AppleInsider says that not only is the Apple tablet actually coming to market, it will be doing so early next year.
This tablet device is said to have been in development for about four years and has been “reset at least a half-dozen times over the past 24 months.” As many have speculated Steve Jobs was heavily involved with the project even from his hospital bed while on medical leave. Jobs has finally put the project on the right path and has “cemented the device in the company’s 2010 roadmap, where it’s being positioned for a first quarter launch.”
There have been rumors for months that Apple has been in talks with Verizon and AppleInsider believes that Verizon might play “a key role in providing internet access for [Apple’s] tablet device.”
AppleInsider also believes that the tablet was originally set to have an Intel Atom processor but after several tries Apple found that they were unhappy with the battery life the Intel chip gave them. There has been a lot of speculation about why Apple purchased the fabless chip designer P.A. Semi. It is now believed that Apple made the purchase so they could build their own system-on-a-chip to power the tablet. The P.A. Semi designed chips would be built around Arm-based designs that have superior power management compared to Intel’s Atom offerings.
The Apple tablet is believed to be very similar to the iPod touch, but with a 9.7-inch screen and may even run Mac OS X (instead of iPhone OS which the iPod touch runs).
This rumor comes just a couple of weeks after InfoTimes posted an article saying that Apple is purchasing 9.7-inch touchscreens for a netbook to be release in October which I speculated to be the mythical tablet, not a netbook.
Update 7/27/09: The Financial Times is contradicting AppleInsider’s sources and claiming that Apple is “racing” to offer the tablet for this year’s Christmas shopping season. More information on the Financial Times Report in “Apple’s Project ‘Cocktail’ Coming in September.”