• More Hints at an Apple Tablet

    Image via The New York Times

    Clues continue to surface at every turn that Apple is tablet-bound.

    Overnight, several media outlets picked up on the news that Michael Tchao has been brought back on board Apple. Tchao, of course, is one of the founding fathers of Apple's Newton personal digital assistant. If Tchao was to be useful enough to put back on the job at Apple, it would likely be to capitalize in his "genius" in order to successfully roll out a new Apple tablet.

    Our friends at CNET picked up on the development late last night with word that Tchao has been reinstalled at Apple in the capacity of vice president of product marketing.

    Rumors of an Apple tablet have been swirling for a couple of years, but speculation has ramped up in recent months, including reports that Apple CEO Steve Jobs has been focusing intensely on a tablet device since returning to work in June after a liver transplant.
    Prior to rejoining Apple, Tchao spent the last seven years at Nike, serving as the general manager for Nike Techlab and Nike+.

    It is believed that Tchao could be exclusively assigned to the eagerly anticipated Apple Tablet, which could arrive as soon as early 2010. For now, rumors continue to paint a picture of the new Apple tablet as a 10-inch, 3G-enabled touchscreen that could best be likened to a large iPod Touch.

    Apple has apparently been laying the groundwork for a tablet PC for years. The company was granted a patent in 2005 for tablet PC design, and the company was granted a patent last year for a tablet-like device that incorporated a touchscreen. Apple has also long had some of the key technologies for a tablet computer with Inkwell--a handwriting recognition feature having been in Mac OS X for some time.
    Even though Tchao's baby - The Newton - launched with great fanfare only to fizzle, industry insiders report that Tchao is a brilliant individual well-suited for his new role, particularly if there is truth to his rumored involvement with the mysterious tablet. In the big picture, of course, anyone who can find a way to make Nike shoes work with an iPod is definitely creative enough to put on this project.

    Good luck to Mr. Tchao!
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