Did Apple-Owned FingerWorks Drop Site Content Due to Tablet?
The content from the Website of gesture recognition
technology company FingerWorks, known for its TouchStream multitouch keyboard
and for being acquired by Apple in 2005, has been removed, leading to
speculation that the company's technology will be featured in Apple's rumored
tablet device. The development was first noticed by the Apple blog MacRumors,
which also noted Fingerworks founder Wayne Westerman authored several
multitouch patents applications from Apple.
Fingerworks' previous product output included the
TouchStream LP, a full-sized, folding split keyboard, with a flat membrane and
zero-force keys, the TouchStream Mini, a one-hand keyboard and mouse keypad,
the iGesture Pad, a one-hand gesture pad and the iGesture Retro, a one-hand
gesture pad embedded into a full-size Microsoft keyboard. When attempting to
reach the Fingerworks Web site, users are redirected to Delaware.net, a Web
design and hosting site.
Apple fanatics and tech industry analysts alike have been
wrapped up in a whirlwind of rumors and speculation surrounding the tablet
device, which some believe will be unveiled at a media event at the Yerba Buena
Center for the Arts in San Francisco sometime between Jan. 25 and 27. The
tablet, which hasn't been officially named yet, is likely to measure about 10
inches and offer Wi-Fi connectivity. Last week, The Wall Street Journal
reported the device would ship in March, according to sources briefed by Apple.
On Monday, St??Â«phane Richard, deputy CEO of France Telecom,
which owns French telecommunications carrier Orange, caused a furor in the tech
media world by essentially confirming the existence of an Apple tablet device during
an interview with PaidContent:UK. The company later released a statement
claiming the quotes were "taken out of context, then interpreted in English."
However, Richard is not the first high-profile executive
prone to (alleged) loose lips-- a former Google China executive reportedly
wrote in his blog that Apple expects to sell 10 million tablet PCs in its first
year out. Lee Kai-fu, former president of Google Inc. Greater China, claimed on
his blog that Apple will release the device in January, for less than $1,000
and that it will feature a 10.1-inch multitouch screen. Other recent reports, including a research note by Piper
Jaffray analyst Gene Munster, who said there is a 75 percent likelihood that
Apple will have an event in January and a 50 percent chance that it would be
held to launch the Apple Tablet.
Earlier this year, Munster issued a report suggesting that the tablet would feature a 7- to 10-inch screen and retail for between $500 and $700, effectively filling a strategic gap for Apple between the iPod Touch and its low-end Mac desktops. Munster wrote, "We believe an Apple tablet would be priced 30 to 50 percent below the $999 MacBook, and would offer best-in-class Web, e-mail and media software. In other words, we believe Apple's tablet would compete well in the netbook category even though it would not be a netbook."