FT confirms Apple 'iTablet' rumour

The Financial Times is reporting that Apple is "racing to offer a portable, full-featured, tablet-sized computer in time for the Christmas shopping season".

The revelation confirms rumours that surfaced earlier this year and earlier this month were confirmed by insiders as Apple targeting an October release. The FT believes the device could be launched as early as September.

It's expected the device will connect to the internet, like the iPod Touch, and possibly run the same software to connect to Apple's AppStore. The screen is rumoured to be 10" and the device is expected to cost $800. Apple has reportedly pitched the device to entertainment executives and according to one that spoke to the FT "It's going to be fabulous for watching movies."

The FT also claims that book publishers have been in talks with Apple about supplying their content on the devices to rival Amazon's Kindle ebook reader.


Image credit: Gizmodo, concept artwork. Not true picture of device.

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43 Comments

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Would be especially nice if it could output 1080P via DisplayPort or similar. A small[ish] device you can download movies to for out and about plus the ability to connect to HDTV would be a definite win for me.

Fantastic. Something that you have to HOLD while watching video on it, short of buying an accessory to tilt it up. Meanwhile, my EeePC on a hardcover book let's my hands do whatever they want to while watching anything I want to.

...maybe I should rethink how I worded that.

it better look like that mock up, as that would be PERFECT for a large screen portable photography portfolio. I'd probably pay 800$ for a full screen device like that...thats perfect for what I need.

I think this will be amazing for live music - a capacitance touch lemur is around $2000 USD. Hook up an external sound card, load up Ableton or anything else that can use finger input for sound production/modification and you're good to go!

if its just going to be a supersized iPod touch with an app store, Apple can keep it in my opinion... I want a computer not a big toy... I like how PC based tablets and netbooks are... they are the full OS not some riped down have to buy all new apps for it POS

Yep, I saw your comment above, completely agree with it. Buying new apps would be the biggest rip-off on earth.

Also, you should be able to install any program on there, not just "Apple-approved" ones, like the iPhone.

Maybe the app store will be opened up to the desktop market? But not forced. Just an easy way for people to find and install apps. I'm sure some of the iPod Touch style apps would be great on a 'tablet'. But they shouldn't limit it to just them.

You know what, I agree with you. I want to be able to use Pages, etc., maybe AS WELL as iPhone applications. This would be really nice. Like... to be able to start an emulator or something (and it already exists, it's called iPhone Simulator in XCode, so it would take 0 second to do this )

I want to be able to write with a stylus also. Mathematical equations and whatnot, like in grapher. The engineering world will be happy if it supports all of what I mentioned.

andrewbares said,
Yep, I saw your comment above, completely agree with it. Buying new apps would be the biggest rip-off on earth.

Also, you should be able to install any program on there, not just "Apple-approved" ones, like the iPhone.

Judging by the screenshot that is running the regular OSX iTunes I would say that supporting regular OSX apps is not a far stretch.

iPhone OS is based on OSX and FreeBSD/Darwin kernels so it's a possibility -- I wouldn't get ahead of yourself quite yet.

Nobody to this day has done a tablet right, and it wouldn't surprise me if Apple finally did. That concept artwork above would be the right idea. If the device was basically an iPod touch hit with an enlargement ray making it twice as tall and twice as wide, one big multitouch surface covering the entire face with a button or two on the side for power/sleep/etc, that's all it takes.

I think Apple can do it. The question is: will they do it right...

br0adband said,
Nobody to this day has done a tablet right, and it wouldn't surprise me if Apple finally did. That concept artwork above would be the right idea. If the device was basically an iPod touch hit with an enlargement ray making it twice as tall and twice as wide, one big multitouch surface covering the entire face with a button or two on the side for power/sleep/etc, that's all it takes.

I think Apple
can
do it. The question is: will they do it
right
...


to me that is doing it wrong, I want a tablet to be a full featured desktop OS with "Tablet" like apps... not some suped up iPod touch... I want to be able to install all OSX apps on it not have to use some stupid app store...

This "stupid app store" btw might make a bigger move to support every single Mac application very soon. Not just iPhone's and iPod's.

I think it's be a great time to do this, while getting this line of Tablet computers out there

MusicMan08 said,
Agreed, the price is just too high for something like this. Nice idea but the price has to come down.

And a 10" screen dictates the price does it? There are no details on the inside specs yet... Maybe cast aspersions about the value for money when the device is actually announced.

Lol... You guys are not aware of the prices of a Tablet then. If you want something that is not half-assed, it starts at $2000 for a 13". $800 for a totally new line of an Apple product, especially for a Tablet, is awesome. Apple won't make a half-assed product, they have a strong base already : iPhones and iPod Touches.

Don't expect too much from Apple's tablet. It will likely be little more than an expanded iPhone UI with added multitasking and one gimmicky feature to make it stand out from the rest.

I imagine that they would just remarket the on-screen touch keyboard as 'solving the problem' of swivel PC laptop tablets. The absolutely horrible ergonomics of a larger touch keyboad will be completely overlooked. Also, don't expect anyone to mention that having to set the tablet down to type two-handed means the screen can't angle toward your face unless it's tilted. This will 'officially' be addressed with a tilting platform accessory...

...which will be ignored by consumers in favor of resting it on their laps. This will ensure that the press finds out VERY quickly the first time someone is burned in a horrible laptop deja vu from the 90s.

My first Mac was a Plus with only a 9" screen, so 10" isn't bad at all. Sony has had their Connect Reader out for several years now, in fact it is the reason Amazon came out with the Kindle (a reader to compete with Sony' Reader). Not sure the price, but now I'll hold off buying the 10" Kindle until Apple releases their new device.

well its nice that Apple has come out with a new device. I think its going to be "Tbook". Being a Apple fan it feels nice that its doing some innovation in this segment (netbook), which it hasnt touched for a while. $800 as i guess is quite high for a 10" screen. I hope it will bring some supprises in netbooks.

Whoa lets not get ahead of ourselves! Creating products for a market doesn't necessarily mean they are "innovating". But $800 for a tablet is pretty good, and I'm looking forward to what they come up with

thenextos said,
well its nice that Apple has come out with a new device. I think its going to be "Tbook". Being a Apple fan it feels nice that its doing some innovation in this segment (netbook), which it hasnt touched for a while. $800 as i guess is quite high for a 10" screen. I hope it will bring some supprises in netbooks.

Going along with all their previous product names, I think Tbook is probably unlikely. I think it's more likely to be called iTablet.

Apple's marketers are trying to avoid the word 'tablet' in the name. They don't want to come across as simply another entry in a market started by PCs. Original names are easier and cheaper to come up with than original technology, and there won't be any of the latter in this product. It'll essentially be an iEee Touch, so to speak.

Expect the name to focus on a word like 'pad' or 'top', and probably trying to evoke an image of clouds/sky/open spaces to get a foot firmly and quickly into the door of cloud computing branding with the loudest marketing possible, to create the impression of first-to-market.

Also, expect marketing to focus on competing with Windows-based PC hybrid tablet/laptops, rather than the more successful netbooks that tend to run a distribution of Linux. Apple *will not* market againt Linux. They've invested a lot into the Vista vs OS X campaign, and will piggy back this next marketing effort onto that to keep the ball rolling. Consumers will be more receptive of an ad campaign that maintains a constant set of choices (Apple or Microsoft). With the netbook-friendly (and touch-friendly) Windows 7 coming out this fall, Apple is determined to have an arsenel of weapons stacked against it.

It should be noted that if Microsoft does NOT get Windows 7 onto netbooks very quickly, Apple will turn full snark and make an entire ad campaign out of mocking expensive hybrid touch laptops. Despite them being an entirely different market, Apple has a hard-on for a chance to parody MS's laptop hunter ads and get revenge for cost comparisons.

P.S. Linux users will have to just learn to deal with the reality that they desperately need Microsoft as a major player in the mobile PC market. Ubuntu is wonderful on netbooks, but it will die an embarassing and painful death if it stands alone in a market against Apple. So put down your MS voodoo dolls and root for Windows 7's success, or enjoy reducing Linux's chance at the mainstream to nothing more than a fond memory.

Wow this is going to be great. I can't wait to see what they cook up for the tablet world.

Sony and now Apple getting into tablets. :P

Tech Star said,
Wow this is going to be great. I can't wait to see what they cook up for the tablet world.

Sony and now Apple getting into tablets. :P

Sony and Apple are kicking ass

bob21 said,
Ah no HTC are with the Shift and its dual IBM/ARM processors 3 day battery life is a killer feature ...

To be honest a day is more then enough for more -- I mean anything less and sure it would get annoying but it's not a deal breaker. I don't know about you but I tend to be around computers quite a lot and I have a dock at home and a dock at work.

Sit down at my desk and sit the phone in the dock, bingo.

bob21 said,
Ah no HTC are with the Shift and its dual IBM/ARM processors 3 day battery life is a killer feature ...


You're comparing a UMPC versus a tablet. They're two different products.

Besides, there's also screen resolution to consider.

10" fabulous for watching movies? Only on the go, I guess... At least the price is good for a tablet. Hopefully it will be full tablet functionality, and not using touch as a gimmick like many so-called tablets out there.

I could see this being useful on a plane...and well that's about it for video.

A lot of other uses will depend on if it has webcam, speakers, etc.