Why yesterday’s Apple tablet rumor makes no sense at all

Fri, Aug 14, 2009

Analysis, News

Yesterday afternoon, Brian Lam of Gizmodo published a few interesting details about Apple’s upcoming and mythical tablet.  Supposedly, a source with first-hand knowledge about the device contacted Lam out of the blue and gave him some down and dirty details about the as of yet un-announced product.

“The device, which I’ve held mock ups of, is going to have a 10 inch screen, and when I saw it looked just like a giant iPhone, with a black back— although that design could change at any time” they said, “with the same black resin back, and the familiar home button.”

“But it will come in two editions, one with a webcam and one for educational use.”

Lam’s source went on to say that Apple was planning on pricing the device somewhere in the $700-$900 range, and that Apple was exploring the possibility of “making the device act as a secondary screen/touchpad for iMacs and MacBooks.”

Now this all well and good, but we’re gonna have to call BS on this for a couple of reasons.

First, coming out with two separate versions of a tablet doesn’t seem like something Apple would do right off the bat.  While Apple might toy around with different configurations of the same device, we highly doubt that they’d vary up the feature set so early into the game.  If you take a look at some of Apple’s most successful products, such as the iPod and iPhone, it’s obvious that Apple enters a new market with one solid device and slowly but surely adds features to the product going forward.  A tablet with a webcam and one without would only serve to confuse customers and perhaps drive them towards the cheaper model.

Second, why would Apple create a model geared for education use when it’s way to early to tell if such a device will even jive with students in the first place. While Apple has traditionally been a major player in the education market, it’s sights are always set, first and foremost, on the consumer market.  If an Apple tablet becomes a hit with students and teachers, then Apple will undoubtedly market it accordingly.  But until then, Apple isn’t going to waste resources on a education-centric tablet device.

Third, the information quoted to Lam simply doesn’t mesh with some of the more reliable sources who’ve heard rumblings about the upcoming Tablet.  To wit, Lam’s source anticipates an Apple tablet hitting store shelves in time for the 2009 holiday shopping season, yet a number of reputable sources (from AppleInsider to John Gruber) have indicated that the tablet is on target for a 2010 launch.  Gruber comments on Lam’s supposed insider:

I’m almost certain there’s no tablet coming this year. It’s a 2010 thing.  So Lam’s source is an “insider” but has no idea what the OS is and has the ship date wrong. Sure.


And finally, Jim Dalrymple of The Loop also writes that Apple isn’t planning on releasing a tablet until 2010.

Speculation of an Apple event in September broke earlier today, but The Loop has learned the event will not include the introduction of the rumored Apple tablet.

Very reliable sources familiar with the product have said speculation of the tablet being introduced during the September event are flat out wrong. The Apple tablet, they said, would not see the light of day until the first part of 2010.

The event in September will be focused on music, which means we could see new iPods and perhaps some updates to iTunes. The tablet computer will not even be mentioned as part of the event, my sources said.

So there you have it.


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3 Comments For This Post

  1. Bertil Says:

    Maybe there really will be a 10 inch tablet in 2010 even if it sounds like a very impractical product with a high price and a rather small potential market.

    That does not prevent a somewhat larger iPod touch to debut next month. It wont be a mythical tablet but a genuinly useful product that can be carried in your pocket and whipped out for a quick game or some video when you have time to kill.

  2. MT Says:

    I’m surprised that anyone really cares. If it’s produced, then we’ll know when we see it? Why salivate over what mysterious sources have said? I guess I just don’t get the whole rumors thing. Wake me up when Apple ships a mid-tower, ok?

  3. Mr. Reeee Says:

    Good analysis.

    I could see Apple ANNOUNCE the tablet in September, with release date set to correspond with the January 2010 CES show. And just like the original iPhone release, it would completely overshadow the CES show.

    I think Steve Jobs got a BIG kick out of that, as did ALL us Apple users!!!

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