Taiwanese sources claim that Apple is currently scoping production costs for a very thin “touch” tablet notebook that operates similar to the 3G iPhone. The device which is insiders say will be launched at MacWorld San Francisco will be available in two sizes including a less than 12″ and up to 15″ model.
Tt is believed that Intel has played a major role in the development of the tablet notebook due to heat problems associated with such a thin product.
Two other Taiwanese Companies are currently costing similar thin touch notebooks including HTC and ASUS.
One interesting rumour emanating from a manufacturer capable of producing both the touch screen and the motherboard is that the mock up for the new device has no external keyboard other than soft plastic attach keyboard.
Another interesting snippet is that the new tablet incorporates several new capabilities involving new Apple patented hardware and software. Designed to ideally work in a Wireless environment Apple has developed features which will allow the device to control consumer electronic devices in the home. It has a HD TV tuner which will allow live streamed TV to be viewed.
All of the on screen icons and can be controlled in the same way that one uses an iPhone. “It’s like a big iPhone with a high quality LCD screen” said a Taiwanese source.
Back in 2005 Mac Observer reported that Apple was granted a patent for an enigmatically titled “Electronic device” Illustrations for the device clearly indicate it to be a tablet-style Macintosh, and patent filings specifically compare it to the “HP Compaq Tablet PC” and several other tablet machines.
The patent was filed on March 17th, 2004 and granted by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) as US Design Patent No. D504,899 on May 10, 2005.
For Apple to launch a thin touch screen tablet would make a lot of sense. All one has to do is scroll through the legal pages on the new Apple 3G iPhone to realize the amount of access Apple has to patented technology that has allowed them to deliver the breakthrough found in the 3G iPhone.
This is not all Apple technology and from the discussions that I have had with manufacturers in both China and Taiwan Apple has been trying to develop a touch screen tablet for some time.
During one of my discussions it emerged that new Intel processor technology was one of the key factors in helping Apple move to a production model including new processors that can deliver such technology as both wireless and TV on chip.