Apple tablet computer release date rumors: 10" iTablet for 2010

Another day, another iTablet rumor. The anticipated Apple tablet computer is taking shape (at least in the imaginations of some financial analysts). In IT Blogwatch, bloggers ponder a 2010 release date.

By Richi Jennings. December 10, 2009.

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Your humble blogwatcher selected these bloggy morsels for your enjoyment. Not to mention Pigeon: Impossible...

    Jeff Bertolucci worries about the price:

So how 'bout that Apple tablet? Cupertino's mysterious slate computer ... retained its rumor du jour status Wednesday when Oppenheimer analyst Yair Reiner predicted the device would debut in March or April 2010. Reiner's prophecy calls for a tablet with a 10.1-inch LCD display and an average sale price of $1,000.

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[That] seems wildly overpriced. ... An exotic luxury built for the privileged few. It would certainly draw crowds at the Apple Store, but few shoppers would buy one. ... $259 is an impulse buy for many consumers, but $1000 requires some serious soul-searching. ... Then again, maybe I'm just cheap.
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Chris Foresman checks the calendar:

These days, a month can't go by without some analyst or industry "insider" stoking the flames with new rumors about an Apple tablet. ... Reiner noted that Apple would need several weeks to build up inventory for a launch, meaning we could see an Apple tablet around March or April. This agrees with previous rumors that suggested a launch in the first half of 2010.

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[He] expects the device to have a 10.1" display ... and that it will not be OLED. Instead, it will most likely use an LTPS LCD display like the one Apple uses for the iPhone. ... Expectations have risen so high due to the barrage of rumors that even Apple may not be able to live up to the legend.
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Neil Hughes kneels before Jobs:

Apple is also said to be offering publishers a deal that will allow them to release their content on other online stores, such as for Amazon's Kindle, or for new, forthcoming digital storefronts from major publishers. But Apple could sweeten the pot by offering a better deal than some companies, like Amazon, currently offer.

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He went on to say that the Kindle has "disgruntled the publishing industry" by strong-arming companies into exclusivity through a "wolfish cut of revenue" taken if they sell their content elsewhere. The Kindle also does not allow advertising in content it sells for its device.
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Darrell Etherington compares and contrasts:

Compare that with the recently unveiled JooJoo tablet (neé CrunchPad). Fusion Garage is offering its device for $500, and you get a good quality 12.1-inch touchscreen display capable of handling HD video. It would seem to undercut Apple significantly, except when you consider that the Apple tablet will likely be much more than just a web-browsing device.
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Eric Savitz has another voice:

ThinkEquity analyst Vijay Rakesh writes in a note today that his checks find that the Tablet is on track; he expects 1-3 million units of a device with 64 GB of NAND memory to be shipped in the March quarter; he says indications are for 8-10 million units to be built in calendar 2010.
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But Ernie Varitimos ain't so sure:

Reiner speculates that such a tablet might sell 1 million to 1.5 million units the first year, at an average price of $1,000 and a 22% margin. ... I can only assume that he came up with these figures based on what suppliers have revealed. But it sounds like a whole lot of assuming to me, and you know what happens when we “assume,” don’t you? ... I’m dating myself there with an Odd Couple reference, but it fits nicely!

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This tablet, at $1,000 a pop, isn’t going to be limited to just reading books; it simply couldn’t compete with a Kindle. But what if Apple decides to redefine what an ebook reader is all about? Let’s add color, and make it rugged, shall we? And how about throwing in 100,000+ applications? I wonder if you’ll be able to run the Amazon Kindle app on it, which you can download for free from the iTunes App Store? I wonder if Apple will deny the Kindle app, now that would be a hoot!
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So what's your take?
Get involved: leave a comment.

 
 
And finally...

Richi Jennings, your humble blogwatcher
  Richi Jennings is an independent analyst/consultant, specializing in blogging, email, and security. A cross-functional IT geek since 1985, he is also an analyst at Ferris Research. You can follow him as @richi on Twitter, or richij on FriendFeed, pretend to be richij's friend on Facebook, or just use good old email: itblogwatch@richij.com.

 
 
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