In an effort to dominate yet another aspect of technology, Apple has revealed that it will be producing a new tablet later this year. The new tablet, said to be competitive with netbooks and e-readers, will likely retail for anywhere from $600 – $1,000. While the hand-held device won’t be revealed until later this month, people are already anticipating it and making all kinds of speculation, all over the internet. Rumor has it, the tablet will be on the market, sometime in March.
As devices that can both surf the web and play movies and music become more popular, the tablet may be coming at a very good time. According to BusinessWeek.com, the tablet would be a competition for both e-readers such as Amazon’s Kindle and netbooks from companies such as Acer and Hewlett Packard.
According to Gene Munster, an analyst at Piper Jaffray & Co, Apple could see 1.4 million of the devices by the end of 2010, increasing company sales by two percent or more, depending on the finalized price of the product. “Apple’s tablet would compete well in the netbook category, even though it would not be a netbook,” said Munster, who expects software to be one of the keys to making the Apple tablet stand out against the competition.
Another bit of speculation is that the new tablet will be app-friendly, meaning it will work with the over 100,000 apps available for iPhone. Kathryn Huberty, an analyst with Morgan Stanley, says she expects the tablet to be ten inches with touchscreen and built-in Wi-fi. She also expects the product to take e-books and magazines a step further by making them an interactive experience that will provide users with links to videos such as author interviews, photos, audio, websites and advertising.
Maynard Um of UBS AG suspects the new tablet could be like an oversized iPod touch…or like a scaled-down notebook computer. It has been said that Apple expects to ship 10 million tablets within the first year of release. Former Google executive Lee Kai-fu says he’s spoken with someone familiar with the product and that it will look like an oversized iPhone with its 10.1 inch multitouch screen with three-dimensional graphics.
But the truth of the matter is, no one knows for sure. A spokesperson for Apple says the company will not comment on speculation and rumors. Luckily we won’t have to wait too much longer to find out just what Apple has in store for the world of handheld devices. Steve Jobs is set to reveal the tablet later this month.
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