Apple has reportedly selected Taiwan’s Foxconn to build its long-rumored tablet PC and e-book reader, which some reports variously suggest could be launched in September or maybe early next year. Or possibly never. Your guess is as good as that of this writer. Possibly better.
Foxconn, part of Taiwan’s Hon Hai group, has already worked with Apple to produce the iPhone, various iPod models and the Mac mini.
It was the company involved with the reported suicide early this month of a Chinese worker, following the reported loss of a new iPhone prototype and a subsequent beating by company security operatives. Foxconn has since agreed to pay his family compensation.
The latest reports come from the Taiwan Chinese-language newspaper Apple Daily. They quote industry sources as saying that Wintek will supply the tablet’s expected 10-inch touch-sensitive display.
Apple has declined to confirm whether it is indeed planning a tablet PC. Even if it is, no confirmation is likely before the actual release ceremony.
Meanwhile, speculation is reaching fever pitch, worldwide. In London, the Financial Times said the device would have the same capabilities as the iPodTouch, but the larger screen would make the gadget better for watching video or reading electronic books, delivered by Wi-Fi, as well as playing new music albums.
Who knows, all this may be true. One thing is certain, if it works as promised, it will destroy the opposition. The Kindle will go down in flames because it simply is not easy to read. This writer now reads pretty much all novels on an iPod Touch. Make the screen bigger and it will be irresistable.
In the US, the web site Apple Insider reckons the tablet is a fact but won’t hit the market until the first quarter of next year. It has published a sketch, pictured, that it believes the tablet may resemble. And it claims Apple chief Steve Jobs dumped an original plan to use an Intel Atom processor in favour of Apple’s own design based on ARM technology. Apple last year spent US$278 million to acquire fabless chip designer PA Semi.