Apple Tablet Glimpsed by Industry Analyst, Reports Say
Apple does indeed have a tablet offering in the works, and it could be available as soon as November, Barron's is reporting.
An industry insider has seen a prototype of the secretive Apple device, which features a 10-inch screen and integrated 3G, according to the financial publication.
"One veteran analyst who has seen first-hand a prototype slate-style computer from Apple says the device could be announced in September for release in November," writes Barron's. "Whatever the exact dates, the computer industry is so anxious to see what Apple introduces that it has held off competing designs until Apple CEO Steve Jobs gives the device his final blessing."
The Barron's article goes on to quote an anonymous source, who reportedly said, "It's better than the average movie experience, when you hold this thing in your hands."
The tablet is expected to be priced between $699 and $799 and, as a media- and game-focused device, be capable of playing high-definition movies.
Rumors of an Apple tablet began surfacing since May. At that time, Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster wrote in an investor report that Apple had no interest in releasing a netbook and was instead at work on a tablet with an "operating system more robust than the iPhone's but optimized for multitouch, unlike Mac OS X."
Munster went on to say that a tablet device could nicely position Apple to begin selling digital books in iTunes. "In this way," wrote Munster, "Apple could respond to the tangential competition from Amazon's Kindle and Kindle DX."
Unlike the Barron's source, Apple Insider, as well as Munster, don't expect the tablet until 2010.
On Aug. 3 the Apple Insider blog wrote that it has its own sources, which also say the tablet is "not anticipated to arrive before early 2010."
In late July the blog likewise reported that Steve Jobs has "cemented the device in the company's 2010 roadmap, where it's being positioned for a first quarter launch."