The answer to the question in this picture to the left is a resounding NO! All bets are being placed on Apple using a custom processor for it’s version of a Tablet PC. This is interesting in that everyone in the Technology Computer Gizmo/Gadget news circles has pursued this as a story starting last week.
China Times Daily apparently is hinting a new Mac Tablet is being manufactured for release in October of this year. I’m surprised they decided to go with a custom processor for the tablet. But given the ultra-competitiveness of the Wintel netbook market, CPUs are the next big thing in product differentiation. There are manufacturers now using Google’s Android cell phone OS paired with cell phone processors from ARM and Motorola for a new generation of battery conserving netbooks. Most of those products are targeted at the Pacific Rim market and will never see the American market at all. Which made me sad because I would love to have a netbook with extra long battery run times.
I have adapted much of my computer needs to what can be delivered through a network, web-browser and web apps. So the netbook to me is a nice analog to a cell phone and I’ve been waiting to jump into the market until some bigger innovations occured. Maybe this product will help shift the market the way the iPhone has done for cell phones. And with their new found CPU designs maybe product differentiation will even be easier.
However, hairy eyeball of experience rears it’s ugly head and takes the shine of this buzzing hive of technology press bees. Enter Mark Sigal @ O’Reilly.com. Mark doesn’t think the tablet is the real story, but that the iPod Touch IS the Mac Tablet right here, right now. Given Mark Sigal’s earlier survey of the mobile computing landscape he proposes a unified matrix of Apple computing products rather than phone vs. computer. So the longer one waits, the less we have to worry about whether we should be buying a Tablet or an iPhone. Personally I think the bigger screen and the new CPU from PA-Semi does warrant some extra attention. I think we’re going to see either longer battery run times, or maybe mix of iApps and iLife and iWork on the same happy device. But, who knows? We all have to wait until October.
The VentureBeat note says that Apple divided the PA-Semi designers between two projects: ARM-based mobile phone processors on the one hand and a tablet processor, possibly ARM-based as well, on the other.
So we are looking at an Apple CPU-powered Mac tablet with touchscreen functionality and an October launch. The timing is said to be suitable for sales in the lead up to Christmas. Neither the manufacturers nor Apple are saying anything.