Earlier today Brian Lam published a piece on Gizmodo claiming to have talked to someone who had sat in on some meetings where the Apple tablet was discussed.
The unnamed person claimed to have held mock ups of the tablet saying:
The device, which I’ve held mock ups of, is going to have a 10 inch screen, and when I saw it looked just like a giant iPhone, with a black back— although that design could change at any time.
Going on to say that it will come in two editions, one with a webcam (anyone remember those 3.2MP or 5MP sensors?) and another for educational use. It will cost between $700 and $900 and might, in Brian Lams words, “act as a secondary screen/touchpad for iMacs and MacBooks.”
It is even possible that this device could be announced at the upcoming media event that Apple usually holds in September for their new iPod lineup. I expected this September event to be held later on in the month, maybe sometime around the 22nd, but Peter Kafka writing for All Things Ditial writes:
Multiple music industry sources say Apple executives have told them the company is planning one of its famed keynote events for the week of Sept. 7.
There has still been a great deal of speculation as to what operating system this yet-to-be-announced tablet would run. Jason Calacanis wrote in a recent tweet that a developer working with Apple told him that the device would run a “modified/extended version of the iPhone OS.”
It’s hard for me to believe Calacanis ever since his assertion that Apple would be releasing networked HDTVs, but with only a couple of options (iPhone OS and Mac OS) he could very well have guessed and still be correct (but with a 50% chance of getting it right, it is likely that half of you would choose the same option). Calacanis’ rumor aside, Brian Lam truly believes his information to be true, and I also believe him, regarding the validity of his source he writes:
Later on I verified to a high level of certainty that they were in the position to have access to the information and after talking to them for over an hour, I believe them to the same level of certainty.
Sounds solid to me, and if not, this would be one of the biggest blunders in Gizmodo’s history.
7/27/09: Apple’s Project ‘Cocktail’ Coming in September
7/25/09: Apple Tablet May Come in Early 2010
7/13/09: Apple May Have a Touchscreen Netbook in Store for the Fall
5/3/09: Is Apple Working on a MacBook mini?
4/5/09: Rumors Say Apple is Ordering 3.2MP and 5MP CMOS Image Sensors
Update 8/13/09: John Gruber dismisses Brian Lam’s insider in a recent piece saying:
I’m almost certain there’s no tablet coming this year. It’s a 2010 thing. So Lam’s source is an “insider” but has no idea what the OS is and has the ship date wrong. Sure.
But, if you remember reports of the iPhone’s development, Apple kept the iPhone software and hardware developers separate so that very few knew too much about the finished product. The software developers were running on prototype boxes that looked nothing like the finished product and the hardware developers didn’t see the final software until the launch. If this insider did see the hardware it is likely that he wouldn’t have any clue about what OS the device would run. With regards to the ship date, the time frame given by Brian Lam was only an assumption made based on the average time between the first prototype and the launching product. Dismissing all of the Insider’s information because of these details seems a little silly.
Update 8/13/09: Evidence is mounting that Brian Lam’s release time frame assumption was wrong. The Loop’s Jim Dalrymple writes:
The event in September will be focused on music, which means we could see new iPods and perhaps some updates to iTunes. The tablet computer will not even be mentioned as part of the event, my sources said.
This, of course, does not discredit the Insider’s other information, just that Brian Lam’s release assumption was incorrect.
Update 8/16/09: Borders Survey Name Drops the Apple iPad | Mac|Life
Update 8/17/09: Apple to Hold Media Event on September 9
Update 8/24/09: Steve Jobs Has Been Focusing on the Tablet
Update 8/26/09: Fake Apple Tablet Screenshots
Update 8/31/09: Now Gizmodo‘s Jesus Diaz is claiming that a “100% reliable” source has told them that Apple has built 13- and 15-inch tablet prototypes, also saying that one of them was running Mac OS X 10.5. I don’t see why Apple would even bother with 13- and 15-inch tablets. Even if they are only for demonstration purposes it currently is not possible to make a 13- or 15-inch tablet that is comfortable to hold in one hand while operating it with the other. I also don’t see how Apple could expect users to want a tablet that would only be comfortable to use if it was laying on a table.
Update 9/17/09: Another Report on the Apple Tablet
Update 10/7/09: Apple Tablet Coming in Q1 2010
Update 12/8/09: ‘TabletMac’ Trademark and Apple Tablet Pricing
Update 12/28/09: Apple Tablet May be Announced in January
Update 1/6/10: Apple May Ship Tablet in March