Rumors of a some kind of Apple tablet PC have been around for months, and an industry analyst has gone out on a limb to predict that one really will be released, but not until the first half of next year.
Gene Munster from Piper Jaffray claims to have been tipped off by a mobile insider on Apple’s plans. The company is allegedly working on a device with a larger Touchscreen than an iPhone touch, and therefore be better at displaying the Web, movies, and e-books. But because it won’t run a full version of Mac OS X, it can be less expensive than an Apple notebook.
He predicts this device will have a screen between 7 and 10 inches, but still have many similarities to the iPod touch.
Munster wrote in a research note released this morning:
Key apps, like Safari and Mail, could make use of the larger screen resolution, making Apple’s tablet appealing for more extended use, but the company could continue to leverage its primary asset in mobile computing, the App Store, in this scenario.
A Mid-Range OS
The Piper Jaffray says that what’s holding this device up is the development of a new operating system version for this product.
We expect the development of such an OS to be underway currently, but its complexity, along with our conversations with a key company in the mobile space, leads us to believe it will not launch until CY10.
What the Rumors Say
In recent months, there have been a series of rumors saying that Apple is working on either a netbook or a tablet PC. No consistent picture of this device has emerged because the rumors occasionally contradict each other.
It will supposedly have a 10-inch display, and while some sources say it will have the traditional laptop shape, other say it will instead have a tablet design.
Earlier unconfirmed reports indicate this product will be released some time in the second half of this year, but that could easily change. One report says Verizon will release an Apple-branded tablet as early as this summer.
Source: Silicon Alley Insider