The Apple Tablet: All We Know About Apple’s “iSlate” Tablet

apple-tablet-montageThere have been so many rumors, dates, names and details creeping around the Web about Apple’s highly-anticipated tablet PC, or “iSlate” as many are calling it. Even though the lack of facts and excess of gossip have been rather irksome—we are still enjoying the process of piecing together the specs of this new device.  Unlike Apple, we like to share our information, so we rounded up everything we know and have heard about Apple’s new tablet PC.

The Name

The rumor mill has been buzzing over Apple’s new tablet and what it will officially be called. The most feasible option is the “iSlate” theory. Apparently, Apple bought the domain name “iSlate.com” in 2007. Now, why would Apple do such a thing? We going to go ahead and say that Apple had to make a claim on that combination of the “I” prefix and the word “slate” for a product. Tablet PCs have been around longer than people think, but that genre of device usually gets overshadowed by high-powered smartphone and high-end laptops—essentially rendering it irrelevant.

Another naming option—a more recent development—is the “Apple iGuide.” We know, it’s definitely not as catchy. According to MacRumors, iGuide Media, LLC. is another Delaware-based company that obtains trademarks on behalf of Apple, Inc. Apparently this company has a single trademark application for the term “iGuide” that is currently pending.  Other options are the “iPad,” which sounds kind of cheesy and too much like iPod, and the “TabletMac,” which would be the shabbiest name Apple could come up with if this rumor is true. Apple supposedly did register a trademark for the “TabletMac,” but we think it might be one of Steve Jobs’ little trademark jokes.

appletabletHardware

One of the biggest Apple tablet debates is over the actual size of the tablet display. There are a couple options with the smallest being 7-inches and the largest measuring at 10.6 inches. The highlight of today was when an anonymous source (of course) told the press that Apple has pre-ordered all 10.1-inch LCD and OLED displays from suppliers all over Asian. And many sources reported last week that 10-inches may be the lucky number. The Financial Times, Gizmodo and Reuters all say it’s 10 inches. The WSJ says it will sport a 10 to 11-inch touch screen—but we’re going to count them in the 10-inch group as well.

Apple told Australian publishers that the tablet is “small enough to carry in a handbag but too big to fit in a pocket.” Thanks for the fun riddle Apple, but the majority of the public is still irritated with your secrets. Another theory to settle this size debate comes from Digitimes who claims there will be two tablets, one that’s 9.6 inches (with OLED) and another that’s 10.6 inches (with LCD). That would explain why apparently all of Asia was cleaned out of 10-inch LCD and OLED displays.

When it really comes down to it, all we really have to go on is Apple’s iSlate haiku—“small enough to carry in a handbag, but too big to fit in a pocket.” Just try to picture an over-sized iPhone.

apple-tabletSoftware

To be very honest, there hasn’t been much talk of what’s going on inside of the Apple tablet. Most sources point to a 3G version, but some who are on the dual-tablet bandwagon claim one version will have 3G connectivity and another will not.  Also, most industry insiders believe it will use Verizon LTE 4G wireless network. About a month ago there were rumors flying that the iPhone could be coming to Verizon’s network, but now with the confirmation of many sources we think that Apple’s tablet will be making an appearance instead.

In terms of a processor, most tech experts and rumor-mill followers are leaning toward the tablet using PA Semi chips, Apple’s in-house chip company that it purchased in 2008, and that are possibly ARM-based.

The inside of the Apple tablet is still quite mysterious—even more so than the rest of it.

apple-ipad-conceptSpecial Features

Well, a lot of the rumors that come pouring in about the Apple tablet could be classified as “special features” because it seems only the random, minuscule details get leaked through the wire. The WSJ reported that there will be two finishes on the tablet—perhaps a flat matter style and a shiny, glossy style. Basically just like the iPhone 3GS.

Another intriguing feature that was leaked this week came from France—Orange exec Stéphane Richard said “Oui” when asked if the tablet had a webcam.  Richard confirmed that the iSlate will be equipped with a webcam (even though he semi-denied it today) and that the new tablet PC will be revealed at Apple’s January 27th press conference. The tablet is also supposed to have unlimited Wi-Fi access.

Many industry experts and Apple insiders’ prophesize that this tablet will be the device to end all other devices. The Apple tablet will be so multifunctional that it will put high-end laptops and eReaders to rest.

islate-tabletPrice and Availability

The price of this mythical tablet hasn’t fluctuated as much as we would have guessed—many sources, including the WSJ, have predicted $1000 for the initial price tag. Other insiders are guess a little bit cheaper: Gizmodo claims it will be between $700 and $900, while DigiTimes argues it will be over $1500 due to the OLED upgrade.

As for availability—we know it will be announced on January 27th at Apple’s press conference in San Francisco, but as for an actual arrival date we still aren’t certain. The WSJ says the tablet will ship in March of this year. And according to Digitimes, Foxconn is supposed to have a half a million of the devices shipped by April. Since the January press date is coming up soon, we won’t worry too much over the availability—we have faith Steve Jobs will cute us a break and reveal a release date.

apple-tablet-concept-2Possible Looks

We’ve scattered a number of possible iSlate/Apple tablet mockups throughout this article. The styles are very similar.


If you have any more news, rumors, or even ideas about what Apple may have in store for its tablet PC, write a comment and tell us about it.

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