How much will the Apple Tablet cost?

January 8, 2010

How much will the Apple Tablet cost?The consecrated Apple tablet announcement date of Jan. 27 is approaching fast and it can be expected that rumors will be flying just as quickly. Here are some new rumors about tablet cost and pricing.

Noted Apple analyst Ashok Kumar of Northeast Securities has some new information about the components that make up the new Apple tablet computer, and some ideas about how that may translate into pricing. Kumar is saying that the tablet processor will, somewhat surprisingly, be manufactured by Samsung according to an AppleInsider article. He also says that it will be based on the Cortex-A8 ARM architecture. He believes it will have a speed of about 1GHz.

For most of last year, rumors circulated that the new tablet would be based on a proprietary Apple chip, especially after they purchased chip designer P.A. Semi. It has been thought by some that it was the design process of the Apple ARM chip that was taking all the time to release from the beginning of the tablet rumors, especially as time began to stretch out with no word from Apple. If Kumar is right, Apple will apparently not even be using the latest Cortex ARM chip, which would be the A9. The device cost is estimated  to be about $340, though that looks low because it includes a hard disk drive and not the solid state drives that Apple prefers.

Supporting rumors over the last several days about the tablet using 3G wireless technology for connection to the internet, Kumar says that it will be possible to buy the tablet two ways: one model with a lower price, subsidized by a wireless carrier via a service contract and one more expensive model which is not tied to a carrier. It also occurs to us that all that would be needed to make telephone calls from such a 3G tablet would be a Bluetooth or corded headset and a Skype (or similar) account, regardless of its other telephony features.

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5 Responses to “How much will the Apple Tablet cost?”

  1. Don Sloan:

    With all apologies, Kumar’s wrong.

    Any idea that Apple would, for lack of a better term, “tether” the slate to a carrier, given (a.) a not-so-gracious past with ATT, and (b.) removing any purchase incentive for those most likely to purchase [eg iphone users] is absurd. And if true, flat out stupid.

    This thing has to be cheap, and by cheap, I mean Apple cheap. It’s not a computer. It’s a browser-cum-ebook reader. Add the brand to that, and you’ve got a $499 retail. Feel free to hold me to that :)

  2. Homer:

    I will…..

  3. Chappas:

    “It’s a BROWSER-cum-ebook reader”

    Erm, sorry but are you making two contradicting points on purpose, or are you just being ‘flat out stupid’?

    In my opinion, having such a small, portable browsing computer without constant, built in access to the internet just seems backwards and self-defeating to me.
    There’s no way I’d buy this if I had to have access to a Wifi connection to go online with it, I want to be able to take it out and do some browsing on the go. Sticking a 3G dongle in seems like two steps backwards one step forwards to me as well when you could just have the capability built in from the word go.
    That’s just what I think though.

  4. Dan Lowe:

    I disagree, Don. Apple doesn’t have to make their tablet cheap to make it resoundingly successful. QUE is releasing their Pro Reader at the $650-800 mark, and if an overblown e-reader with handwriting can ask that price you have to imagine it’s not far off from what Apple should* be asking.

    Honestly, I’d rather Apple opt for a solid-state drive. I’ve replaced the HDD in my convertible tablet twice in just three years, once because of failure, once as a precaution suspecting failure. When people look at a device as completely portable and handheld, they’re going to treat it that way, and meeting expectations for functionality should precede pricing.

    That said, I don’t think Apple’s tablet is going to be an $800 HalfBook Pro, and I’m going to seem like I’m quibbling with your estimate, but $600 seems like the sweet spot. Twenty to one-hundred percent more expensive than netbooks (which, even as a Windows user, I’ve been dissuading people from in favor of Touches), with at least 64 GB hard drives (SSD) or 128 GB (HDD). These can’t be mistaken for e-readers, or glorified netbooks, iPods, etc. It’s got to be something else.

    My language here is hopeful rather than emphatic, mind you. Apple’s going to do whatever it wants. I’ve just never owned one of their products and am hoping* this will be the one to get.

  5. James. Braselton:

    hi. There. You. Are. Wrong. There. Is. No. 128. Gb. He’d. There. Is. A. 120. Gb. Hdd. Or. A. 160. Gb. Hdd. Only. Flash. Moduels. Are. In. Binary. System. Soo. That. SSd. Come. In. 64. Or. 128. Gb. SSd. Or. USB. Flash. Drive

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