As the anticipated launch date of Apple’s tablet device, tentatively known as the iSlate, draws ever nearer, rumors concerning components, costs and features continue to pour in-tech blog TG Daily reported that an employee of a design firm suggested Apple has been hoarding all the 10.1-inch touch screen displays from Asian manufacturers, including pricey organic light emitting diode (OLED) screens. “We were designing a product for a customer and we needed 10 inch screens, but we’ve been trying for months and can’t get one from any of the Asian suppliers,” the unnamed source told the blog. “We were told that Apple pre-ordered them all. All 10 inch LCDs, and all 10 inch OLEDs too.”
The rumor comes at a time when speculation over the tablet is reaching fever pitch, with technology blogs, analysts and commentators proposing, and debunking, suppositions and gossip. Apple blogger John Gruber took the opportunity to add his two cents on Tuesday when he posted a short piece claiming the tablet would not come equipped with a Web cam. Various media outlets reported the supposed device would include a Web cam following a televised interview with St??Â«phane Richard, deputy CEO of France Telecom (which owns French telecommunications carrier Orange) in which Richard told a journalist the device would indeed have one. 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 week, the content from the Web site of gesture recognition technology company FingerWorks, known for its TouchStream multitouch keyboard and for being acquired by Apple in 2005, was 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.