There’ve been rumors floating around for the past year or so that Apple’s answer to the netbook isn’t a tiny clamshell PC at all, but rather a touchscreen tablet that may run a full blow version of OS X, or maybe a souped up version of the iPhone operating system. China Times now says that the tablet is due out in October and that it’ll cost about $800.
At that price, I certainly hope it runs OS X Leopard, and I kind of want it to come with a keyboard too. I don’t care if it’s a tablet-PC style keyboard that can be used in clamshell mode and then folded down under the screen, or if it’s a detachable or slide-out style keyboard. I just can’t see spending $800 on a device that only has an on-screen keyboard.
If the report is true, it looks like the Appl tablet will have a roughly 10 inch capacitive touchscreen display with parts supplied by Foxconn, Wintek, and Dynapack.
Based on the price alone, it doesn’t sound like this is necessarily Apple’s answer to netbooks at all. A $800 device doesn’t really compete with $400 netbooks. It sounds like Apple’s attempt to carve out a new netbook-like niche as a third product category that fits somewhere between a smartphone and a full featured laptop or desktop computer. While I don’t imagine Apple would win over a lot of Dell Mini or Asus Eee PC fans with an $800 tablet, I could certainly see some Apple enthusiasts deciding to pick up a tablet for their Apple collections.
Of course, this whole rumor could be bunk and Apple may be working on a $500 product… or on nothing at all.
What think you? Would you pay $800 for an Apple tablet? What would it need to have in order to be worth the price? Sound off in the comments.