According to a long series of leaks and rumors, Apple has been toying with making a tablet-shaped computer for years. However, no one at the company could come with with a design that CEO Steve Jobs liked, and therefore the project never got a green light. That has reportedly changed.
In just the last year, people have reported seeing Apple prototype tablets in sizes from just a bit bigger than an iPod touch to one with a whopping 15 inch display. These were apparently a result of this company testing a variety of form factors.
It has supposedly settled on a design — an unnamed senior Apple employee revealed recently that “Steve is extremely happy with the new tablet.”
However, this source did not give any details on the design Jobs has signed off on.
A Late January Announcement?
The wait for details on this super-sized iPhone may be over in about a month. Apple has reportedly rented the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco for an event scheduled on January 26. This will supposedly be the place when the tablet will be unveiled, but not released.
The early announcement will give developers time to update their software to run on a higher-resolution screen. So far, all models running the iPhone OS has had the same resolution: 320 by 480 pixels (HVGA). The tablet is expected to have a significantly larger display, and will therefore need a higher screen resolution.
Exactly what this new resolution will be is not yet known, though. Developers are allegedly being asked to modify their apps so that they run in Full Screen Mode, rather than hard-coded to HVGA.
Previous reports have said Apple’s tablet will be released in March or April.
What the Rumors Say
There are still many questions about Apple’s upcoming tablet, but leaks from generally reliable sources have revealed much of the functionality.
Most of the recent reports have said it will have a 10.1-inch touchscreen, but the latest unconfirmed report says the display will be 7 inches, making it twice the size of the iPhone’s screen.
This iPhone OS-based device is supposedly going to be released by AT&T, Verizon, both, or neither.
Whether it’s a 3G connection or Wi-Fi, this device will allegedly 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. In addition, one of the main functions of Apple’s tablet may be displaying e-books.