Keep dreaming and hoping, we won't see an Apple tablet anytime soon

Keep dreaming and hoping, we won't see an Apple tablet anytime soon

Summary: Right at the end of 2008, Michael Arrington posted some info from his sources on a rumored large form Apple iPod touch/table for sometime in 2009. There is now some information available on an Apple patent for a large display device. Even with these pieces of information and hopes of the Apple faithful, I am highly skeptical of Apple ever releasing an Apple tablet/large display iPod. The iPod touch is already priced at $299 and $399 and the original iPhone (unsubsidized) was priced at US$599 so an Apple tablet would easily be priced at $700+ I am sure. In today's economy that is an unreasonable figure when small form notebooks with actual keyboards can be used to do the same thing for $300.

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Right at the end of 2008, Michael Arrington posted some info from his sources on a rumored large form Apple iPod touch/tablet for sometime in 2009. There is now some information available on an Apple patent for a large display device. Even with these pieces of information and hopes of the Apple faithful, I am highly skeptical of Apple ever releasing an Apple tablet/large display iPod. The iPod touch is already priced at $299 and $399 and the original iPhone (unsubsidized) was priced at US$599 so an Apple tablet would easily be priced at $700+ I am sure. In today's economy that is an unreasonable figure when small form notebooks with actual keyboards can be used to do the same thing for $300.

I am sure there are prototype devices being tested and trialed at Apple, but just because there are prototypes and patents doesn't mean we will ever see such a device. As a mobile geek, I am sure it would be a very cool device and would sell a few thousand. However, the tablet form factor devices have really only done well in areas like the medical field and I doubt too many people would adopt using a touch screen only keyboard input method and would soon tire of such a device. An iPod touch works just fine for browsing on the couch, watching movies, listening to music, and controlling your home media center. I suppose Apple could come out with a 4 inch or 5 inch iPod touch to give you a bit better experience, but highly doubt we will see anything larger than that from Apple.

We may see a tablet type device running the Android OS because it should be able to be sold for $400 or so down in the iPod touch range. Then again, I still am not convinced people will readily adopt a touch only interface for text input.

Topics: Laptops, Apple, Hardware, Mobility, Tablets

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11 comments
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  • This Apple faithful...

    sure is hoping that Apple won't be dumb enough
    to make a table-sized touch thingy. I think most
    of the hoping for that one is coming from
    Microsoft, so that they can say Apple actually
    copied something THEY did first! The touch table
    is a worthless product, whether it comes from
    Microsoft or Apple.
    Userama
  • table or tablet?

    You mention both, I'm not sure which you mean, or do you mean both?
    PB_z
  • RE: Keep dreaming and hoping, we won

    I personally would love it and would buy it if apple did come out with a tablet. Yes I know you currently can convert your macbook to a tablet, but it would be cool if it came directly from apple. I know that many do not share my opinion, but a 9" to 11" inch tablet would be perfectly fit between the Itouch and the the macbooks, specially if it intergrated a stylus with it.
    vaedwin
  • RE: Keep dreaming and hoping, we won

    The caveat here is the lack of a keyboard, external display
    capability, or storage. Now imagine a larger Touch device
    with full bluetooth connectivity which would allow the use
    of the Apple Bluetooth keyboard and Might Mouse.
    Imagine this device with at least one USB port and either a
    mini DVI or more likely, a Mini DisplayPort. All of this is
    almost a given for a tablet style Mac. Like Mr. Miller, I
    don't see Apple doing this on the cheap but I can see
    Apple recognizing a huge growing market for such a
    mobile device and coming into the market with something
    insanely great and totally different from current offerings.
    jdbroughton@...
  • Microsoft Balmer's cell phone prediction

    I remember Balmer's prediction about what a flop it would be if Apple
    got into the cell phone market. This story seems similar to me. You
    can't base a prediction on what how you think a new device will work
    if you are looking at how someone else is doing it. Apple tends to
    leapfrog competitors and comes up with something totally different -
    example IPhone.

    I personally would like a small tablet - somewhere between the IPhone
    and a mini. I don't understand why any significant number of people
    would buy a table device. A tablet with the operating capabilities of
    an Iphone would be wonderful. What would be great if you had a
    choice of screen size. Something like that could save newsprint types
    of media - newspapers, magazines, newsletters, books, etc..
    Newspaper and magazine availability on Itunes I think would be a big
    hit.
    Prime Detailer
    • Cool, but expensive

      I too think it would be cool, but with the premium price of Apple products it would also be very expensive. I don't see how they could do it for less than $700 and then who would really buy it for surfing on the couch or using around the house when a much more mobile iPhone/iPod touch is already pretty capable and available for much less?
      palmsolo (aka Matthew Miller)
      • What price premium?

        This idea of an "Apple tax" is simply a misinformed myth. If you compare
        feature for feature, macs are quite price competitive, even without taking
        into consideration less concrete items such as usability, or more concrete
        items such as installed software or resale value.
        SpiritusInMachina
        • The Apple Tax comes in when...

          The Apple Tax comes in when you [i]don't[/i] want features. Even if
          Apple provides a computer or notebook that is price competitive or
          even cheaper when compared feature to feature, the PC will always be
          priced below Apple because you have option of not paying for certain
          features.

          This can arguably lead to a "better" computer than something from
          Apple because you can relocate the expenses saved from components
          you didn't want to upgrading components you do want.

          One example is that Apple doesn't offer a Mac Pro without a solid 1/8"
          sheet of aluminum for the case. If you don't care what your computer
          looks like (which seems to be the case for 95% of the PC
          manufacturers out here), you can get one made of 1/16" sheet metal
          and plastic, then knock off $250 from the price of the computer.
          olePigeon
  • RE: Keep dreaming and hoping, we won

    This article, besides being obvious click bait, is based on
    completely absurd and unwarranted assumptions. Any
    conclusions reached by the author are, as such, totally
    baseless and without any merit whatsoever.

    "The iPod touch is already priced at $299 and $399 and
    the original iPhone (unsubsidized) was priced at US$599 so
    an Apple tablet would easily be priced at $700+ I am
    sure."

    How is the price of the iPod/iPhone in ANY way relevant to
    the issue of pricing for a hypothesized tablet? They are
    totally different animals with only slightly overlapping
    market demographics. They are also entirely different
    hardware platforms, and expecting there to be some
    connection between pricing of ultraportable, cutting edge,
    miniaturized electronics aimed at media playback and
    tablet computers aimed at portable computing markets is
    ridiculous. The author implies some kind of technological
    or marketing reason that the price of one drives the other,
    but contradicts this later by positing potential Android
    pricing.
    The author appears to realize that the two devices are
    aimed at different market with his comments about the
    current tablet PCs, but still does not see that this
    contradicts his claim of linkage with the media-focused iPod.

    None of this is to say that Apple will release their own
    tablet. Quite clearly they won't. There is little to no market
    viability, and too low a profit margin. One could see the
    writing on the wall for MP3 players, and Apple was right to
    get in on it. Same is true with the iPhone. The same can not be
    said for tablet PCs, whose form factor is simply not
    workable for what most people use a computer for. Too
    big for portable entertainment, too cramped for general
    purpose computing (which is why owners of tablets almost
    always own another primary machine.)
    This speculation, on both sides, is baseless and rather
    poorly thought out.
    SpiritusInMachina
  • counter arguement

    If a tablet was built was a pop out 'stand' to hold the screen up when a USB keyboard/mouse was plugged in, this could lower the unit costs of the low end laptops. Given the success of the iPhone/iTouch interface, it would seem that the timing might be right to shoot the lowend market into a large iTouch format. Apple has always taken risks with new form factors, and so far seems to be successful at it. Not sure whether the price point is the issue or whether the screens are somewhat too buggy for consumer use, which is Apple's sweet spot.

    Perhaps the better analysis is that they already are making enough money at their current product offerings in a bad market? The worry is that some other company is going to get the tablet form factor 'right'.
    8string
  • Touch ONLY? No. Touch CAPABLE? Yes.

    I've been shopping eBay for an older tablet-pc onto which I can install a lightweight Linux distro. I'm probably going to settle on one of the older Fujitsu tablets. The plan is to replace the hard-drive with a Compact-Flash-to-IDE adapter. The only stumbling block seems to be the lack of Linux drivers for touchscreens, and only rudimentary handwriting recognition for Linux. But then, I can always plug in a USB keyboard when I need one. I have one of those silicone keyboards you can roll up and stuff in your pocket, so there you go.
    roystonlodge