• Yet Another Tablet Rumor: Late and Wildly Expensive?

    According to a report in DigiTimes, which covers the Taiwanese semiconductor, electronics, computer and communications supply industry, Apple's long-rumored tablet will not be released until the second half of next year. The report also asserts the tablet will come in two models: one with a 10.6-inch display for about $800 - $1000 US and one with a 9.7-inch OLED panel for an almost-unimaginable $2,000 US.

    DigiTimes has had a spotty track record on Apple rumors to date, having reported such clunkers as the assertion that all iPods would have cameras in the last refresh of the product line. However, they've had their share of wins, so it's worth at least listening to what their China electronics-industry anonymous tattletales have to say.

    According to the report, Apple changed the launch from March in order to “switch some components” and to add a model with a 9.7″ OLED screen. The OLED model will be manufactured with a display from LG Electronics, as part of a $500 million US contract with Apple. The estimates of retail price for the phones is in line with the high cost of these displays, which DigiTimes estimates would push the amount Apple will have to pay for each super-tablet to $1,500 - $1,700 US per unit.

    Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster (who has a much higher success rate than DigiTimes, it should be noted) isn't buying it. In a report to investors reported by AppleInsider, he's sticking with his stated position that the tablet will arrive in the first quarter of 2010, and continues to state that the right price point is between $500 and $700 US. This would mean the tablet would still come at a premium as compared to netbooks, but he insists that it's a reasonable target for Apple to hit:

    As a point of perspective, iSuppli has reported the bill of materials on the iPhone 3GS is $179. Backing out the phone functionality, we believe the bill of materials is about $160. Assuming the tablet is 3x the size of the iPod touch implies a bill of materials for the tablet of around $480.
    Munster has repeatedly asserted that the tablet will be, essentially a large iPod touch that will run a version of the iPhone OS rather than Mac OS X. The device, he says, will run both iPhone apps and a "new category of larger apps."

    image via Engadget
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