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Orange exec 'confirms' Apple tablet with 3G

updated 07:55 am EST, Mon January 11, 2010

French official may have spoiled Apple plans

An Orange France executive may have revealed Apple's plans for a tablet in a radio interview by Jean-Pierre Elkabbach Monday morning (listenable below). Stéphane Richard of the cellular carrier appeared to confirm rumors brought up by the weekly magazine Le Point that have Apple releasing a tablet with a webcam in "a few days." He also implied that Orange will provide 3G for the device, though he didn't say whether there would be subsidies in exchange for a contract.

A translation follows:

Elkabbach: According to Le Point... the weekly magazine Le Point, in a few days your partner Apple will launch a tablet.
Richard: Yes.
Elkabbach: Equipped with a webcam.
Richard: Yes.
Elkabbach: Will Orange users also benefit?
Richard: For sure!

While it's unlikely that the comments will be confirmed by either Apple or Orange, they at least imply that any tablet-class device from the American company will support HSPA for 3G. Rumors have persisted of a Verizon model with EVDO, but the radio conversation would likely rule out any exclusive and give AT&T a version of its own.

Video chatting has also periodically surfaced in rumors but hasn't usually gained prominence. Most have so far only claimed a touchscreen between 7 and 10 inches across, Wi-Fi, and a significantly newer interface.

by MacNN Staff



  1. siromega

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Either the leak is on purpose..

    Or Jobs is going to be angry this morning!

  1. Mr. Strat

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Interest waning

    The more I hear about this thing, the less interested I am.

  1. slider

    Joined: Dec 1969


    ah, the build up

    You know you have a problem when......

    Sadly, I'm excited - even though I know I won't be buying one right off the back.

    But I'm also reminding myself more often than not, building something up can make the actual experience less than expected even though it's actually really good. The best example I have of this is Movies. But it has also happened at Apple events.

    The iPhone today is far better than the original. Nonetheless, the iPhone unveiling was nothing less than amazing. I wonder if my anticipation for Apple's tablet is for the actual device itself, or for that "WOW" factor.

    So sad.

  1. Geordiekeith

    Joined: Dec 1969



    He also says that it will be able to transmit images in real-time as a "videophone" and the network in France has the capacity to exploit this feature (having previously indicated that the AT&T network in the US could not cope with 3G.

    So the iSlate allows videoconferencing, just like a notebook, or a netbook already can. But will anyone carry around a 10" tablet for that reason? That should be a feature of the iPhone....

    Like Mr. Start, my interest is waning....

  1. Jonathan-Tanya

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Can't wait

    Your interest can wax and wane ad infinitum, who cares.

    The tablet is an important event, and frankly leaks aren't to build interest, and neither would their absence make any difference.

    Ultimately the device will change the way we compute or it won't, and thats not about marketing, but about the functionality of the device.

    I look forward to the unvailing of details later this month!

  1. bleee

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Another cellular bill No Thanks!

    I hope that they don't force you to subscribe to another 3G plan in order to buy/operate the tablet. Don't want another monthly bill... as it is AT&T's service is bad enough I can't imagine double the amount of users on their systems i.e. iPhone owners buying tablets as well as keeping their iPhones.

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969



    VC is one of the most over-hyped and yet useless pieces of functionality people keep talking about. Sure, it's great for Grandparent's to see the kids. But how often at work do you video-conference where seeing the person's face has made all the world of difference in what is being discussed? How often when on a cell call do you say to yourself "Man, if only I could see the person I was talking to, this conversation would be so much better"?

  1. PRoth

    Joined: Dec 1969


    @testudo - has its uses

    Well, I'll give you a scenario where VC is useful, at least to me. I work for a company that has two offices about 500 kilometers apart. On top of that, there's a bit of a language barrier. For me to effectively communicate with some of the people that I work with at "the other office", it helps to SHOW what I'm talking about... The other part of this, is that there's this strange cultural divide, where the people at "the other office" aren't very good at getting back to emails or voicemail. There is a LOT of wasted time going back and forth over little misunderstood details... where something like VC provides a means to clarify things immediately. Can't be so narrow-minded as to limit this to grandma and grandpa, mate. The one thing I'll agree with you on, is that I don't know how much of a selling point VC will make for a mobile device...

  1. Le Flaneur

    Joined: Dec 1969


    sorry, Steve!

    Remember when ATi released information before a MacWorld? Jobs removed them as a supplier for a while.

    Oh well, this just demonstrates how impossible it is to develop a device in complete secrecy when you have to contract with media sources and network providers ...

  1. luckyday

    Joined: Dec 1969



    I don't think he's confirming anything. His comments have to be taken relative to the question (if you could even call the first two questions). Essentially all he did was confirm that Le Point said a tablet with a camera was being released. And his answer to the last question is very vague... for sure! As in, why wouldn't they benefit from apple raising the bar.

    I wish I spoke better french so I could hear the original context.

    Waste of the press if you ask me. How many stories can be wasted on whether Apple is coming out with a tablet as if its some cure for cancer? A tablet will be great, don't get me wrong, but is it really worth this much exposure? Not even anything new at this point.

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