Apple is working on a touch device similar in size to a netbook or tablet. Here is a short guide to its likely components.
Items listed here are subject to change but are likely to be accurate based on available information from non-Apple sources. Please note that this is not official information provided by Apple and is not intended to be definitive or relied upon for any purpose. The image shown above is not an image officially provided by Apple. “iTablet” is not a product name that has been officially provided by Apple.
Apple is working on user interface devices inspired by the success of the iPhone and specifically, its lack of a physical keyboard. A virtual keyboard allows Apple to pop-up a variety of keyboard configurations to suit specific tasks. The current MacBook line incorporates multi-finger touch using built-in touchpads. However, the MacBook line does not incorporate a touch screen. Enter Apple’s tablet version of what we shall refer to as an “iTablet”…
The screen is likely approximately 10″ diagonal which makes it 3.3″ smaller than the current MacBook and MacBook Air. It also makes it approximiately 6.5″ larger than the iPhone screen. The iTablet likely uses a high density display with a very fine dot pitch. Similar to the iPhone display, the iTablet display will likely incorporate a relatively large number of pixels per inch. The entire screen will likely be touch-sensitive using capacitive technology. The screen will likely be scratch resistant, hard coated, and secured to obviate the need for a cover or enclosure.
The iTablet will likely have no physical keyboard, nor will it “open” like a netbook or notebook.
The iTablet will likely be built with a solid one-piece rigid aluminum case with the touchscreen covering almost the entire front of the device. It will not likely have many buttons, but the few it will have will likely be on the edges. It will not likely be meant for consumers to open or modify.
Applications for the iTablet will likely be programmed by developers using a new software development kit which will make use of Cocoa, Objective-C, Cocoa Touch and other current Apple development systems. The SDK will likely include an iTablet simulator for developers to test applications. Current iPhone developers will likely have a much easier learning curve as it will share development paradigms with the iPhone/iTouch.
|Make iPhone Apps!|
The battery will likely sport a 10+ hour charge, using technology on display in the 17″ MacBook Pro and will likely be sealed and non-user replaceable.
Ports and Connectivity
The iTablet will include WiFi. Many current USB devices will likely be able to operate with it. It will likely connect seamlessly to wireless networks. It may include cellular connectivity at no cost, like Amazon’s Kindle, but that depends on carrier relations.
The iTablet will likely run a fairly standard iPhone-style OS X with a specialized virtual keyboard interface. Unlike the iPhone’s implementation of OS X, the iNetbook may have printing capabilities and some additional capabilities more similar to current Mac computers. Due to the larger screen and faster processor, the user interface will likely include more advanced gestures and interactivity compared to the iPhone.
CPU, RAM, Storage
The iTablet will likely have sealed storage in the range of 32GB and higher using solid state storage technology. The iTablet will likely have 1GB of system RAM within which the OS and applications will run. Tha Intel Atom or ARM mobile platforms will likely form the CPU and chipset due to their low power consumption and relatively good performance. Additional storage via wireless or possible USB (direct or by adapter) will likely be possible.
iTunes and the App Store
Although a lot of Mac OS X software could theoretically be able to run on the iTablet, it will likely be primarily populated with software from a new division of iTunes’ App Store that will carry applications specifically for the iTablet in addition to the current iPhone/iTouch offerings. The iTablet App Store will allow Apple to monitor the quality and safety of software in use on iTablets. The App Store apps will show indications as to which devices they support: iPod Touch, iPhone, and/or iTablet. When connected to an actual device (not on a desktop computer), the App Store app will only show apps that are supported by the device in question.
The iTablet will likely take off where the iPhone/iTouch left off in terms of providing a completely touch-based interface, albeit with a much larger display and improved system performance. It would target general purpose computing, web surfing, email, gaming, and business use. It will also create its own category of device that is somewhat different from a conventional netbook or notebook. It will have far greater entertainment properties than the iPhone by offering a more immersive video experience as well as easier reading of books and magazines, some of which may be subscription based and may be sold separately in iTunes.
One or more iTablets will likely be able to link together, bluetooth or WiFi, for some specialized applications.
The iTablet may sport an iCam-style camera (facing the user) for the purposes of video-chatting or Photo Booth style imagery.
The iTablet interface will be primarily controlled by human fingers. However, it will likely also allow a stylus provided by Apple (or provided by third parties that already offer a stylus for the iPhone and iPod Touch) that essentially emits a trace electrical pulse to emulate a finger touch and thereby provide a high resolution pointer. This stylus would allow the iTablet to work with handwriting, including handwriting-identification software. It will also likely allow for artisitc and precision graphics interfaces to operate - similar to a graphics tablet.
The iTablet will not likely be in the range of current netbook pricing. It will likely initially be priced in excess of $900.
Bookmark on del.icio.us