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Apple Tablet rumors heat up with predicted spring 2010 arrival

December 9, 2009 |  8:40 am

Oppenheimer tech prognosticator Yair Reiner has predicted that Apple's much-anticipated tablet e-reader -- also rumored to be called the iPad -- will arrive in spring 2010. The device, which Apple has not yet announced, is something that tech watchers have been hoping for. Rumors, often based on orders that may have been made with producers in China, have been circulating for much of 2009. Wired's Gadget Lab blog writes:

we shall humor Uncle Yair, and present here his rock-solid inferences, based on the study not of actual tea-leaves, but of his supply-chain contacts.

The Jesus-tablet will use an LTPS (Low Temperature Polycrystalline Silicon) LCD like that of the iPhone instead of a pricier OLED display, and if Apple wants to have enough in stock to meet demand (at a projected manufacturing speed of a million units per month) then a launch date in March or April is likely.

Fortune Magazine has posted some specifics from Reiner:

  • Apple has settled on a 10.1-inch multi-touch display using the iPhone's LTPS LCD technology, not the considerably more expensive OLED technology suggested in earlier reports.
  • Apple has been approaching U.S. book publishers with what Reiner describes as "a very attractive proposal" for distributing their content: an App Store-type 30/70 split (30% for Apple) with no exclusivity requirement. [See UPDATE below.]
  • According to Reiner, publishers are disgruntled by Amazon's (AMZN) terms, which force exclusivity, disallow advertising and demand a "wolfish cut" of revenue. The typical Kindle/publisher split, he says, is 50/50, rising to 30/70 if Amazon gets exclusivity.
  • Apple's tablet would make ebooks more attractive for the education market by simplifying functions such as scribbling marginalia.

Although it's standard for us at Jacket Copy to include a picture with every post, we're going to hold off on coming up with an image of the  as-yet-hypothetical Apple tablet e-reader iPad thingamajig.

-- Carolyn Kellogg

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