• Begun This Tablet War Has: Apple in March, Microsoft by Midyear?

    The Wall Street Journal - not generally a rumor mill - reported on Tuesday that the mysterious Apple tablet will ship in March and cost $1,000. And right on the heels of this news comes a report that Microsoft will announce its own touchscreen device at the Consumer Electronics Show on Wednesday. The two reports taken together are an indication that 2010 may be the Year of the Tablet.

    According to a report in the New York Times, "people familiar with Microsoft’s plans" have revealed that Microsoft’s CEO Steve Ballmer is set to announce a new tablet device tomorrow in a session at CES 2010 in Las Vegas, Nevada. The tablet - possibly similar to the device leaked as the Courier prototype - is described as "a multi-media whiz with e-reader and multi-touch functions." According to the Times's sources, the device will be built by Hewlett-Packard.

    The Wall Street Journal's report says that the long rumored tablet will be announced this month, and will get to customers in March.
    Apple plans to unveil a new multimedia tablet device later this month, but doesn’t plan on shipping the product until March. While the shipping time hasn’t been finalized and could change, people briefed on the matter said the new tablet device will come with a 10- to 11-inch touch screen.
    This is in line with previous speculation, and the only new specific information there is the specific shipping date, as well as the detail that Apple will release the device with two different “material finishes,” without explaining exactly what those will be. The story quotes analysts as saying that “the Apple tablet will be priced at about $1,000, possibly including a subscription to a nationwide Wi-Fi wireless service.”

    Microsoft's Courier prototype was revealed by Gizmodo in September. It had a "booklet" rather than tablet form factor and featured dual 7-inch multi-touch screens are multitouch, and work with a stylus, in addition to fingers. The hinge of the booklet has a home button with status indicators displayed along the rim of one of the screens and a camera on the back coverr.

    image via Gizmodo
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