Thursday, May 21, 2009

Apple Tablet In 2010

Based on close sources the Apple Tablet may be released in early 2010. The source plus Piper Jaffray’s Gene Munster seem to confirm this.

Signs Pointing To A New Mobile Device. Between indications from our component contacts in Asia, recent patents (see here) relating to multi-touch sensitivity for more complex computing devices, comments from Tim Cook on the April 22nd conference call, and Apple’s acquisition of P.A. Semi along with other recent chip-related hires, it is increasingly clear that Apple is investing more in its mobile computing franchise.

Specifically, we expect this to result in a larger (7”-10”) touchscreen tablet that will launch in 1H CY10. Additionally, Apple’s consistent message that it refuses to launch a “cheap” portable netbook, and its desire to differentiate itself in a maturing market before it’s too late (similar to the timing of iPod and iPhone), plus its gradual addition of multi-touch technology to all of its core products (iPhones, iPods and Macs) leads us to conclude this product will be a touchscreen tablet (not a netbook).

No Netbook On The Horizon; Tablet A CY10 Event. We expect Apple to fill the gap between the iPod touch and the MacBook with a new tablet device (not a netbook) priced at about $500-$700. Apple will likely leverage its multi-touch patents to differentiate its product from the typical netbook. We are anticipating a new category of Apple products with an operating system more robust than the iPhone’s but optimized for multi-touch, unlike Mac OS X. The device’s OS could bear a close resemblance to Apple’s mobile OS and run App Store apps, or it could be a modified version of Mac OS X. We expect the development of such an OS to be underway currently, but its complexity, along with our conversations with a key company in the mobile space, leads us to believe it will not launch until CY10.

Apple’s Timing In Entering New Markets. Apple launched the first iPod in Oct-01, three years after the first portable MP3 player was on the market. Likewise, the iPhone debuted in Jun-07, five years after the first BlackBerry with email and mobile phone capabilities. With both products, Apple designed devices that were differentiated enough to gain significant market share despite its later entrance into the markets. We believe Apple is observing the netbook market in a similar way, and will eventually enter with a tablet, a premium mobile computing device.

via BusinessWeek

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