There are a lot of rumors bubbling about the once and future Apple tablet.
Citing an anonymous source, The Business Insider said that Apple engineers have been taking numerous trips between the US and Asia recently to visit manufacturing plants where the 10-inch touchscreen device will go into production.
The report said, "A source tells us a system integration engineer friend of his at Apple has been ramping up his travels back and forth between China lately, broadcasting word of his travels over the Internet. There’s even a few weeks scheduled during the Christmas holiday season."
Perhaps. Possibly. Maybe. Such a tablet may be the goal too far. The writer and the publisher are both fascinated by the concept but the reality is that the size and weight of the iPod Touch and iPhone is pretty close to ideal. Even for reading books.
As I write this I have in fron of me a SmartQ 7 MID which has all the facilities, one would presume, that will be found on the Apple. The battery gives hours of working time — perhaps 12 hours would be a fair guess. It has FBReader built in which supports most ebook formats. There is an appalling manual built-in on the screen but you can print it out and work from that.
What is wrong is it is no great improvement in legibility on the iPod and it is inconveniently heavy to carry and use.Significantly, the manufacturer has just cancelled a new model which bodes ill.
It may be all of the enthusiasm for a larger screen and longer battery life will fade away when potential users find what that weighs.
AppleInsider says that earlier reports suggested the initial run in early 2010 would include the production of 300,000 to 400,000 devices for sale.
Rumors as of late have said that Apple has been courting publishers of newspapers and magazines to provide their content on the tablet. The belief is the device would serve as an e-reader, as well as a media player and mobile web browser. Steve Jobs has been unenthusiastic about this project since the very beginning. Now, having extensively tested the Smart! 7 MID, it seems more than probable he was right.