Last Friday, AppleInsider relayed some exclusive and juicy info about Apple’s upcoming tablet. If it’s sources are accurate, and indeed, AI says that they’ve been extremely trustworthy in the past, we can look forward to a potentially game-changing Apple tablet to be released sometime in early 2010.
It seems like a long time coming. Nearly two years have past since AppleInsider exclusively reported in September of 2007 that Apple’s next big product initiative would be a modern day reincarnation of its beloved-but-defunct Newton MessagePad. And it’s believed the device had been slowly evolving as an R&D project for at least a year prior.
The 10-inch, 3G-enabled tablet, akin to a jumbo iPod touch, is the latest brainchild of chief executive Steve Jobs. That distinction, as insiders will tell you, carries its share of baggage. Under the critical eye of Jobs, contours must be precise, each pixel of the interface has to match a particular vision, and there can be no fault — no matter how slight — or it’s back to the drawing board.
As such, AppleInsider has observed silently as the project was reset at least a half-dozen times over the past 24 months. Each time, development was frozen and key aspects of the device rethought, retooled and repositioned. At times, those close to the Apple co-founder had their doubts that it would ever see the light of day, just like a smaller PDA device he canned a few years after returning to the company.
However, the past six months have reportedly seen the critical pieces fall into place. Jobs, who’s been overseeing the project from his home, office and hospital beds, has finally achieved that much-sought aura of satisfaction. He’s since cemented the device in the company’s 2010 roadmap, where it’s being positioned for a first quarter launch, according to people well-respected by AppleInsider for their striking accuracy in Apple’s internal affairs.
AppleInsider’s report also corroborates earlier reports which have Apple joining forces with Verizon to perhaps provide subsidized Internet access for the device, a cost which we assume, or at least hope, will be built into the cost of the tablet itself.
What’s interesting about this report is that there seems to be a lot of focus on the tablet not being up to Steve Jobs’ high standards for so long. But if the device is simply an enlarged iPod Touch, then what type of design considerations was Jobs objecting to? Is it possible that the upcoming tablet will have some sort of surprise waiting in store for the Apple faithful? Or were Jobs’ concerns mostly relegated to software? As it stands now, we still have no reports regarding what type of OS the tablet is going to run, and just how much of a desktop user experience it’ll embody. The one thing we do know is that we can’t wait to find out, and much like how Apple shocked even the most informed Apple rumor readers with the introduction of the iPhone, we wouldn’t be surprised if lighting strikes twice with the tablet.