco, where Apple’s rented a stage for “several days.” Silicon Alley Insider says that Apple is going to demo a tablet in January.

But when can you actually hold one? From most to least specific: The Wall Street Journal says the tablet is actually going to ship in March, and an analyst said it’s coming in March or April. iLounge says it’ll hit stores in May or June, like the iPhone. Digitimes reported Foxconn is supposed to have almost half a million of ’em shipped by April. Little emperor of Apple analysts Gene Munster says the first half of 2010. A bunch of connected Mac people just say 2010.

Everybody from the WSJ to Apple fan sites are convinced the tablet is being announced sometime late next month, shipping 2-6 months afterward, so hype and development can bloom, like the iPhone. (Though most of ’em were wrong three months ago.)

How Much Is It Gonna Cost?

The iPhone was $600. Then sales stopped being a-mazing and it dropped to $400. When the iPhone 3G came out, it went to $200 and everybody bought one. So, uh, how much is the tablet gonna be?

Update 1/4/2010: The WSJ cites analysts who claim it will be $1000, which might include unlimited Wi-Fi hotspot access of some kind.

Everybody says roughly the same thing: AppleInsider has said it’s “expected to retail for somewhere between the cost of a high-end iPhone and Apple’s most affordable Mac notebook.” Our insider told us it would “cost $700 to $900,” or “more than twice as much as a netbook.” Taiwan Economic Times says it’s between $800 and $1000. China Times, while they got the date pegged to the price horribly wrong, said 800 bucks. And then there’s DigiTimes, who says the whole reason the tablet was “delayed” was because it was getting an OLED upgrade, so it’d be a whopping $1500 to $1700. The final word comes from Steve Jobs who said “we don’t know how to build a sub-$500 computer that is not a piece of junk.”

Survey—and logic—says it’ll be pricier than an iPhone and more expensive than a MacBook. Which doesn’t say a lot. If you had to pick a number, $800ish seems like the safest bet.

How Big Is It?

The most important spec—and maybe the biggest mystery—is, well, how big the tablet is. Three sizes dominate rumors, tied to the size of panels produced by display manufacturers: 7 inches, 9.6 (or 9.7) inches, and 10.6 inches.

Let’s go from least to most specific. Apple reportedly told publishers it’s “small enough to carry in a handbag but too big to fit in a pocket.” A company discovered in its traffic logs an “unannounced Apple product with a display somewhere between an iPhone and a MacBook,” reported the NYT. The WSJ reported it’s “smaller than [Apple’s] current laptop computers but bigger than the iPhone or iPod Touch.”

Apple analyst king of the dweebs Gene Munster, after speaking to “component contacts” in Asia, says it’s between 7 and 10 inches. TechCrunch says it’s 7 or 9 inches. Digitimes says there’s two tablets, one that’s 9.6 inches (with OLED) and another that’s 10.6 inches. Taiwan Economic News says 9.6 inches too. Actually respectable news organization Dow Jones says Apple ordered displays from Wintek that are “between 9.7 and 10 inches.” Oh, and there might be ginormous tablets somewhere out there.

Update 1/4/2010: The WSJ says it “will come with a 10 to 11-inch touch screen.”

The Financial Times and Reuters both say it’s 10 inches. So does our insider.

iLounge presents a unified theory of the tablet universe that would explain the multiplicity of sizes: There have been three prototypes, and the initial one had a 7-inch screen, which was too small, so the latest version is 10.7 inches. Whatever the exact size, they say, it has “7x the touchable surface area” as the iPhone

Let’s just stick with bigger than an iPhone, but smaller than a MacBook.

What’s Inside

There’s been surprisingly little discussion of the actual specs beyond the size of the screen—storage, memory, processor, etc. Most of what little talk there has been has revolved around the networking capabilities.

There could be versions with 3G and without. Specifically, HSDPA (meaning it would only work on AT&T or T-Mobile in the US). Oh look, a SIM card tray! But maybe it’ll be on Verizon said BusinessWeek. Hey, maybe even Verizon LTE 4G wireless! strong>Update 1/6/2010: Chalk up another vote on Verizon wireless inside. This analyst is sure: “Definitely Verizon. I’ve been told that’s a certainty.” Mmmmhmmmm.

As for the processor, Intel Germany CEO passed gas about a bigger “version of the iPhone” powered by Atom. Dean Takahashi says that the tablet will be the first device using chips that Apple’s designed in-house through PA Semi, the chip company Apple bought a while ago, and that the chips are possibly ARM-based. (Update 1/6/2010: Some analyst heard “based on conversations with Apple’s design manufacturing partners” it’s going to use a PA Semi designed chip.)

Update 1/4/2010: Not really “inside,” but the WSJ says “Apple was working on two different material finishes for the device.” Fuzzy and rubbery?

Update 1/8/2010: Reuters reports that AVY Precision Technology will start producing “aluminum casings” for the tablet next month, in time for a “second quarter” launch. Aluminum. Mmmm.

Update 1/10/2010: France Telecom/Orange exec Stéphane Richard may or may not have said “yes” to questions about a webcam in the tablet.

Update 1/12/2010: The Grubes hears there is “no camera, webcam or otherwise, on The Tablet.”

Aaaaaannnd it coooooooould have an OLED screen, if it cost 1500 bucks.

A 3G option seems very possible, as does a secret-sauce processor, but who knows?

Who’s Involved?

Um, Steve Jobs, duh. A whole bunch of new multitouch engineers. Oh, and the Newton guy is back.

Quanta might be making it. Or Foxconn (who makes the iPhone and got a guy killed over a leaked prototype). With a display made by LG (who makes the gorgeous, if flaky, panel inside the 27-inch iMac.) Or maybe the display’s from Wintek, according to Reuters and Dow Jones. The battery might be made by Dynapack.

Besides Apple, again, who knows?

Patent Soup

The thing about patents is that, besides the fact they’re patenting something, they don’t say a whole lot, at least not about actual products. But here’s a few interesting ones pertaining to a tablet.

Update 1/5/2009: A real interesting one is for a “touch screen device, method and graphical user interface for manipulating three-dimensional virtual objects.”

Update 1/7/2010: This is a really neat patent for using the screen’s pixels themselves as touch sensors (instead of placing the touch layer on top of the display), leading to super thin devices.

This patent for a “display housing for a computing device” sure sounds like a tablet, which might fit into the tablet docking station in this patent, and you might use two hands, as shown in this patent, to interact with a multitouchable OS X, generously illustrated in this patent, unless you use a pen (ha ha ha). And it might be bumpy, in a cool way.

Patents don’t mean a whole lot, so don’t expect any of them to actually make it into a tablet. They could, though.

The Backstory

It’s fairly well known the iPhone was born from efforts to develop a touchscreen tablet computer. It was simply miniaturized, and uses tech from FingerWorks, a touch interface company Apple bought. The NYT reported Apple’s been working on it since 2003, when they built several prototypes using a battery-slaying PowerPC processor. Our insider said that Apple’s been working on it for 4-6 years, and that the first prototype of the current version was developed in 2008. Steve Jobs killed the PowerPC tablet, according to the NYT, because Jobs asked what tablets were good for besides surfing the web while sitting on the toilet. The WSJ reported he’s killed it twice already.

Update 1/6/2010: Apparently, Apple expects to sell 10 million of them this year, according to a former Google exec, though his information didn’t come from Apple, so I’m not sure who’s expecting what then.

Update 1/11/2010: Apple just turned off the lights at Fingerworks.com, whose IP could show up in the tablet.

Update 1/14/2010: Apple hit Gawker with a cease-and-desist letter talking about how Gawker’s bounty for Tablet info is a no-no, which seems like a sorta soft confirmation there is something, since that’s when Apple tends to sue people:

Apple has maintained the types of information and things you are soliciting-“how it’ll work, its size, the name, the software,” as well as any possible details about the product’s appearance, features, and physical samples-in strict confidence.”

1/27/2010: Hello, last minute, low quality photos of a possible tablet bolted to a table. (An Apple event tradition—remember the iPod nano or unibody MacBooks?)1/26/2010: The WSJ reports from last-minute negotiations with the publishing industry that Apple’s pushing prices of $12.99 and $14.99 for hardcover bestsellers for the tablet.

1/26/2010: Talking to game devs, Kotaku found out that one tablet game from EA “allows gamers to move a map with one hand and do the ‘mouse work’ with the other, using a combination of multitouch and ‘gestures.’ ”

1/26/2010: McGraw-Hill’s CEO just confirmed on CNBC that Apple’s announcing the tablet tomorrow and that it’ll run an iPhone-style OS, and gosh darn it, it’s “terrific.”

1/26/2010: The New York Times reports a few worthy bits: The tablet will have 3G, and iPhone apps will be compatible with the tablet. Presuming that’s true, the questions now turn to the carrier(s) and how those iPhone apps will work on the tablet.

1/25/2010: 9to5Mac claims to have talked to some publishers who have the scoop on the tablet, and they say the cost will be “[nowhere] near $1000, as has been reported elsewhere.”

1/25/2010: The LA Times reports that the NY Times has been cooped up in Cupertino for the last few weeks developing a version of its paper for the tablet. The article also has a quote from a Conde Nast press release in which the publishing giant just comes out and says it: they will develop “more content for the iPhone and the anticipated tablet from Apple.”

1/25/2010: Tech Crunch heard through the grape vine that Steve Jobs said of the tablet, “This will be the most important thing I’ve ever done.”

1/22/2010: Fox News’ Clayton Morris has heard Apple’s “in talks” with both Verizon and AT&T to provide data for the tablet.

1/22/2010: iLounge has a an oddball that they’ve “double-confirmed”: Double dock connectors, so it can be charged in both portrait and landscape mode. Making more sense, a tablet-wide plastic stripe for decent connectivity (plausible),

1/21/2010: A truckload from the WSJ: Apple “envisions that the tablet can be shared by multiple family members to read news and check email in homes,” and has experimented with facial recognition through a built-in camera, along with virtual sticky notes that can be left behind. Also backing up our earlier report, the WSJ Apple’s in discussions with newspaper, mag book publishers like the NYT, Conde Nast and Harper Collins, and has “exploring electronic-textbook technology.” EA is apparently on tap to demo video games for it.

Also curious: The WSJ says Steve Jobs is “supportive of the old guard and [he] looks to help them by giving them new forms of distribution,” referring to old media companies, which echoes a quote in the NYT that in the battle over ebook pricing with Amazon, apparently “Apple has put an offer together that helps publishers and, by extension, authors.”

1/19/2010: Apple’s shell company, Slate Computing, has also filed for a trademark on the name iPad. Oh God help us.

1/18/2010: Apple invited everyone to “come see our latest creation” on Jan. 27, matching reports from All Things D and the WSJ that Apple would hold an event in late January to announce the tablet.

1/18/2010: The WSJ reports Apple’s talking to HarperCollins about ebooks for the tablet—the first non-mag or newspaper reading content we’ve heard of.

1/14/2010: Apple hit Gawker with a cease-and-desist letter talking about how Gawker’s bounty for Tablet info is a no-no, which seems like a sorta soft confirmation there is something, since that’s when Apple tends to sue people.

1/13/2010: It might be like an “iPhone on steroids.”

1/12/2010: The Grubes hears there is “no camera, webcam or otherwise, on The Tablet.”

1/11/2010: Apple just turned off the lights at Fingerworks.com, whose IP could show up in the tablet.

1/10/2010: France Telecom/Orange exec Stéphane Richard may or may not have said “yes” to questions about a webcam in the tablet.

1/8/2010: Apple’s been working on a multitouch version of iWork for a couple of years, according to a former Apple designer. Could it be for the tablet?

1/8/2010: Reuters reports that AVY Precision Technology will start producing “aluminum casings” for the tablet next month, in time for a “second quarter” launch. AluminummMmmm.

1/7/2010: This is a really neat patent for using the screen’s pixels themselves as touch sensors (instead of placing the touch layer on top of the display), leading to super thin devices.

1/6/2010: Apparently, Apple expects to sell 10 million of them this year, according to a former Google exec, though his information didn’t come from Apple, so I’m not sure who’s expecting what then.

1/4/2010: The WSJ again says it’s shipping in March after being announced later this month (though the “ship date hasn’t been finalized and could still change”), while All Things D says more specifically it’s being announced Jan. 27. The WSJ also says it “will come with a 10 to 11-inch touch screen,” that “Apple was working on two different material finishes for the device” and cites analysts who claim it will be $1000, which might include unlimited Wi-Fi hotspot access of some kind.

Uh, What’s It Called?

The iPhone was called the iPhone years before Steve Jobs ever took the stage to announce it. We don’t have the luxury of such clarity here. I would think the name has no more than two syllables, personally.

Overwhelmingly what “evidence” there is points to some form of Slate. Not only did Apple register the domain iSlate.com through an intermediary to keep it a secret (discovered by Mark Gurman), they’ve trademarked it through a shell company called Slate Computing (signed for by Apple’s Senior Trademark Specialist) and registered domains and trademarks in Europe through their usual IP law firm, utilizing their standard secret trademark practices, last used with the iPhone. They’ve also registered “Magic Slate” through the same company. And, while we initially blew off NYT editor Bill Keller referencing an “Apple Slate” in a speech as meaningless, it’s a whole lot curiouser now.

Update 12/29/2009: Another shell company, iGuide Media—using Apple Senior Trademark Specialist Regina Porter as the signatory—applied for a trademark on iGuide, which seems, from the trademark description, to a be service less so than a piece of hardware:

Downloadable electronic publications in the nature of books, magazines, newsletters, journals, and blogs in the fields of entertainment, sports, science, history, culture, celebrities, news, current events, politics, technology, and education

Borders referenced an “Apple iPAD” in a survey, but it sounds like the sad invention of a survey copywriter who hit caps lock instead of shift, not to mention a digital feminine hygiene product. Apple also registered a trademark for TabletMac, but most likely to protect the Mac brand name from modders (it sounds unwieldy and gross).

Apple’s put a lot of effort into iSlate it seems. Is that the name of the Apple Tablet?

When’s It Coming?

Update 1/4/2010: The WSJ again says it’s shipping in March after being announced later this month (though the “ship date hasn’t been finalized and could still change”), while All Things D says more specifically it’s being announced Jan. 27.

Well, obviously everybody who picked a day before today is wrong. Which leaves everyday after today! The overall consensus is that’s being announced in late January—note, though, that a lot of the people who’re part of the new January cabal were the same people convinced it was coming in the fall.

iLounge predicted awfully specifically back in September that “Apple is currently planning to announce it on or before January 19, 2010.” The Financial Times
said two days ago
that Apple is expected “make a major product announcement on Tuesday, January 26th” at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco, where Apple’s rented a stage for “several days.” Silicon Alley Insider says that Apple is going to demo a tablet in January.

But when can you actually hold one? From most to least specific: The Wall Street Journal says the tablet is actually going to ship in March, and an analyst said it’s coming in March or April. iLounge says it’ll hit stores in May or June, like the iPhone. Digitimes reported Foxconn is supposed to have almost half a million of ’em shipped by April. Little emperor of Apple analysts Gene Munster says the first half of 2010. A bunch of connected Mac people just say 2010.

Everybody from the WSJ to Apple fan sites are convinced the tablet is being announced sometime late next month, shipping 2-6 months afterward, so hype and development can bloom, like the iPhone. (Though most of ’em were wrong three months ago.)

How Much Is It Gonna Cost?

The iPhone was $600. Then sales stopped being a-mazing and it dropped to $400. When the iPhone 3G came out, it went to $200 and everybody bought one. So, uh, how much is the tablet gonna be?

Update 1/4/2010: The WSJ cites analysts who claim it will be $1000, which might include unlimited Wi-Fi hotspot access of some kind.

Everybody says roughly the same thing: AppleInsider has said it’s “expected to retail for somewhere between the cost of a high-end iPhone and Apple’s most affordable Mac notebook.” Our insider told us it would “cost $700 to $900,” or “more than twice as much as a netbook.” Taiwan Economic Times says it’s between $800 and $1000. China Times, while they got the date pegged to the price horribly wrong, said 800 bucks. And then there’s DigiTimes, who says the whole reason the tablet was “delayed” was because it was getting an OLED upgrade, so it’d be a whopping $1500 to $1700. The final word comes from Steve Jobs who said “we don’t know how to build a sub-$500 computer that is not a piece of junk.”

Survey—and logic—says it’ll be pricier than an iPhone and more expensive than a MacBook. Which doesn’t say a lot. If you had to pick a number, $800ish seems like the safest bet.

How Big Is It?

The most important spec—and maybe the biggest mystery—is, well, how big the tablet is. Three sizes dominate rumors, tied to the size of panels produced by display manufacturers: 7 inches, 9.6 (or 9.7) inches, and 10.6 inches.

Let’s go from least to most specific. Apple reportedly told publishers it’s “small enough to carry in a handbag but too big to fit in a pocket.” A company discovered in its traffic logs an “unannounced Apple product with a display somewhere between an iPhone and a MacBook,” reported the NYT. The WSJ reported it’s “smaller than [Apple’s] current laptop computers but bigger than the iPhone or iPod Touch.”

Apple analyst king of the dweebs Gene Munster, after speaking to “component contacts” in Asia, says it’s between 7 and 10 inches. TechCrunch says it’s 7 or 9 inches. Digitimes says there’s two tablets, one that’s 9.6 inches (with OLED) and another that’s 10.6 inches. Taiwan Economic News says 9.6 inches too. Actually respectable news organization Dow Jones says Apple ordered displays from Wintek that are “between 9.7 and 10 inches.” Oh, and there might be ginormous tablets somewhere out there.

Update 1/4/2010: The WSJ says it “will come with a 10 to 11-inch touch screen.”

The Financial Times and Reuters both say it’s 10 inches. So does our insider.

iLounge presents a unified theory of the tablet universe that would explain the multiplicity of sizes: There have been three prototypes, and the initial one had a 7-inch screen, which was too small, so the latest version is 10.7 inches. Whatever the exact size, they say, it has “7x the touchable surface area” as the iPhone

Let’s just stick with bigger than an iPhone, but smaller than a MacBook.

What’s Inside

There’s been surprisingly little discussion of the actual specs beyond the size of the screen—storage, memory, processor, etc. Most of what little talk there has been has revolved around the networking capabilities.

There could be versions with 3G and without. Specifically, HSDPA (meaning it would only work on AT&T or T-Mobile in the US). Oh look, a SIM card tray! But maybe it’ll be on Verizon said BusinessWeek. Hey, maybe even Verizon LTE 4G wireless! strong>Update 1/6/2010: Chalk up another vote on Verizon wireless inside. This analyst is sure: “Definitely Verizon. I’ve been told that’s a certainty.” Mmmmhmmmm.

As for the processor, Intel Germany CEO passed gas about a bigger “version of the iPhone” powered by Atom. Dean Takahashi says that the tablet will be the first device using chips that Apple’s designed in-house through PA Semi, the chip company Apple bought a while ago, and that the chips are possibly ARM-based. (Update 1/6/2010: Some analyst heard “based on conversations with Apple’s design manufacturing partners” it’s going to use a PA Semi designed chip.)

Update 1/4/2010: Not really “inside,” but the WSJ says “Apple was working on two different material finishes for the device.” Fuzzy and rubbery?

Update 1/8/2010: Reuters reports that AVY Precision Technology will start producing “aluminum casings” for the tablet next month, in time for a “second quarter” launch. Aluminum. Mmmm.

Update 1/10/2010: France Telecom/Orange exec Stéphane Richard may or may not have said “yes” to questions about a webcam in the tablet.

Update 1/12/2010: The Grubes hears there is “no camera, webcam or otherwise, on The Tablet.”

Aaaaaannnd it coooooooould have an OLED screen, if it cost 1500 bucks.

A 3G option seems very possible, as does a secret-sauce processor, but who knows?

Who’s Involved?

Um, Steve Jobs, duh. A whole bunch of new multitouch engineers. Oh, and the Newton guy is back.

Quanta might be making it. Or Foxconn (who makes the iPhone and got a guy killed over a leaked prototype). With a display made by LG (who makes the gorgeous, if flaky, panel inside the 27-inch iMac.) Or maybe the display’s from Wintek, according to Reuters and Dow Jones. The battery might be made by Dynapack.

Besides Apple, again, who knows?

Patent Soup

The thing about patents is that, besides the fact they’re patenting something, they don’t say a whole lot, at least not about actual products. But here’s a few interesting ones pertaining to a tablet.

Update 1/5/2009: A real interesting one is for a “touch screen device, method and graphical user interface for manipulating three-dimensional virtual objects.”

Update 1/7/2010: This is a really neat patent for using the screen’s pixels themselves as touch sensors (instead of placing the touch layer on top of the display), leading to super thin devices.

This patent for a “display housing for a computing device” sure sounds like a tablet, which might fit into the tablet docking station in this patent, and you might use two hands, as shown in this patent, to interact with a multitouchable OS X, generously illustrated in this patent, unless you use a pen (ha ha ha). And it might be bumpy, in a cool way.

Patents don’t mean a whole lot, so don’t expect any of them to actually make it into a tablet. They could, though.

The Backstory

It’s fairly well known the iPhone was born from efforts to develop a touchscreen tablet computer. It was simply miniaturized, and uses tech from FingerWorks, a touch interface company Apple bought. The NYT reported Apple’s been working on it since 2003, when they built several prototypes using a battery-slaying PowerPC processor. Our insider said that Apple’s been working on it for 4-6 years, and that the first prototype of the current version was developed in 2008. Steve Jobs killed the PowerPC tablet, according to the NYT, because Jobs asked what tablets were good for besides surfing the web while sitting on the toilet. The WSJ reported he’s killed it twice already.

Update 1/6/2010: Apparently, Apple expects to sell 10 million of them this year, according to a former Google exec, though his information didn’t come from Apple, so I’m not sure who’s expecting what then.

Update 1/11/2010: Apple just turned off the lights at Fingerworks.com, whose IP could show up in the tablet.

Update 1/14/2010: Apple hit Gawker with a cease-and-desist letter talking about how Gawker’s bounty for Tablet info is a no-no, which seems like a sorta soft confirmation there is something, since that’s when Apple tends to sue people:

Apple has maintained the types of information and things you are soliciting-“how it’ll work, its size, the name, the software,” as well as any possible details about the product’s appearance, features, and physical samples-in strict confidence.”

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  • Farmville Cash

    Apple never fails to disappoint you with what you want and charge more than you expect.

    You want a 10 inch screen, you're getting 8. You want to pay $400, you're paying $699 for the bad one and $799 for the one with the phone option. I might be $100 off.

    It'll be really cool, but get ready. Pure speculation.

  • http://FarmVille-Tactics.blogspot.com/ Farmville Cash

    “I would think the name has no more than two syllables, personally.”

    Further reinforcing the fact that Apple fanboys are incapable of saying any word longer than two syllables. Case in point: iPod Touch was too long, so people just call it the iTouch. Apple has learned much about its consumer base.