Apple Tablet: Spring Launch?

Dec 9 2009, 9:48am CST | by , in Rumors | Rumors

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Apple Tablet: Spring Launch?
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Apparently, the iTablet has entered production. That's the word from Yair Reiner of Oppenheimer. He issued a note to his clients (CNN Money) this morning advising that Apple had started manufacturing iTablets. His "supply chain sources" say that Apple intends to build about 1 million of these giant iPhones. The timing of production means that we're likely looking at a March or April launch. Reiner goes on to claim that the OLED rumors are BS. Seriously, did that even need saying? There was never any chance of a 9.7" OLED tablet launching in 2010. A product like that would cost two to three grand, easily, and have absolutely no market. I understand the idea of an Apple tablet is exciting, but let's try to keep our rumors grounded in the vaguely rational.Anyway, Reiner's tablet packs a 10.1" multitouch LCD screen. Apple has apparently already offered US publishers a 30/70 split and a non-exclusive content distribution deal. That much sounds very real. Apple uses the same rules for the App Store. Reiner's estimated cost for the tablet was around $1000, which is patently ridiculous. Every iTablet rumor out there, including this one, mentions Apple's goal of pushing these tablets on schools. What public school in this country can afford to drop $1000 bucks per student on a giant iPod touch/Kindle hybrid? The Kindle may lack some functionality over this mythical tablet, but it also has about a quarter of the price. Even the Entourage Edge is still half that price. And that's not to mention the fact that a $1000+ price tag puts this product out of reach for college students and...well, everyone but the folks who buy Macs. Unless Apple wants their tablet to be just an extension of the Mac line, and not a wildly successful and popular gadget of its own, they won't do this.

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