updated 09:55 pm EDT, Mon August 24, 2009
Jobs Devoted to Tablet
Apple chief Steve Jobs has spent "almost all" his time since his return to work developing the heavily rumored tablet device, according to sources close to the company. Those "people familiar with the matter" tell the WSJ that the executive is committing a level of attention to the project not seen since the original iPhone's development. The sheer control has reportedly been a shock to some workers, who during Jobs' roughly six-month medical leave had some relative freedom on projects.
The tipsters behind the story also back stories of the tablet having a rough creation cycle as it was supposedly first canceled due to battery life and then later due to a lack of memory. In one more reliable rumor, it was understood that Apple had originally tried building the tablet on Intel's x86 architecture but eventually switched to ARM's architecture (also used in the iPhone and iPod touch) to solve battery problems.
Eyewitnesses also claim that Jobs is still thin in the months since his liver transplant but has been much healthier than in late 2008, when his gaunt look prompted speculation of a serious issue that most now believe was the spread of the previously treated pancreatic cancer to Jobs' liver.
Details of the tablet are vague. In an uncharacteristic direct reaction, Jobs said in a response e-mail that "much of your information [at the newspaper] is incorrect" but didn't elaborate on what he meant.
The news potentially renders the tablet a significantly more significant device than previously thought, as many believe the tablet is primarily an upscaled iPod touch with a larger, higher-resolution display. Simultaneously, however, it's also considered Apple's answer to its lack of a netbook and may include both Verizon-ready 3G as well as NVIDIA's Tegra core to give it both an ARM processor as well as relatively fast graphics that could, among other possibilities, decode 720p video almost entirely in hardware. Media playback should be the focus, but the larger size would improve web browsing and productivity apps.
Most unofficial predictions now put the tablet's release in early 2010 barring complications.