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Apple tablet due in Feb. with PA Semi chip, 3G?

updated 07:50 am EDT, Tue September 15, 2009

Apple tablet part details appear

Apple's frequently rumored tablet received more details on Tuesday with an apparent leak of production plans. Taiwan's Economic News claims the touchscreen hardware is now slated for February and that companies will start shipping parts in December. The publication reiterates the presence of a near 10-inch touch display but now insists the tablet will be based on a custom processor (likely ARM-based) from recent acquisition PA Semi and will use HSDPA for its 3G access, likely putting it on AT&T's network.

The unidentified industry sources also give the unit a "long lasting" battery and a price point somewhere between $799 and $999. Clues to Apple's expectations for sales come from the number of parts in demand: the battery manufacturer, DynaPack, is reportedly expected to make about 300,000 batteries a month, translating roughly to a similar amount of tablets.

Existing suppliers like Wintek (which provides iPhone and iPod touchscreens) as well as power equipment supplier Mag. Layers Scientific-Technics are said part of the production effort.

The accuracy of the report is uncertain, although it's consistent with stories of an early 2010 release and a device that uses a variant of OS X iPhone rather than a desktop platform. It does partly conflict with rumors of a Verizon media pad deal and, for both to be true, would require either a separate version with EVDO-based 3G or else one with multi-mode 3G, such as in Qualcomm's Gobi chipset. [image via Fotoboer]

by MacNN Staff



  1. daqman

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Oh well ,one less customer maybe

    After using tablet PCs and the Nokia 810 web tablet I've been hoping for years for an Apple tablet that will play nicely with the rest of my Apple centered world.

    I hope that this thing will have an option similar to the ipod Touch vs iPhone where I can buy without the 3G and use 802.whatever wireless. If I have to have a contract with AT&T to buy then I don't want one.

    There's wireless access most places I spend any length of time in 3G gets me very little.

  1. jpellino

    Joined: Dec 1969


    4:3 or 16:9?

    Anyone? Anyone?

  1. mthomes

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Please stop with the Tablet Rumors! We can enjoy it if it ever becomes real. I'm so GD sick of these rumors of a "tablet" How many years have you all been talking about one coming out? It's like the boy who cried wolf at this point. I probably still wont believe there's an Apple tablet even when it's on Apple's own website. Talk about something else please!?

  1. iphonerulez

    Joined: Dec 1969


    300,000 units a month

    seems fairly aggressive in terms of sales. Pundits are relatively sure this tablet will fail miserably since no other tablet is of much use to the general public. Adding another device to AT&T's overburdened network probably doesn't bode to well for customers. It might be wise for Apple to spread some of their devices to other networks just to lessen AT&T's load. It's a real shame there aren't many more WiFi hotspots in large cities to ease the burden of high data transfers. And yet there are so many people who still want to use tethering on 3G networks. Every ounce of bandwidth is going to be sapped and it will be near impossible just to make normal phone calls.

  1. ibugv4

    Joined: Dec 1969


    No Mac OS

    No sale.

  1. JeffHarris

    Joined: Dec 1969


    something will be true in the end

    If they make enough predictions, some may actually wind up being accurate.

    Putting more pressure on an already over-stressed AT&T network would certainly be a bad thing. I, for one, have no interest in signing up with AT&T. I'm pretty satisfied with my iPod touch and wi-fi and I've somehow managed to continue living even without an iPhone.

    I'd really like to see Apple just sell the thing outright and allow customers to CHOOSE whether or not to sign up for a service plan.

    I'd go for the 16:9 (or even 16:10?) aspect ratio. 4:3 is all but dead.

    Who knows?
    The wall-to-wall speculation IS getting tedious, I must say!

    Wake me if it ships.

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Before the rumors of a tablet everyone was sure Apple wasn't going to make one since it is such a niche market. Now that there are rumors of a tablet, everyone's complaining about what it does or doesn't have, based on 'information' that no one is confident in.

    Being that no one seems to get the rumors right (where exactly is that camera on the new Touch?), why people get upset over the latest "It'll have 3G!" rumor is beyond me.

    And, daqman, they say it will support 3G, but doesn't say it would require it (then again, how would these people know what Apple's marketing plans are???)

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969



    And I'm surprised no one has tried to explain to ibugv4 that he just doesn't understand the market for this tablet, and if he doesn't like what Apple is selling, he can just not buy it or get a crappy windows laptop. Isn't that how arguments are settled here?

  1. chrup

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Can I use a stylus with it?

    I need something to take notes as I would on an old fashioned piece of paper and a pencil. I used to have a Newton for that, I actually still have it and it works, but there are major connection issues with it these days.

    If this tablet is the size of a legal pad, or half that and I can write on it and it does HWR better then the Newton could, and ... and ... and ... and it makes coffee, then we have a winner ;).

  1. fubar_this

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Seems steep for something that will be good for checking email and browsing the Web. Spend $200 more and get a real computer, or spend $400 less and get a netbook that is also a real computer (not hobbled by an iPhone OS). Either way I don't see the target market for something that will cost $850 when you add in taxes. That's more money than most people spend on a laptop, as the average laptop price has fallen to $700 in the past 3 months and will continue to fall by the time this tablet reaches market.

    Also, if it uses AT&T, I will guess there's going to be another monthly charge for the 3G service. Unless part of that $800 is for a product lifetime of 3G service (doubtful), in which case, AT&T's network is going to crumble. But there's no carrier choice outside of AT&T; Verizon uses CDMA and the rest of the world doesn't.

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