A market analyst has gone out on a limb to predict that Apple will introduce a large tablet computer this spring. This will supposedly be something like a super-sized iPhone or iPod touch, not a scaled down laptop.
Oppenheimer’s Yair Reiner issued a note to investors this morning about this upcoming device. In it, he said, “Our checks into Apple’s supply chain indicate the manufacturing cogs for the tablet are creaking into action and should begin to hit a mass market stride in February.”
Reiner says that this product should be released in March or April.
One of the mysteries about this model it how big its going to be. Rumors have ranged from just larger than an iPod touch to a monster with a 15-inch display.
If Oppenheimer’s report is correct, Apple’s tablet will have a 10.1-inch touchscreen with multi-touch support. This will be a standard LCD, not an AM-OLED display that earlier rumors had mentioned.
Reiner predicts this product will cost $1,000, which is on the high end of analyst predictions.
Like an iPhone, Only Bigger
There are still many questions about Apple’s upcoming tablet, but leaks from generally reliable sources have revealed much of the functionality.
It will reportedly be based on the iPhone OS, not Mac OS X. Various rumors say its going to be released by AT&T, Verizon, both, or neither.
Whether it’s a 3G connection or Wi-Fi, this device will supposedly have wireless access to the Internet, including iTunes. This will allow users to download music and also video to play on the relatively large display.
All of the features one would expect in a mobile computer will supposedly also be included: web browser, email software, etc.
A Focus on E-books?
According to the latest report, one of the main functions of Apple’s tablet will be displaying e-books. Oppenheimer’s Reiner said “Contacts in the U.S. tell us Apple is approaching book publishers with a very attractive proposal for distributing their content.”
If he is correct, this Apple device will go head-to-head with the Amazon.com Kindle, but will offer book publishers a better deal, with a higher percentage of the revenue for non-exclusive content.