• Apple Aiming for $500 to $700 10 in. Tablet in 2010?

    The infamous Apple tablet may reach consumers as early as 2010 if Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster has analyzed things correctly. It is predicted that the tablet might appear in the first half of 2010, have a 7-10 inch screen (remember the 9 in. iPod rumor), have 3g capability, and cost $500 - $700 thanks to cellular carrier subsidization.

    In a research note to clients Munster and his team wrote "Between indications from our component contacts in Asia, recent patents relating to multi-touch sensitivity for more complex computing devices, comments from [chief operating officer] Tim Cook on the April 22nd conference call, and Apple's acquisition of P.A. Semi along with other recent chip-related hires, it is increasingly clear that Apple is investing more in its mobile computing franchise."

    Munster then went further talking about the possible tablet's OS similarities and differences to OS X and the iPhone OS. "The device's OS could bear a close resemblance to Apple's iPhone OS and run App Store apps," continuing "Apple could possibly introduce a second screen resolution into the iPhone OS software development kit (SDK), enabling developers to build apps specifically for the larger tablet device," further explaining that "Key apps, like Safari and Mail, could make use of the larger screen resolution, making Apple's tablet appealing for more extended use, but the company could continue to leverage its primary asset in mobile computing, the App Store, in this scenario."

    To make 3g connectivity happen and to keep the price down Munster believes that Apple will be partnering with carriers to sell the device at subsidized rates. "[Apple] could include an integrated mobile data feature such as 3G wireless into the device and partner with AT&T or Verizon to subsidize the device together with a contract for a wireless data plan."

    While much of this is speculation Apple is expected to create a device to take on netbooks in the near future. The market between the $399 iPod/iPhone and the $999 Macbook is an area that Apple has yet to venture into. Rumors concerning tablets have been on the rise recently with reports of Media Pads, and 9" iPods, and other similar tablet devices becoming more and more frequent.

    [via silicon alley insider, appleinsider] image is an artists concept via lecentre.net
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