Whee, the Apple Tablet merry-go-round spins and spins: Today adds a clutch of rumors that, if you grapple them all together, are another quietly confident tick in the "it's definitely real" box. But one suggestion is that the beast is delayed, which is the kind of rumor we hate to hear.
Conde Nast Getting Ready, Wired to have an iTablet Edition?
According to AllThingsD, beleaguered publisher Condé Nast is already tweaking their digital magazine publishing format to suit Apple's Tablet, despite the fact there's not a public shred of confirmation from Apple itself that the thing is on its way anytime soon or even that it's real—much less what formats it will support.
Whether it's fallen for the rumors or just wants to jump on the publicity bandwagon, Condé Nast has said it'll have a digital tabletized version of Wired (a very fitting choice) ready first, sometime around the middle of next year, and follow with versions for all its 18 titles. Further information suggests they'll be using a custom package from Adobe to make this work—which makes sense. Adobe already makes the software that Condé and many other magazine publishers use to design the print versions. But the driving technology will be Adobe's AIR—which doesn't work on the iPhone due to limited processor power, RAM considerations and battery-drainage. Would Flash or AIR be included on an iTablet, which faces none of these restrictions? It's likely.
Of course, Tablet Wired and the rest of them will also be compatible with other tablet/slate PCs (like the CrunchPad - where is that thing anyhow?). But the clear intention behind Condé's thinking, if the rumor is reliable, is to latch onto Steve Jobs' newest project like a limpet to a rock, in the hope that the iTablet's successes can revolutionize Condé's whole industry like the iPhone's changed the smartphone game. By the way, Fast Company is also working on a Tablet version of the magazine—go ahead and write about us.
iTablet Hardware: LCD and OLED Displays, Delay Until Later in 2010
Over at Digitimes there's a rumor that once again tackles the screens the fabled iTablet will have. According to sources inside the Chinese manufacturer pool busy making the hardware, Apple's changed its mind about the screen technology recently. Foxconn, Quanta Computer and Pegatron Technology are the companies concerned, and between them they'll be supplying Apple with two models of iTablet: A 10.6-inch LCD touchscreen model, and a 9.7-inch OLED touch version.
This tallies with previous news about Apple's tie-up with LG to supply $500 million worth of displays, which actually includes OLED technology—a tech LG's gearing up its 4.5G production line to produce. It also re-invigorates earlier Apple OLED rumors, and gives us a rule-of-thumb way to calculate an approximate cost for the OLED version. Since 9.7-inch OLEDs are currently going for about $500, the high-end iTablet may cost as much as $1,500... placing it in the luxury, MacBook Air-like Apple product class. Luckily Digitimes sources report an $800 to $1,000 figure for the standard LCD screen version.
This matches with the existing white MacBook price, and could even be seen to imply that the machine will have a full OS X implementation, versus a boosted iPhone OS X. That's because the higher price compared to the iPhone/iPod Touch implies more than just a bigger screen inside the box—it suggests there's better processor power and more memory in there too, tilting favor toward the full OS side of the argument.
The bad news is these same sources now suggest a delayed launch date in the second-half 2010. This matches Condé Nast's news, but is disappointing to those rumor-followers who have previously been looking forward to an early 2010 Steve-note launch to serve as an antidote to their Consumer Electronics Show hangover.