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Apple Tablet Rumor Wrap Up 348

Since the Apple event is this afternoon, and the submission bin overflows with Apple Tablet rumor stories, I'm putting up a few of the more choice links here so we can all speculate for the next few hours. A McGraw Hill CEO confirmed the tablet on CNBC last night, basically saying it is a big iPhone that has content agreements with publishers. Another blogger wrote in with a expectation list for the event, and technologizer had a nice history of fail in the world of tablet computing. Feel free to add your own rumor, speculation, and exhausted eye rolling below.
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Apple Tablet Rumor Wrap Up

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  • Apple's strategy (Score:5, Interesting)

    by schmidt349 ( 690948 ) on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @11:08AM (#30917486)

    Sure it could be the next G4 Cube, but I think Apple's approach to emerging new computing niches gives them a fighting chance. Microsoft just throws Windows on the device complete with all the crappy desktop metaphors and UI widgets that are completely irrelevant to the new form factor -- witness Windows Mobile and all the Windows tablets. Apple at least rethinks usability.

  • by antifoidulus ( 807088 ) on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @11:15AM (#30917580) Homepage Journal
    but if the rumors of it running the iPhone OS are true, I will pass. Not being able to easily load whatever software I want on to the thing is a big turnoff. Not to mention the class of programs that can run on the iPhone OS are pretty limited(I doubt Apple will release XCode for the tablet....)
  • by WillAdams ( 45638 ) on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @11:16AM (#30917594) Homepage


      - upgraded iPhone OS
      - ARM or custom CPU
      - purchase content through iTunes
      - ebooks will be extensions of Apple's ``LP'' format so will be multi-media w/ HTML, CSS, and nice cover graphics / icons in the interface


      - handwriting recognition
      - stylus

    Not going to happen:

      - Intel chip
      - run Mac OS X apps

    (who will be getting an Axiotron Modbook instead)

  • Call me a Cynic (Score:3, Interesting)

    by COMON$ ( 806135 ) on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @11:17AM (#30917610) Journal
    While I am excited about this device I theorize it will be just good enough to sell and give some ooo's and aaaahhh's but largely it will fall short of the mark so we can buy the next models. This is by design for good profitability. However I think that if Apple releases a less than complete product now, they risk the google netbook or another slate device stealing the market from them.
  • by PackMan97 ( 244419 ) on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @11:19AM (#30917648) Homepage
    My predictions: 1. TV Replacement - Built in HDTV antenna , will work with Apple TV or another wireless TV spec to stream TV directly to the tablet. Sure, we know about internet TV and hulu, but I'm talking over the air TV and live TV. Killer feature for something this size. 2. Kindle Competitor - My bet is a new display type that has a very low power ambient light setting that allows the screen to be as easy on the eyes as a Kindle or other eInk reader. So, while this will be a laptop/phone hybrid, it's really going to go after the TV/Paper publishing angle for it to have mass appeal. While it can surf the web and do general laptoppy/phone things...I see it as really something that's looking to create a new market and kill netbooks and eReaders all in one swoop.
  • by rayharris ( 1571543 ) on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @11:23AM (#30917718)

    Jason Calacanis got his tablet 10 days ago []


    - $599, $699, $799 depending on size and memory
    - iPhone OS with multitasking
    - OLED screen (no size given)
    - Verizon and ATT for 3G, WiFi
    - Front and back cameras for video conferencing
    - Thumbpad on each side for mouse gestures
    - Fingerprint scanner for login with up to five profiles
    - TV/Monitor output and wireless keyboard
    - HDTV Tuner with PVR
    - Solar panel for recharging (more a gimmick)
    - Battery life is "great" in ebook mode, 2-3 hours otherwise
    - No word on name

  • by Cronock ( 1709244 ) on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @11:24AM (#30917752)
    Paper books can be great for many things. I'm not a fiction reader at all, but I have tons of educational/instructional books for my certifications and hobbies. These books get outdated quickly and have overflowed my bookshelf. I really hate the idea of throwing away $50+ books. I would love to get these electronically and be able to archive them and mostly forget about them, but still have them in the event that I'd have to go back and relearn something from years ago. Doing that without having 125lb boxes in storage in the garage would be a nice advantage. And anyone who moves a lot knows the feeling of dread you get when you reach the "Books Very Heavy!" box.
  • by genghisjahn ( 1344927 ) on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @11:25AM (#30917762) Homepage
    I love books. I love the old books smell. I love (or loved) going through used books stores and finding good stuff. After having a Kindle, I wish all of my content was on the Kindle. Having it all sync from the Kindle, to the PC, to the iPhone is freakin' great. Yes, I know some of you have DRM concerns. Yes they are valid, but I'm talking about the eReader vs. paper as a medium. I don't care about the medium anymore. There is nothing sacred about the pages of a bound book. It's the story or information that I want and the Kindle environment provides it better. When my Kindle was stolen a few weeks back, I didn't lose all my content. All my notes, highlights and books were available on my iPhone and through the PC. When I replaced the Kindle, everything came right back. It's not a perfect device, but it's a damn good one. I'm eager to see what the arms race in eReaders provides in the future.
  • by delinear ( 991444 ) on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @11:30AM (#30917818)
    Yeah, with a dock for the office I can think of a bunch of niche areas this could fill nicely. I can't see how it could fully replace a significant portion of the desktop or laptop markets, but maybe that's the idea (since Apple already sell into both markes, it's likely just an attempt to close down on anyone else capturing that niche in the middle and a few stragglers from either market). Of course, a bunch of people will also buy it because of who made it, and a few more to use for couch surfing / as a remote interface for other devices in their home. I've seen dozens of articles saying it will revolutionise the e-book market, that claim I'm quite dubious about. Having tried to read books on big screen PDAs and laptops, it just doesn't feel right - some combination of e-ink and transparent OLED seems to be the right answer there, and if this was that I'm sure we'd already know about it.
  • Re:Apple's strategy (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Wingsy ( 761354 ) on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @11:44AM (#30918076)
    "I don't mind Apple trying new things, but I fail to see what this device has going for it that is essentially "New"."

    Ya think that may be because you haven't even seen it yet?
  • Re:Apple's strategy (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Low Ranked Craig ( 1327799 ) on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @11:46AM (#30918106)
    Depends on what you want. If this device is essentially a big iPod touch, and has a good online store for e-books, this is exactly what I want. A device that will let me read a book, listen to music, watch a movie, and browse the internet. I really wanted a kindle but the thing is a unitasker with an e-ink screen and that doesn't work for me. I don't want this to do coding or write documents. This will be much more convenient to carry than my MacBook.
  • by TheRaven64 ( 641858 ) on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @11:50AM (#30918180) Journal

    Apple is earning too much from the App Store

    I take it you missed yesterday where Apple disclosed in their financials that they don't make a profit from the app store directly, only through increased hardware sales?

  • Re:Apple's strategy (Score:5, Interesting)

    by digitig ( 1056110 ) on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @11:51AM (#30918188)

    Correction: Apple at least rethinks usability properly. Microsoft bungs hundreds of millions at "usability" & we end up with the stupid ribbon... Pah!

    Do you really think the ribbon was anything to do with usability? As far as I can see, it was about having a patentable UI element that OO.o and its ilk couldn't copy.

  • Tablet PCs (Score:3, Interesting)

    by MaWeiTao ( 908546 ) on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @12:04PM (#30918390)

    One thing that we can be sure of is that Apple is going to tout this tablet like they've invented this type device. The people at Apple are smart in that they aren't early adopters of new technologies. Others do it first and run into the issues anyone will face with technology in it's infancy. The segments of the market generally starts petering out as those guys move onto devices and that's when Apple jumps in.

    It helps immensely that developing both hardware and software Apple has the huge advantage of good integration. With every other hardware maker they have to go with whatever is available at the time. The software developers, mainly Microsoft and Google have to partner with a hardware company. That almost always consists of an existing product being customized to their needs. Unfortunately this always results in a compromised product. There's nothing like being able to do everything in-house with teams working back and forth.

    I have a Sony tablet PC, which I got second-hand. It's the U70 if I'm not mistaken. It came out back in 04 or so, when PC makers were eager to push the technology. It runs Windows XP and performs reasonably well actually. Unfortunately, these things were mainly hindered by the OS. Instead of developing a customized OS to enhance usability they were basically making them full-fledged PCs but more compact. This generally made them a pain to operate. I suppose it was just a sign of the times, because although Sony offered various on-screen input methods the keyboard was generally not given much on-screen real estate. They were still expecting users to interact with the device using a stylus. The touchscreen itself was good but certainly doesn't compare with what is possible with the technology today. The upside was that I could connect a monitor and keyboard to the thing and use it like a regular PC.

    The device was a novelty, as a tablet today is for most people. Mine sits around collecting dust most of the time. However, for a couple of weeks I used it when I was traveling and it was great. That's where the compact size is a real asset. Being able to pull that thing out and start browsing the web is excellent. And the good thing is that because it's a PC, basically, I get a proper browsing experience and can do anything I might need to do at home or in the office. It's not a compromised experience like Smartphones provide. However, the lack of a physical keyboard is a problem if you expect to do a lot of typing with the device. I'm sure touchscreen technology has improved to the point where typing on-screen is a bit better than it used to be, but it probably still won't be great. Some of the newer Sony tablets use integrated physical keyboards, but I'm not sure if those are any good.

    The fact is, if you've got an iPhone, which most people interested in this tablet likely do, there's little need for this device. If this thing is running a version of the iPhone's OS then there's even less use for it. In my opinion a tablet should be a more portable alternative to a laptop, not a big brother to a mobile phone. Otherwise I expect these things to collect a lot of dust. I don't use my tablet PC for much of anything nowadays; I've installed automotive diagnostics software on it and even that doesn't get much use.

  • by NatasRevol ( 731260 ) on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @12:10PM (#30918490) Journal
    I read the first two sentences of your comment and went:

    Dock + Tablet = desktop AND laptop replacement, if all you do is basic computing.

    Not sure why you didn't. Seems logical. Though I seriously doubt there will be a keyboard+mouse+charger+monitor dock for a few years, if ever. It's just not Apple's style.
  • Re:Apple's strategy (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Man On Pink Corner ( 1089867 ) on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @12:22PM (#30918708)

    If the tablet solves the e-reader problem, I'll be happy with it. Right now there are no e-readers that make me want to use them to read newspapers, books, and technical documents. All of them have one gaping flaw or another.

    Think of whatever gadget Apple is announcing as if it were just another household appliance. I don't care if my e-reader is "open" any more than I care if my dishwasher is. I just want it not to suck. It will live on my kitchen table where there used to be a two-week-thick pile of newspapers, and that's basically all I ask of it.

  • Re:Apple's strategy (Score:4, Interesting)

    by lastchance_000 ( 847415 ) on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @12:38PM (#30918944)
    Great point. See here [] for an example.
  • Re:Apple's strategy (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Azureflare ( 645778 ) on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @12:55PM (#30919208)
    This ties in to exactly what Apple is doing. McGraw Hill releases their textbooks for iPad -> Schools adopt iPad -> Locked in!

    It worked for Microsoft, why not Apple?
  • Re:Apple's strategy (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Azureflare ( 645778 ) on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @12:58PM (#30919256)
    Usually eyestrain is a result of glare/backlighting on LED/LCDs. It wears down the eyes.

    If the iPad is using a PixelQi screen or something similar, then there won't be backlighting most of the time (it uses ambient lighting and reflective display to enhance the pixels), and there won't be eyestrain. In fact, it is almost exactly the same as eInk, but extremely cheap AND capable of color.

    If this catches on, the Kindle won't stand a chance. Sorry.
  • by gad_zuki! ( 70830 ) on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @01:01PM (#30919296)

    >When McLaren or Maybach come out with new cars do you all complain that they're over priced and don't appeal to you? Why do you do it with computers?

    I already own a macbook and an iphone, so I am part of the demographic they are targeting. I see the tablet as potentially like the Macbook Air. An expensive concept thats targets a niche. I dont see why pointing that out along with Apple's horrible app store policies is such an affront to you.

  • by Darth Snowshoe ( 1434515 ) on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @01:04PM (#30919332)
    What you mean to say is "Apple is good, but through a lot of research and investigation, I can usually find a product that is (somewhat, in some aspects) better, at a somewhat lesser cost." Some people don't want to make a sport out of finding the very best bargain in, say, a cellphone. How many cellphones were on the market this year? Some people are willing to pay a premium for a product that is known to be good, without all the uncertainty and the shopping around, etc. My time is valuable and already has a lot of constraints on it. I just want to use the phone, and not have to answer to a lot of (annoying) arguments like "Why didn't you buy a StirrupoPhone T2100? It has higher camera resolution and is $50 cheaper." Also there is a critical mass around Apple products now that ensures they will be supported in the future. I can put my Zune right next to my HP2100 printer and my MS "virtual locker" in the pile of "cool, fairly expensive products that are now no longer supported because they made their money and then discarded their customers, over my protests"
  • by oji-sama ( 1151023 ) on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @01:12PM (#30919486)
    It definitely is not stupid. I've used the old version too much and can't really say I like it, but my mother (very much non-tech) got a new(ish) laptop and was very happy that 'the new Windows had this toolbar that makes things easy'. Took a while to understand that she was talking about the ribbon in Office...
  • by Lodragandraoidh ( 639696 ) on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @01:15PM (#30919536) Journal

    You forget their trump card - the Apple Newton's handwriting recognition software; Newton lovers for years have been calling for Apple to release the Newton OS (including the handwriting recognition embedded in it) into the wild to keep their beloved Newtons running on new hardware as the old machines expire. Apple continued to refuse on this issue.

    Enter the new tablet. As a result I am hoping and praying that the handwriting recognition on the thing will be a juiced up version of the auto-learning handwriting recognition software from the ancient Newton. Processing power and memory availability would make that work even better than it did ~20 years ago (when even given the limits of available processing power/memory it did an amazing job to learn/decode MOST people's scrawls).

    If that were the case, then it could very well serve as a writing instrument that could decode my scribbles. Add Iphone capability (accessed through a bluetooth headset), and I would pay for that - and use the hell out of it.

  • by witherstaff ( 713820 ) on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @01:17PM (#30919556) Homepage
    I read that article and I took it to be a sort of hollywood accounting trick. I wonder if in the AT&T agreement they had to share a percentage of App store profits or something along that line?
  • Re:Apple's strategy (Score:2, Interesting)

    by ( 93565 ) on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @01:23PM (#30919646) Homepage Journal

    I think all companies have their innovative products alongside the products that just sorta get phoned in. Sure, there's a couple lazy product managers within Microsoft that are willing to ship the same boring crap over and over again. Then there's the people working on Surface that are doing serious R&D into multitouch interfaces. Even the Zune/ZuneHD are pretty innovative products that really had a lot of thought put into the interface.

  • Re:Apple's strategy (Score:3, Interesting)

    by dilvish_the_damned ( 167205 ) on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @01:30PM (#30919744) Journal

    When you claim "meh" on my iTablet thingy, this will only increase my smugness because we both know you secretly want one. Even if you really don't. the more you deny it, the more the rest of us will know you really really do.

    Go ahead.

Can anyone remember when the times were not hard, and money not scarce?