Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Thoughts on the Apple Tablet - Part 1 Hardware

The ability to predict the future via educated guess based analisys
can be a satisfying experience especially if it concerns a popular
topic.
The whole industry expects Apple to unveil a tablet like device to
compete with the netbook class devices.

Expected Hardware features.
- various reports suggest the use of a 10 inch touch screen. This
decision will greatly improve the real estate and productivity of its
only other touch screen platform.
- allumuminium unibody enclosure. This is a no brainer. The Apple
tablet will very likely look like a thicker but smaller makbook screen
- there will likely be no moving parts such as stands ot rotating
cameras or build in pen
- VGA isight camera is a sure guess but the device will likely not
include a backward facing camera.
The performance components will greatly depend on the choice of
operating system used. Given the huge popularity of its iPhone OS, I
fully expect the tablet to feature a custom version of OS X based on
the iPhone rather than the full featured Snow Leopard. As usefull a
tablet computer is it cannot utilise many of the powerfull software
bundled with Snow Leopard. On the other hand, many iPhone programs
will blossom if given a bigger screen and more powerfull hardware. The
size and the thickness of the Tablet will not allow for even a Macbook
Air air processor, ram and VGA to be installed. On the other hand, the
iPhone OS will fly even with backgroung Apps on even the most basic
notbook hardware. Apple has a chance to deliver a very unique user
experience at a very low hardware cost and i Think they will take it.
The big contributors to the tablet cost will not be the processor and
RAM but the 10" touch screen and the develepment of a custom Tablet
OS. As there is a hardware device gap between the iPhone and the
Macbook, there is a software gap between the iPhone OS and the OS X
Snow Leopard.
- so we are looking at a Sub 1.6GHz processor and an ION based
platform as the top specs of the device.
- again comparing the ports to the Macbook Air, we will likely see a
1xUSB and a headphone jack. No Mini Display port will be present as
this is not a desk operated device. Some might expect even a SD card
slot but Apple has reserved those for its top Pro products.
- It will be interesting to see what type of charging port the device
will use. It cannot be a macsafe power connector as the device will
likely be too thin for that. The most obvious choice is an iPod
connector which will also provice a syncing solution. The only issue
with the iPod connector might be its charging capability. An apple
Table will have a signigicantly bigger battery than an iPod Touch even
not as large as a Macbook. Apple does not have currently a single
solution to meed those requirements.
- a new for any Apple product might be the integration of a 3G antena
supported by one of the wireless carriers, most probably Verizon.
Since Verizon operate a different 3G network than most other
operators, the Apple tablet might be the first Apple device to support
bothe GSM and CDMA networks. Those capabilities however go strongly
against a alluminium unibody as it will impart reception. We may see
inovation in the matterial used for the unibody or the unibody
enclosure may have openi gs for its anthenaes similar to the one on
the iPod Touch.
- as far as hardware buttons are concerned we may see a configuration
like on the iPod Touch. Home button along with power button and volume
controls.

One thing is sure. The Apple table will likely comand a very hight
gross margin given its simple componets list but advanced feature
trough another breaktrough in software.

Part two will look into the basic software concepts likely to be uses
in the device.


Sent from my iPhone

1 comment:

Paulius said...

If iPod touch 3rd generation will have GPS, that would be very cool. :)