Analyst cops feel of Apple's iTablet
Drums beat louder
Apple’s iTablet will appear in shops this November, according to a mystery analyst who claims to have already touched the much-rumoured device.
The “veteran analyst” described the device as a slate-style computer that impresses with its display of HD video content, Barron's, the US financial magazine, reports.
“It's better than the average movie experience, when you hold this thing in your hands”, said the analyst.
He added that although Apple has yet to finalise the tablet’s design, the firm aims to unveil the device next month and launch in November. Just in time for the Christmas sales rush.
A second unnamed source also told Barron's that news of the iTablet “is all over the supply chain in Asia”.
Jon Peddie, the head of market watcher Jon Peddie Research, has yet to run his palms over the device, but chipped in his opinion that buyers should expect to pay between $699 and $799 (£474/€579) for the iTablet. The teardown specialists will work out soon enough if Apple can turn a profit at the prices quoted. But the hardware may be subsidised by data plans and content subscriptions, according to this analysis.
Barron's touchy-feely analyst brings the Apple tablet saga forward a little from last week's FT, which ran a story citing "people briefed on the project".
According to the FT sources, the Apple tablet is positioned as a "portable entertainment device"; it is internet enabled; has a screen of up to 10 inches diagonally; and will launch with new content deals. Unnamed entertainment execs hope the device will promote sales of: CD-length music, as opposed to a track here or there; movies; and ebooks. At the price quoted by Peddie, the iTablet is not positioned yet as a head-on competitor of Amazon's Kindle book reader - which retails at $299.
Apple still hasn't confirmed plans to build a tablet PC, but this is par for the course for the notoriously secretive company. It will tell us when it's ready, and God help anyone who tell us before...®
Weird price point
I don't believe that Apple will do anything like a full OSX tablet without pricing in line with other Macs. That's £1,600/$2,000 at least... At that price I doubt they'll sell many more than the PC manufacturers have.
Anyway for that money I could have the Motion Computing J3400 - which is as close to the classic HP/Compaq tablet that I can find. Everything else is too heavy, as the manufacturers all now insist on a fixed keyboard, taking the weight into the 1.5kg range, rather than under a kilo, which is a lot more comfortable to hold for long periods. My current HP tx2000 was £650 and is a full (if slow) PC, but I'd ditch it in a heartbeat for something of a similar price where I can take the keyboard off.
Another option is the Always Innovating touchbook. Now finally shipping, but the software is still in beta.* $300 with detachable keyboard, linux, lots of battery life, $200 without keyboard.
A giant iPod Touch with a bit more of an advanced OS, access to the iStore, a decent browser, and the alternative of a stylus for handwriting recognition would be wonderful. Who's really going to use a tablet for anything other than reading, internet, diary/addresses and the odd short note? Not many, and they can get what they want for sufficient cash. GPS would be very nice to have as well. Plus USB for 3G dongles.
However, $800 seems a bit steep for a big iPod Touch, given it's limitations. Something like that at $500-$600 would be wonderful. For $800 I'd want all the bells and whistles above. Come on Apple, my credit card is waiting.
* Dear Reg Hardware, please, please, please can we have a review of the Touchbook, as this could be brilliant, or a horrible flop - and I'd love to be told rather than shell out the cash and find out the hard way.
The Atom is perfectly capable of HD playback with the Ion chipset - see the Acer Aspire Revo for one example.
"Am I the only one who wants a tablet device of similar form and size to the thingie-mah-jigg that the crew on the enterprise used on star trek: enterprise?"
Am I the only one who wants a tablet device of similar form and size to the thingie-mah-jigg that the crew on the enterprise used on star trek: enterprise?
Bill, because the enterprise probably runs windows for warships.
If its running full OS X then Yes !
If its only running ipod/iphone software then its useless in my books
running leopard on the other hand it becomes nice and powerful
spose it all depends on the cpu/gpu combination, I suspect it will be pretty underpowered but if the rumours of HD playback are to be believed then its gonna have to be better than an Atom :-)