Apple’s (AAPL) tablet computer — which we’ve been calling the iPod touch HD — is real. “I’m completely convinced,” well-sourced Apple blogger John Gruber writes today. But don’t expect it alongside a new iPhone this week at Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference.
Gruber: “I’m completely convinced that the tablet is real. But I am almost just as convinced that it is not ready to be announced. Patience on this one.”
This makes sense. This would be a major new product. Apple should make it the highlight of its own event — and has no reason to force it to compete for attention with an updated iPhone at WWDC.
It’s possible the tablet could be featured during Apple’s annual iPod refresh in September, if Apple wants to start selling it this Christmas. Or maybe it’ll have its own special event sometime this year or next year.
What’s the point of this device? As the fast-growing netbook industry has shown, there’s a market for something in between the laptop and the smartphone. A multi-touch tablet from Apple could be a big hit. Though market size will depend on pricing: We’re not sure if Apple will try to make it an inexpensive “big-arse iPod touch,” or an expensive new product line of touch computers.
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