Apple tablet rumor re-surfaces, on sale in October

When a rumor never seems to fade into the past and is frequently brought up over and over again generally there is some truth to the matter. Reports are surfacing again that Apple will be releasing a tablet PC in October for around $800.00.

That's a direct statement which means that the source in hand must be fairly confident that the information received is accurate. More interestingly is that the new information matches up with previous rumors.

"Taiwan's high-tech supply chain companies said Apple will debut its first netbook in October; Apple will pose itself to tackle the Christmas shopping season. Three corporations – Foxconn, Wintek, Dynapack have received direct orders from Apple"

What is interesting about the quoted source is that it says netbook unlike previous rumors that mentioned a tablet. Further the source says that Apple will debut "touch screen technology on its netbooks, Apple will not target low-end consumers, avoiding direct competition with Acer, Asus, as well as their less-than-500-dollars netbooks. Apple's netbook (or a "tablet" as many call it,) will probably be sold at around $800 USD each."

If the sources are correct then it means Apple will be selling a small light netbook with a touch screen; something that isn't prevalent today. A product of this nature will certainly attract attention but it's clear that at around $800.00 it's not truly targeting the netbook market with its pricing.

Apple generally holds a press conference in the fall to release its new iPod line and could bundle this announcement in with its other products. It is also no secret that Apple is flush with cash right now and may be more willing to invest into niche markets but only time will tell.

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oooh! I'd love to get my hands on a Tablet Mac.

But again .... $ 800, why ?
Overpriced not only to avoid completion, also, so you buy a premium, only because of the Apple hardware being used ?

Money is always tight for me, and robbing people/banks, still illegal. Having $800+ spare is a very rare event.

grrrrrr .....

Do people really want/desire to use their fingers as a pointing device? After I got my 3GS I thought of it as a replacement for my MBP but in the end I kept my Macbook, rarely use the internet on my iPhone, and now it is just a really expensive cell phone (after my 2 years is up I am going back to regular cell phones). I guess for the few people who still like tablet computing, like Leo Laporte, this is great news!

It would most likely dissappear, just like the current iphone keyboard. and to Haefft, if you're refering to this...there's USB ports on the side...just hook up a mouse. I'm just after it for the large screen with no buttons. I don't even like apple but they got it 90% right with the ipod touch, and would be 95% if they made this.

SirEvan said,
It would most likely dissappear, just like the current iphone keyboard.

Its not about whether it disapears or not, it's about whether you can comfortably write with it. If tablets have failed because people found the input to be lacking then that above solution doesn't solve the problem, especially given unlike an iPhone you could only use one hand since your thumb won't have the same travel thus you will need one hand to hold it and one to type.

Don't want to be peeky, but "Apple will be releasing a tablet PC"? Probably a tablet mac or so... don't they hate PC's?!

I'm guessing that they'll probably call it a Macbook Touch or iTouch or something like that. Apple don't hate PC because at the end of the day a Mac is a PC, just most people associate the term with a boring beige box. Being a "cool" company Apple just don't wish to be associated with that

It might work. If it is ever released. They seem to be the only company recently that can get lighting to strike more than twice in a bottle (ipod than iphone). The trouble here, however, is that it will essentially be competing in the Netbook market. I would suggest a cheaper price point.

Heat would be a problem surely ? Can't imagine having by hands or whatever close to a insanely warm battery or vents when using it. Laptops are ggod enough to put somewhere but tablets to carry about would be quite warm and uncomfortable.

It'll probably have similar specs to most netbooks, which are pretty low powered. I don't think heat would be an issue any more or less than it is for a thin laptop.

Laptops typically are designed to be usable on a lap as well as a desk...or the better ones are anyway.

I just don't understand the use of expensive and small tablet, especially with poor performance. And I don't understand why there is no performance tablet PC on the market, with at least 14" 1440x900 screen (like Toshiba Tecra M7) with multi-touch and high performance graphics card. Because that's what designer/artist actually need, and no crappy 12-13" 1280x800.

Simple, if they did make a performance tablet PC it would be so damn expensive nobody would touch it (pun intended!). They are having a hard enough time selling the "crappy" ones as it is, trying to convince people to spend even more on something they never wanted to begin with is next to impossible.

Xerxes said,
Simple, if they did make a performance tablet PC it would be so damn expensive nobody would touch it (pun intended!). They are having a hard enough time selling the "crappy" ones as it is, trying to convince people to spend even more on something they never wanted to begin with is next to impossible.

actually, I don't see how additional size and pixels can massively increase the cost. it should be matter of additional 300$ and no more.
and again, Tecra M7 was totally sold out despite 2000$ price for hi-end configuration (2GHz Core 2 duo, 4Gb ram, Nvidia Quadro NVS 110M 128mb) and around 1600$ for less performance. wonder why? if you ever worked with graphics, you should know that 1280x800 is pretty pointless resolution for that purpose, so artist and designers consider not buying small tablets, imho.

Xerxes said,
Simple, if they did make a performance tablet PC it would be so damn expensive nobody would touch it (pun intended!). They are having a hard enough time selling the "crappy" ones as it is, trying to convince people to spend even more on something they never wanted to begin with is next to impossible.

Well depends who it is aimed at whether it would sell or not. As a professional tool, if it does the job people may be inclined to buy it despite any premium. Not like the sorts of users likely to gain a lot from tablets havent spent a lot on CAD or Imaging applications already.

Still, with the security Apple uses to prevent leaks, I would be surprised if it is true or not. It's impossible to be sure at least.

This could be a very interesting thing, but $800? I'll believe it when I see it demoed on-stage by Jobs or one of his lackeys, and not a second beforehand.

$800... it better be twice the size of an iPod touch/iPhone, which means twice as wide and twice as "tall" with the same thickness, which means 4x the resolution too.

If they can do that, and it works, then they'll win the tablet game instantly.

If it doesn't have a physical keyboard, it can't do well.

I own two tablets, a slate and a convertible. The slate is largely useless for anything other than what I've repurposed it into: A wall-mounted interface for music and such.

I'm not so sure. If I turn my iPhone to landscape I can almost almost type at full speed on the on-screen QWERTY keyboard. If they used that same tech but slightly larger to be the same size as an actual keyboard, I think it'd work! Would certainly be worth a go anyway - I reckon it'd work

Chicane-UK said,
I'm not so sure. If I turn my iPhone to landscape I can almost almost type at full speed on the on-screen QWERTY keyboard. If they used that same tech but slightly larger to be the same size as an actual keyboard, I think it'd work! Would certainly be worth a go anyway - I reckon it'd work :)

That's because the device is small enough to be used by the thumbs and you see the entire keyboard, where your thumbs are and what you're typing all at the same time, keeping errors to a minimum.
A tablet is much bigger (naturally) and even though an on-screen keyboard can be close to full-size you would still have problems typing because you can't feel the buttons so you will have to rely on your eyes or simply just muscle memory. The speed would drop and errors would rise since you would have to look at your fingers and the keyboard or at what comes out on the screen.
I just don't see it as being very practical in that regard. However, It can be very practical since you will have a lighter and thinner tablet instead with no physical keyboard.

...or maybe you get used to it and type just as fast.

How you figure that out? a) this is Apple, they just have to put their logo on it and people will want it b) if it's based off similar tech as the iPhone/iPod touch (and there is no reason to believe it won't be) then we already know how well it will work, i.e. extremely well!

Xerxes said,
How you figure that out? a) this is Apple, they just have to put their logo on it and people will want it b) if it's based off similar tech as the iPhone/iPod touch (and there is no reason to believe it won't be) then we already know how well it will work, i.e. extremely well!

I don't think that on screen keyboards scale up very well. At small sizes, you can probably get away from the lack of tactile feedback, because as epple pointed out: You're primarily using a single finger to type. Scale it up, and that no longer applies.

Say what you will about Apple but they just might push Tablets into the mainstream. They have been around for ages but never really had an impact from what I've noticed or maybe they have. Really an interface problem at the end of the day.

I've noticed the same as you. I live in Montreal, Canada, and I can't say Tablet PCs are very popular.
If Apple gets one out and it's not a half-assed products like some other Tablet PCs, I might just sell my MacBook and get it.

But for under $800, I'd be surprised though. I still need something good and fast, not just something that has the tablet "feature".

A TabletPC is a (expensive) computer focused for a specific market, it is not a general purpose PC, is awesome for designer (and for medical purpose) but stink for the rest of users.

Instead, a pc (or netbook) with a touchscreen is different, it is just as useful as a McDonald's POS. :-/


I've got an HP2710p tablet through work and with the extra battery can squeeze out around 12 hours of battery life. I'm very pleased, but for $800 this sounds like a big win for Apple since they are usually on the opposite end of the price spectrum.

Yeah but the important thing is that every time apple presents a product it redefines everything about it, so all the industry begin to emulate them, they were the first ones with multitouch devices available they have to be able to pull out something interesting.