Speculation Builds Following Rumors of Apple Tablet Delay
Debate and speculation surrounding Apple's much-anticipated tablet computer mounted this week after a report surfaced of a delay in its launch date, from early next year to the second half of 2010.
Taipei-based publication DigiTimes, which covers Asian IT industry news, released a report Thursday announcing the delay. This development further complicates predictions of the Tablet's release date, price and specifications. According to CNNMoney.com's David Goldman, Apple has designed "a magazine-sized, touch-screen, hand-held, all-in-one device" that could "revolutionize the handheld world in the same way that the iPhone changed the smartphone market."
While many are excited about the tablet's potential, some skepticism exists about its functionality. Zeus Kerravala, an analyst with the Yankee Group research and consulting firm, said, "What we've found in the past with these multi-function devices is that they're better for ad-hoc purposes, like quick and dirty tasks." He also added, "They're not for any prolonged, high-performance use."
According to Digitimes, Asian supply chain sources pin the reason for delay on continued changes to product components. Reportedly, Apple is now considering the release of two tablets: the original 10.6-inch LCD panel and a second with a 9.7-inch OLED (Organic Liquid Emitting Diode) panel. The slightly smaller, revamped design may offer less energy use, less glare, and a better image than that provided by the LCD screen, but it is also predicted to retail for more than the LCD model. Current projections put the LCD model's cost range at $800-$1000.
Gene Munster, a senior research analyst for investment banking firm Piper Jaffray & Co., initially backed the prediction for an early 2010 launch but was reported by CNN Money and CNET News as advising clients on the irrelevance of the tablet computer's timing. In a note to clients, he stated Thursday: "At this point we cannot confirm or deny the validity of this report, but believe the exact timing is irrelevant given street models do not currently reflect the tablet, expectations for actual units in 2010 are low, and investors' focus is more on whether the tablet is real and less on timing."