Lots of rumors are circulating about a Tablet release next month, which is the range I've been betting on for a while now.
A couple of thoughts:
- The Tablet will likely be announced next month on the 26th and will be on the high end of price predictions ($999) to avoid cannibalization. It's a huge issue given Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) ability to sell at such a premium. There are rumors of patents around some kind of tactile touch keyboard/speech and the New York Times has some speculation that we'll all be surprised around interaction methods. I am looking forward to being surprised.
- Macbook Pros should also get new chips early next month. While I'd love to see a few more advances to Macbook Pros I don't think we'll be getting them. The graphics / chip combo Intel (NASDAQ:INTC) is announcing and that are likely Macbook bound are perplexing in terms of performance and I just can't picture Apple getting too aggressive here. I'll be happy if they drop the DVD slot and make the footprint smaller.
- One interesting theme might be the merger of the "Tablet" and "IPhone/Touch" product cycles. With the devices at 4", 7" and 10". This would be my favorite outcome but I think there is a 70% chance they keep the two products separate. Why? If you start marketing the Tablet through carriers it pushes the price too low and cannibalization becomes too much of an issue.
- Seems a bit early for chips out of PA semi- that will be an interesting development if it occurs.
- As stated in prior Apple posts--and as part of my predictions for 2010-there will be an early iPhone release. At least 90 days before the traditional summer window. Perhaps earlier than that, as concerns about the Droid and the Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) Phone push Apple for an early release.
- Things I'd like to see in the Tablet but are not necessarily predictions? An ability to run Wimax or take any interface card (from Sprint (NYSE:S), Verizon (NYSE:VZ) or AT&T (NYSE:T)), an OLED Screen, a front facing camera, and a keyboard (I'm not gonna get this).
- For the iPhone- OLED Screen, 4 inches of display, a pure data iPhone (voice over IP so the best data network wins), front facing camera, double the battery life, true multitasking and a device on another network. I would love the option to have a data only plan on Sprint with all voice calls using VOIP.
- What are the implications for the Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) Kindle? The higher the price point, the less the implications. However, if Apple surprises and you get a 7 inch model at a comparable price point, who the hell would buy a Kindle?
- I am skeptical we see the iPhone on Verizon unless there is some sort of FCC pressure. However, even the FCC can't / won't try to make Apple make a CDMA phone.
Disclosure: Long Apple Common, Apple Calls, Sprint.