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macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
54,552
16,640


The New York Times recaps many of the rumors and expectations about the upcoming Apple Tablet, but also introduces a few original sources of information about the tablet project within Apple.

According to former Apple engineer Joshua A. Strickland, Apple had been working on a tablet-based device since at least 2003. According to the newspaper, one 2003 prototype used the PowerPC chip and was so power hungry that it quickly drained the battery:
"It couldn’t be built. The battery life wasn't long enough, the graphics performance was not enough to do anything and the components themselves cost more than $500.
Another Apple executive claims that the idea had been shelved a number of times at Apple due to Steve Jobs who questioned "what they were good for besides surfing the Web in the bathroom."

Whether or not the success of the iPhone has changed the mind of Jobs remains to be seen. In fact, reports have suggested that Jobs has not given final approval of the product yet. As always, the question remains how Apple might expect such a product to fit into people's lifestyles. Back in July, we questioned what this "killer feature" could be in the Apple tablet.



Article Link: Apple Working on Tablet Since At Least 2003
 

Memma

macrumors newbie
Oct 5, 2009
10
0
now they are really pressured to show that their tablet is something special
 

294307

Cancelled
Mar 19, 2009
567
315
I don't see what these tablets be used for; and if they will be used for general browsing then I expect people be looking for an affordable price tag. If ever this tablet becomes available would anyone actually buy one, truthfully? What would you use it for?
 

fluidedge

macrumors 65816
Nov 1, 2007
1,365
16
another day, another tablet "rumor" *sigh*

When will apple just get on and shelf this idea?
 

DipDog3

macrumors 65816
Sep 20, 2002
1,190
691
Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 3_0 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/528.18 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/4.0 Mobile/7A341 Safari/528.16)

OllyW said:
Another Apple executive claims that the idea had been shelved a number of times at Apple due to Steve Jobs who questioned "what they were good for besides surfing the Web in the bathroom."

It's nice to know I've got something in common with Steve Jobs. :rolleyes:

Isn't that really what the iPhone is really good at?
 

gianpan

macrumors member
Nov 22, 2008
82
47
I want a tablet that will allow me to take lecture note's easily and quickly and keep them organised in a modern way (I got a billion papers here in my room and it's so annoying - of course after sometime I have to throw away some stuff which I would just keep in an archive in my hard disk!)

Then I also want to be able to share notes and ideas with the rest of the students quickly and easily through it.

Surfing, email etc. will just be there for when I need it.
 

devburke

Guest
Oct 16, 2008
1,190
0
I want a tablet that will allow me to take lecture note's easily and quickly and keep them organised in a modern way (I got a billion papers here in my room and it's so annoying - of course after sometime I have to throw away some stuff which I would just keep in an archive in my hard disk!)

Then I also want to be able to share notes and ideas with the rest of the students quickly and easily through it.

Surfing, email etc. will just be there for when I need it.

...sounds to me like you need to get yourself a laptop.
 

Hattig

macrumors 65816
Jan 3, 2003
1,454
88
London, UK
I like the idea of an Apple tablet, and feel that they could bring some interesting and required UI designs into the fray because of it.

However I just don't see any major point to a tablet. Not unless handwriting recognition with a stylus was supported for note taking, or smooth proper jotting support (i.e., what you jot doesn't turn into a series of jerky lines that is unreadable). Then it could be useful for certain niches - students, doctors, etc.

Otherwise it's an advanced digital music/photo/video frame with internet support. If this is released it will be a hobby project like the AppleTV. Hopefully the AppleTV will move from hobby to mainline soon, with a new hardware refresh.

Still, I guess the tablet projects over the years have given Apple a lot of technology like multitouch, so even if it wasn't released, it would still be a worthwhile internal project.

Now where are the new Mac Minis and iMacs?
 

guet

macrumors member
Sep 24, 2003
88
0
I don't see what these tablets be used for; and if they will be used for general browsing then I expect people be looking for an affordable price tag. If ever this tablet becomes available would anyone actually buy one, truthfully? What would you use it for?

Depends what it's like obviously, but if it is as rumoured, I would buy one. For reading (web, books and email), viewing media (though less so) and taking notes (if the interface is any good).
 

NightFox

macrumors 68030
May 10, 2005
2,674
2,846
Shropshire, UK
... The battery life wasn't long enough, the graphics performance was not enough to do anything and the components themselves cost more than $500.

Poor battery life, weak graphics performance, very expensive? No way Apple would allow anything like that on the market. ;)
 

Henk Poley

macrumors 6502
Sep 22, 2008
338
113
Steve Jobs probably saw quite a few of Windows Tablet PCs during his 'medical leave' and questioned himself why they weren't in this business ;-)

Hospitals seem to be one of the few places where Tablet PCs really make sense for replacing all the old paperwork, and simultaneously making access to that information easier for professionals who need it.
 

ob81

macrumors 65816
Jun 11, 2007
1,406
356
Virginia Beach
Apple is a little more mainstream these days. Some products they need to have, just to say that they have them. Working on a product for 6 years? It probably has changed so many times, it has nothing to do with the original concept. I wish Apple would confirm or deny, so we can move on to real apple news.
 

NewSc2

macrumors 65816
Jun 4, 2005
1,044
2
New York, NY
I like the idea of an Apple tablet, and feel that they could bring some interesting and required UI designs into the fray because of it.

However I just don't see any major point to a tablet. Not unless handwriting recognition with a stylus was supported for note taking, or smooth proper jotting support (i.e., what you jot doesn't turn into a series of jerky lines that is unreadable). Then it could be useful for certain niches - students, doctors, etc.

Otherwise it's an advanced digital music/photo/video frame with internet support. If this is released it will be a hobby project like the AppleTV. Hopefully the AppleTV will move from hobby to mainline soon, with a new hardware refresh.

Still, I guess the tablet projects over the years have given Apple a lot of technology like multitouch, so even if it wasn't released, it would still be a worthwhile internal project.

Now where are the new Mac Minis and iMacs?

I'd disagree. The rumors are all pointing at some sort of advanced media device (aka your digital music/photo/video frame), but in my guess it would fit as an enhanced Kindle. Imagine a Kindle, but in color, with video and sound. Newspapers would have animated text/videos, a la Back to the Future :D

I personally hope it would do more than just that, but if it's anything up to Apple's standards I'd probably get it just to use TouchOSC or as some sort of tethered 2nd monitor, or a multitouch trackpad for Logic or Ableton.
 

kernkraft

macrumors 68020
Jun 25, 2009
2,456
1
Will it ever come?

So, there was Newton and they have been working on this one since 2003. Meanwhile, Jobs has not approved and it seems, that's how they do it in Cupertino.

By the time that thing comes out, I will probably have stopped caring. :mad:



Poor battery life, weak graphics performance, very expensive? No way Apple would allow anything like that on the market. ;)

Exactly my thoughts!
 

MikeELL

macrumors regular
Aug 18, 2006
122
0
Perth, Australia
I have a feelling this has to be the start of something bigger for Apple. It would make sense that 1Q 2010 is also when they will announce plans for whatever follows Snow Leopard. My bet would be an OS 11 that has much less emphasis on the desktop computer and more emphasis on mobile devices and home networks - ie every home has a server/tablet(s) arrangement which is more flexible as to where you use it. That's how the tablet fits in

If you want to use a keyboard and mouse arrangement, you dock your tablet at your desk, but what sits on your desk is little more than a keyboard, dock and mouse - the server is located elsewhere (say, the living/"media" room). It would take "Where did the computer go?" to a whole new level.
 

Jamo12

macrumors regular
Mar 23, 2009
248
25
Ohio
My idea of what the tablet will be is a HUGE NEW THING that eventually everyone will have. It will be a digital reader for everything. newspapers will give you subscriptions to digital newspapers. Same with magazines. It will be able to be used as text books for school or home study. Of course because Apple loves music it will be able to do all of the iTunes stuff perfectly fine. Eventually (15 years) everyone will have a piece of technology like this in their home.:apple:

my 2¢
 

fswmacguy

macrumors 6502
Aug 12, 2009
266
0
If it has "note taking capabilities", where I can quickly (and sloppily) write down notes, and they're converted to text, then I'll buy.

And I love Steve's comment. :D
 

niuniu

macrumors 68020
From a small business owner's perspective..

We have a small workforce and need to do a lot of everything ourselves, including customer service, sales, even design and web management. Most of that stuff for a lot modern businesses is handled via the web, most of our enquiries come via email and nearly every single one of those enquiries conclude via the same format.

For me, being away from the desk means I don't know what's going on. When I'm sitting in traffic I try to use the iPhone to catch up, but it's too slow and the screen is just a bit too small to effectively do anything.

If they can produce a snazzy tablet with a decent battery life, or is chargeable through the car, and has fast data transfer and a proper OS, no iPhone OS nonsense as we want to be able to work on files with software we'd have on our Macs, then guys in my position will really get a lot out of it.

Before I was in this position, a Tablet wouldn't have made any sense to me.
 

bbydon

macrumors 6502a
May 18, 2005
585
93
ATL
My idea of what the tablet will be is a HUGE NEW THING that eventually everyone will have. It will be a digital reader for everything. newspapers will give you subscriptions to digital newspapers. Same with magazines. It will be able to be used as text books for school or home study. Of course because Apple loves music it will be able to do all of the iTunes stuff perfectly fine. Eventually (15 years) everyone will have a piece of technology like this in their home.:apple:

my 2¢

....but thats what the rumors say it will be.
 

bbydon

macrumors 6502a
May 18, 2005
585
93
ATL
I'd say the biggest markets are education / colleges and the Medical field.
A network of tablets in hospitals would be a huge step in streamlining and organization. Also a few good apps might get rid of some really expensive specialized machines.
 
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