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Brier Dudley offers a critical look at technology and business issues affecting the Northwest.

May 21, 2009 at 11:56 AM

Analyst: Apple prepping $500-$700 tablet, for Kindle throwdown?

The chorus of rumors about an Apple tablet computing device became a roar today after Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster said it’s coming early next year.

Munster’s guess is the device will be basically a really big iPhone, with a 7-inch to 10-inch diameter screen and an Apple-developed microprocessor. He’s triangulating info from Asian suppliers, Apple moves and patent filings.

From AppleInsider‘s writeup of the Munster report:

For his part, the analyst believes the device will end up retailing somewhere in the range of $500 – $700, bridging the gap between the $399 iPod touch and the $999 MacBook. He expects that it will be driven by a proprietary microprocessor designed in-house by engineers Apple adopted in the acquisition of P.A. Semi and others it’s known to have hired in recent months.

It doesn’t sound like a netbook. It sounds a bit like the Origami ultramobile PC concept Microsoft and Intel floated a few years ago; that effort lost steam after chunky Vista-based version ones failed to soar, and Intel began pushing Linux alternatives.

Speaking of Microsoft, I wonder if Apple will discourage people from calling its new device a tablet, which could remind people of the Tablet PC.

My guess is that Apple’s working on a whole portfolio of touch machines and the next version of the iMac could have a multitouch screen option. It seems pretty likely that Apple will leverage the enthusiastic army of iPhone App developers and offer new platforms for their touch-based software.

Comments | More in | Topics: Apple, apple, apple tablet

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