The Apple tablet rumors continue, and can be seen dividing into two competing camps: an iPod Touch on steroids late this year or a highly talented and very small computer early next year.
One of the many ways in which people can be divided into two groups is by placing those needing instant gratification in one pile and those willing to wait for something better in another. More and more, that division defines the differences in the predicted tablet based upon its introduction date. If it is September, it will be an overgrown Touch, with larger video as its best feature. If it is second quarter next year, it could be a sexy portable workhorse.
The latest series of rumors is back to the side that would be best for all concerned: the release of a multidisciplinary Mac tablet with an emphasis on computing and a minor in entertainment. AppleInsider reports analysis by Piper Jaffray that the tablet will be announced this year, but will ship next year. This suggests that the tablet could have the ARM processor and an operating system more sophisticated than iPhone OS 3.0.
The new Piper Jaffray information, combined with some other intelligence,Â contrasts with rumors from earlier this week that the tablet will be out in time for the holidays and that its major feature would be an ability to play high-def video on a 10-inch screen. As we have said earlier in this space, such an introduction would be disappointing, simply because Apple is close on so many fronts to making the tablet so much more. But they need more time to release more computer; processors and operating systems are large ventures which should not be rushed.
If Apple does not rush, the tablet could be a real computer with a fast Apple-designed-and-built processor, running an operating system better than iPhone 3.0 but yet not fully OSX, so that the tablet could run both OSX apps and App Sore apps. That would let it take advantage of all that extra component real estate in the tablet form factor, including a phone and, sure, why not high-def video.
Let us wait a little longer for something much better. Don’t release a dumbed-down tablet that does pretty much what a $79 DVD player from Wal-mart will do. Take your time. Do it the Apple way. Give us a tablet that will knock the socks off all netbooks and many notebooks, and do it with that Apple sizzle. Please, no tablet cop outs conceived in a rush to market.