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New Tablet Likely for Apple

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Apple finally came out with a word on their mystery product, ending one chapter of speculation and beginning another. Speculators were split between Apple’s development of a netbook vs. Apple’s development of a tablet. Tablet it is-probably. If it is a tablet it will be Tablet Mac-style, of course. Apple CFO Tim Cook stated that the netbook is simply ‘not something we would put the Mac brand on.’

Why wouldn’t Apple play in the netbook sandbox with everyone else? Probably because everyone else is already there. Apple does its best when it comes out with a product that is distinctly different from the products being produced by the rest of the pack. Going the direction of a netbook would not involve being different enough. Besides, a netbook-style Macbook would essentially be a cheap version of the Macbook, which might risk the sales of their high-priced laptops.

Instead, Apple might come out with a tablet device. Right now, there are very few players in the tablet field, and the existing tablet technology has so much potential. Apple intends to be the pioneer. It just makes sense. Already, Apple holds multi-touch patents that would revolutionize tablet technology. Why not grow it on a new line of tablet products? In addition, the tablet choice is natural because it furnishes the expected link between Macbook and iPhone. From a price-perspective, too, it would fall between them, coming in around $700. Unlike the iPhone, the new tablet will utilize a far more powerful OS, possibly even OS X. The device would be sized at 7 x 10 inches, and boast a multi-functional touch screen.

A tablet-device could also give Apple a foot in the door of the ‘reader’ market. With the kindle warming up, Apple could stock iTunes with e-books, and ramp up sales for a Kindle-competitor device that could do oh-so-much-more. Don’t expect it until spring of 2010.

The Apple tablet rumors are back!

There’s a lot of speculation floating around out there in the Mac blogosphere about two perennially interesting meta-machines: the mythical Apple tablet, and the lately-popular Mac netbook. Bloggers and technogeeks have been longing for Apple to release a product in either category, and signs lately appear to be trending towards a “no” for the netbook, but a “maybe” for the long-hoped-for Apple tablet.

First off is Apple prognosticator John Gruber, who recently wrote — almost as an aside — in post to his popular Daring Fireball blog:

Whatever they’re cooking up for this space, it will not be a Mac. I’m thinking iPhone OS (perhaps renamed) and a touch screen keyboard. (There must be some reason why the keyboard in iPhone OS 3.0 now appears to be rescaled dynamically i.e. rendered resolution independently.)

Gruber attached this parenthetical note-within-a-note to a link to a bit of speculation regarding Apple’s second-quarter conference call, in which Apple COO Tim Cook noted that the company saw no value at present in the netbook market segment.

While such a comment from another company might mean that the company simply isn’t interested in the netbook/tablet area, anything from the notoriously tightlipped Apple is going to get spun and speculated endlessly. The Apple Blog’s Darrell Etherington has a roundup of what’s been going around the blogosphere, including an intriguing (and probably fake) mockup of a possible tablet device.

Mac bloggers have been arriving at a rough consensus about this device: it will be based on the iPhone OS, will be bigger than the current iPhone/iPod touch, and will not have a physical keyboard. Since Apple already sells a small-sized Bluetooth keyboard, it’s within the realm of possibility that an Apple tablet would be able to pair with one to enable typing. At least, that looks like what’s going on in MacFormat_UK’s image. Of course, this summer’s iPhone update might bring the capability to pair with Bluetooth keyboards to the iPhone as well.

The phenomenal success of Apple’s App Store is another reason the company might consider expanding the iPhone OS into a tablet-type device. With an established application base, the company can expect to continue to have the sort of developer support they’d need to attract customers to such a device. The only potential downside is that, at tablet size, this supposed device loses its easy iTunes media portability features.

Apple isn’t a company to sit back and wait, so it’s likely the company is cooking up something. The success of the App Store makes it even more likely that the company will focus on the iPhone OS (or whatever they choose to call it) as the platform of the future. Time will tell, however, if the current frenzy of tablet speculation pans out, or if it will prove to be incorrect like all such speculation before it.

Rumor: You Can Look Forward To A New iPhone, and a Plentiful Summer

You’ve got to love the rumor mill. A ‘source’ has talked to someone who’s gotten in contact with someone else. Then all of a sudden the internet world is thrown into hysteria. The two platforms that I’ve noticed are huge when it comes to rumors is Apple products, and video games.

The latest rumor comes from BoyGeniusReport, who apparently has leaked information from someone high up in the world of AT&T. Here are some of the possible things to watch out for in the future…

* New iPhone announcement around mid-June
* New iPhone will be faster and have a more seamless experience unmatched by any device (could be just talking about 3.0, but we think it’s also a new iPhone)
* U-Verse iPhone application; will allow control of your home DVR (play, pause, rewind, etc.)
* The annual iPhone launch is “becoming a tradition.”
* Nothing official is being confirmed, but they said that people should prep for an exciting time this summer.
* AT&T is said to be working with Apple to create a unified product with an unparalleled experience across all their products and services.
* Apple’s 3.0 software should tell us where the iPhone platform is going… uh, k?
* They said customers shouldn’t need to choose from AT&T’s high-end devices because of features, they should choose based on preferences. The gap in capability should be filled with the new iPhone. Ok, bets on slide out QWERTY, autofocus camera, video sharing, blah blah?
* Seems like the higher speed HSDPA (7.2Mbps) is being hinted at too which should confirm the earlier rumors of the new Infineon chipset.
* The $99 3G netbook will start selling this summer, and the first one won’t be a Windows OS.

Apple Releasing A Touchscreen Netbook This Year? (Rumor)

The Dow Jones newswire is reporting on a rumor, that Apple is currently planning on releasing a netbook as early as the end of the year. If that’s not enough, it’s going to be fully touchscreen.

The Dow Jones report doesn’t really provide any substantial sources. They have leads from “sources”, of course unnamed. The sources reveal that the netbooks will sport screen sizes of around 10″.

Apparently, Apple is working with two industry experts. One of them specializing in small-medium notebook screens, and the other focuses on touch screen technology.

Again, this is all rumor for now. Time will tell if the sources behind the leak will be credible to look out for in the future.

[via: Wei Yi Lim]

Is This The Next Mac Mini?

A user over at MacRumors, has posted what looks to be a picture of the next Mac Mini.

Of course, it’s all speculation at this point. However, it is convincing picture. 5 USB ports, Firewire 800, a Mini DVI, and Mini Display port look to be quite a significant upgrade indeed.

What do you think? Real or fake?

Mac Mini picture

Apple Asks Google To Leave Off Multi-Touch For The G1

Next to the iPhone, the T-Mobile G1 could be the most anticipated handset out on the market. With it being the first phone to utilize the Google Android OS, many were wanting to see what the G1 was capable of. Apparently, one feature that was going to come with the G1 was left off, per request from Apple.

Multi-touch, is a technology that as of now is exclusive to the iPhone. The idea of the phone being able to pick up multiple points of touch has really added to the value of the handset. Google was looking to provide its users with the same experience, but was asked by Apple to leave it out.

There have been no official reasons as to why Apple made this request. There’s of course the obvious reason that Apple wants to have the only multi-touch phone on the market. But could this in fact hurt Apple in the long run? No one likes a bully, and is the pressure Apple is putting on Google fair?

Of course, right now it’s all pure speculation as to what is really going on between the friendly companies. Eric Schmidt, the CEO of Google is on the board of directors at Apple which could have something to do with the decision. It will be interesting to see if there’s a backlash from G1 users, and what will happen when they demand multi-touch capabilities. Quite a predicament indeed.

*UPDATED* – It should be noted that all of this is speculation, and rumor up to this point. Venturebeat cites an anonymous source for their tip, who happens to work on the Android team. This isn’t anything official though. Thanks to Eric for catching this.

[Source: Venturebeat]