Let the Tablet speculation continue! In the most recent tidbit of Tablet news, Oppenheimer analyst Yair Reiner issued a research note this morning stating that the manufacturing process for Apple’s rumored tablet is set to get under way in February, implying a late March or early April release for the device.
Our checks into Apple’s supply chain indicate the manufacturing cogs for the tablet are creaking into action and should begin to hit a mass market stride in February. At this stage Apple appears to be sizing its supply chain to support production of as many as 1M units per month.
Reiner goes on to state that the tablet will sport a 10.1-inch LCD screen and not an OLED screen as previously reported. And lastly, Reiner writes that Apple has been in serious discussions with publishers with “very attractive proposals for distributing their books.” Specifically, the revenue split proposed by Apple is 70-30, just like how it is on the iTunes App Store, and much more favorable than what publishers are currently getting with the Kindle.
Reiner then makes a point of noting that the Kindle has “disgruntled the publishing industry” with contract terms that demand exclusivity, disallow advertising, and give Amazon the bulk of the profits.
“The tablet is set to change that,” Reiner writes. “It should also make ebooks more relevant for education by simplifying functions such as scribbling marginalia.”
Lastly, Reiner writes that Apple’s tablet could very well add anywhere from $.50 to $.75 cents in earnings to Apple’s bottom line during the second half of 2010.
Reiner says he hasn’t updated his current model on Apple’s valuation to reflect the tablet, but he thinks it could easily contribute between 50 and 75 cents in incremental per-share earnings to Apple’s bottom line in the second half of the 2010 calendar year.
And also jumping on the Tablet rumor bandwagon is Vijay Rakesh from ThinkEquity who writes that Apple’s upcoming Tablet will ship in March with 64GB of flash memory.
And so the plot thickens.