back to article Pssst... Apple tablet on way, whisper Chinese moles

A Mac tablet is on the way, according to a China Times report. The Mac tablet has been much speculated about. In this latest incarnation it will be manufactured by Foxconn and have a 9.7in diagonal measure touch screen primarily made by Wintek. Dynapak is also involved in the manufacturing arrangements. The touch screen …


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  1. Giles Jones Gold badge

    Won't be a Mac

    It won't be a Mac if it's using an ARM CPU, more like an iPhone tablet.

  2. Anonymous Coward


    Just a big iPhone with OS X?

  3. Frank Bough

    ...And Why Not?

    Hasn't Apple been banging on to developers for years to use Cocoa so that their apps can be easily compiled to different platforms? What's the big mystery to making a compiler for ARM?

  4. Patrick 14

    It won't be a Mac if it's using an ARM CPU, more like an iPhone tablet.

    I guess the G3 and G4 and G4 ibooks i have owned was not mac's then as they had Power Pc cpu's

    ? what is a MAC apart from a water proof coat lol.....

  5. Anonymous Coward

    But will it run Windows?

    As everyone knows, Windows is THE operating system for small tablet or netbook computers. I hope Cupertino is paying attention to the market on this one and gets with the Redmond program!

    (Joke Alert for the fanbois...)

  6. Anonymous Coward

    Hmmm ...

    Full OS X on an ARM?

  7. Trygve Henriksen
    Jobs Halo

    @Giles Jones:

    What the H! have you smoked?

    Why should the choice of CPU decide whether it's a Mac or not?

    Apple pick the CPU they think is best for a project, and have no hesitation to change CPU when it suits them. In fact, Apple is GOOD at tranistioning from one CPU family to another.

    And the ARM/StrongARM CPU is plenty powerful enough to run a tablet computer.

  8. H 5
    Big Brother

    iPodTouch's BB is on the way

    If its not as capable as a mac-mini then why is it more expensive, the tablet form factor i expect to pay for but if its nothing more than a suped up iPodTouch then Im pretty dissapointed with the rumoured price.

    Having said that id love to get my hands on one.

  9. Anonymous Coward


    courtesy of google

  10. stu 4
    Jobs Horns


    When netbooks came out folk thought they would be used for just surfing the net - so we had basic powered things (via C7, etc) and linux OSes, etc.

    But folk didn't want that. They just wanted a wee computer to do all the stuff they do on their computer.

    So we beefed the screens up, and the processor up to the atom.

    Now they sell like hot cakes ? Why ? Well, like me, I reckon a lot of folk like doing normal computer stuff on it with their regular OS (i.e. XP for most folk). So I use mine to edit my photos and videos on holiday, watch videos on the plane, even playing 720p stuff (good old coreavc).

    It turned out that the key to people buying netbooks in their millions was:

    1) cheapness (I also have a sony picturebook and a UX180... both were arguably better than netbooks, but cost 2K each and were not big sellers... but the picture book was from 2000! netbooks are nothing new - only the price is new!)

    2) versatility to do everything you normally do on your PC, not just a browser (and the failure of linux on mainstream netbooks shows this too).

    Apple, will be ignoring this and jumping back 5 years to the 'internet tablet' era of nokia, pocketsurfer, etc al... personally I'd don't get it... I mean IF it runs real OSX (i.e. I can run regular universal apps on it... not the OSXlite of the iphone) then fine... but if user can't run their iLife apps and iWorks, etc.... have we just gone back 5 years ???

    Personally I'll stick with me hackbook.


  11. ThomH

    @Giles Jones

    It could easily be a Mac. Up to 10.4, each version of the OS was faster than the previous — albeit with an ever larger memory footprint. 10.3 used to run very well on the ~600Mhz PowerPCs of 2002 and I'll bet they can easily fit that sort of computing power into a multicore ARM now, especially with a massive (by 2002 standards) wodge of RAM, while simultaneously taking advantage of Apple's dedication to offloading work onto the GPU and even the GPU in the iPhone now being fully programmable.

    That said, I'm not willing to put much much faith into this sort of rumour. And though I'm sure it would be an interesting device, I wouldn't buy one as I'm never anywhere where something smaller than a laptop but too large to fit in my pocket would be at all useful.

  12. Dave Fox
    Jobs Halo

    Why not?

    Why wouldn't it be a Mac purely because it was using an Arm CPU?

    68000-based Macs were Macs

    Power-based Macs were Macs

    Intel-based Macs are Macs

    So why shouldn't an Arm-based "Mac" be a Mac? Yes, it may well be architecturally similar to an iPhone, but what really matters here is what applications will be available for the platform and whether the OS is more closely aligned to Mac OS X than OS X iPhone. Given that most iPhone apps are designed for a relatively low resolution screen, and that I'd expect this new device to support higher resolutions, it is likely to be somewhat a hybrid of the two.

  13. richard 69
    Thumb Down


    another month, another set of apple netbook/tablet rumors...i remember reading about apple tablets 'on their way, anytime now' about 10 years would this product enhance their range? a larger ipod touch yes, a tablet? hmmm..

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Hey sounds good...

    At least the price on a MacBook might drop a little bit, been thinking about getting one for ages, but not at the price they are now! If this thing comes to fruition, then shelves will need clearing to make way for it!

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Horns


    I can exclusively reveal this tablet will be running NewtOS. Apple have not yet decided whether to christen it the iNewt or the newtPhone. Someone slipped the changes through whilst Stevey boy was tom'n'dick.

  16. Anonymous Coward

    @Trygve Henriksen

    "Apple pick the CPU they think is best for a project, and have no hesitation to change CPU when it suits them. In fact, Apple is GOOD at tranistioning from one CPU family to another."

    I guess that depends on what you mean by 'good', I certainly agree with you that they have a lot of experience in doing it. Whether it's a 'good' thing for the customers who gets left behind architecture vise, that's another question.

    Oh well, at least there are still linux distro's made for powerpc :)

  17. Torben Mogensen

    With no confirmation ...

    ... it is just a repetition of the rumours about a netbook-sized iPod Touch that have been circulating for about a year now. I find it plausible, except that I don't think the screen will be more than 8" and $800 is too high for the price. A 32GB iPod Touch is $399 at the Apple store, so I doubt a larger version will be much more than $500, even if it has a better CPU, more RAM and more flash. I expect new version of the standard-sized iPod Touch to come out at the same time, and they will probably have better specifications than the current models at roughly the same prices. My guesses at prices for new models (all sporting new CPUs) would be:

    - Normal size, 16GB: $199

    - Normal size, 32GB: $299

    - Normal size, 64GB: $399

    - Large size (6-8", 640x480 resolution), 64GB: $499

    - Large size, 96GB: $599

  18. Stu

    I think you're all missing Giles Jones' point...

    Giles didn't say MacOS runs on Intel/Power PC only, he merely said ARM CPUs aren't suitable for full fat MacOS, and he's right.

    ...ARMs are traditionally put into ultramobile devices below that of ultraportable laptops, eg. mobile phones, MP3 players, iPhone etc. As a result, they don't run straightforward MacOS, but, say, iPhoneOS - a massively slimmed down version of MacOS.

    Intel Core or PowerPCs are geared towards full desktop and laptop spec systems and are geared for full-fat MacOS and whilst MacOS might run on an ARM CPU, it wouldn't be the fastest experience in the world. Similar to how Vista/W7 might run on an underclocked Intel Atom.

    Mind you the distinction is definitely blurring now the 3Gs has that blinding ARM Cortex CPU!


    I for one would love to see an ARM based Apple tablet running, perhaps some derivative mini MacOS similar to iPhoneOS! If they maintain a certain compatibility level with iPhone applications (maybe running in a window on the tablet), all the better.

  19. Bad Beaver

    @ richard 69

    You beat me to it. Being a long time Newton user I would of course welcome Apple to reenter the market with a new take, 'cause if there's anyone who can put some sense into that difficult segment it's Apple. Nevertheless, I've been "watching this space" for years. It gets old.

  20. Anonymous Coward

    RE: translation

    AC gave us a URL - the original doc, translated by Google.

    Nice job Google. When I understand the translation, I'll let you know.

    It contains such gems as:

    " Apple Computer as a result of small amounts of electricity has its unique planning, in the past also reported the news of a number of design changes, so time to market changes frequently, but some suppliers this year, pointed out that Apple's plans to small no change is expected in September, will begin in October officially shipped. "


  21. John Savard

    Not likely to be interested

    If it were a "real computer", that is, if anyone can develop applications for it, as they can for the Macintosh, for Windows, and for Linux, I'd be interested. So I'm underwhelmed by Google's Chrome OS, which only runs web applications, and by the iPhone, which runs only approved applications. So far, the rumors don't sound encouraging.

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    music store / app store ... book store?

    If these rumours turn out to be fact, it does indeed make complete sense for Apple.

    Imagine an iPod Touch screen the size of a small paperback - roughly the screen real estate of 4 iPhones and about the same thickness - something that can be slung into a bag/handbag/brief case.

    We've now got a product that does everything the iPod Touch can do, but with a screen comfortable enough to read a book from.

    Add in the proven content distribution method - access Book Store directly from device, or via iTunes - and you have a winner.

    I don't think it would take much for Apple to convince the major publishing houses to come onboard, given thier proven track record in the music industry.

    The size would also be perfect for watching video.

    I don't know about you, but watching anything more than 5 minutes of video content on a screen the size of an iPod touch gives me a headache - but them, at 41, I'm over the hill already.

    I think there's a market for it.

  23. Trygve Henriksen


    Of course the ARM is powerful enough to run a proper OS.

    My Psion S5 had an 18MHz ARM chip.

    My Psion netBook has a 190MHz StrongARM, and it can decode and play 12bit mono .MP3 files without dedicated HW. It can also handle 'quite large' WP documents, or a number of other tasks.

    And no, that one didn't have a GPU to offload the work on the screen.

    Push a StrongARM up to 'modern speeds' and it should be able to do quite a lt more.

    Mine's the coat with a very, very large pocket...

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Horns

    Won't run Snow Leopard...

    ...if it's ARM-based:

    It's Intel-only from now on with full-fat OS X.

  25. Michael C

    NO netbooks...

    Apple made it VERY clear there would NOT be an Apple netbook. They DESPISE the term, and the form factor, and the use cases for it.

    Apple has noted they're working on a tablet, yes. There's also patent applications out for integrating multi-touch into OS X. WHY would you think a 10" machine would NOT run OS X, if they have patents to put touch into the OS? Also, the CPU they have developed is likely NOT for this machine. It's likely for the also rumored 6-7" Media Tablet, completely different from their notebook tablet rumors. It's also a CPU for future iPhiones. It's 300% more powerful than Arm, native 64 bit, and uses a similar thermal envelope and power draw, and it can integrate nicely with a GPU as well. It's a natural fit for a much more powerful iPhone package formatted around a much higher resolution screen and improved 3D gaming, yet a system still small enough to be easily portable.

    However, using PA Semi's new chip for a full OS X implementation would limit the tablet to internet, picture management, and some media capabilities, but would greatly detract from the other appeals of the OS (video editing and such), and would also prevent Windows and Linux virtualization on the platform.

    I think we're looking at 2 rumors for 2 different products: a 10" tablet that runs on a similar platform to the white macbook, but without an included DVD drive, and runs the full suite of Mac OS X, and a seperate product that is a smaller form factor running on their new chip, and being targeted as a protable game and media player, and running on something very similar to the iPhone OS (possibly with some additional file editing capabilities, and some local addressable file storage)

  26. Dennis 1

    Infra Red

    Will it come with an IR device.

    It would make the mother of all living room devices...

    Multi purpose remotecontrol/eMagazine/eBookphotodisplay thingy.

  27. mwk

    More like a giant iPod Touch

    though the idea of someone walking along holding a 10 inch screen to their ear is appealing.

  28. Matthew LaShure

    It's interesting...

    ...that some of you people actually think Apple won't price gounge this just like they do with EVERY OTHER PRODUCT they have ever released.

    Yes, I know that the $800 price mark may seem a bit high, but that's what Apple is all about, setting price marks that are severly higher than what the spec's say they should be. If this isn't just another rumor, and does prove to be true, Apple will take the chance to get every last penny out of every last person willing to buy this before dropping the price.

    I try not to rant too much, but when people actually sit there thinking that Apple isn't going to price-gouge there latest product, it makes me sick...

  29. magnetik

    @Matthew LaShur

    "that's what Apple is all about, setting price marks that are severly higher than what the spec's say they should be"

    Since when do the components of a product "say" what the price should be? What a stupid statement !

    How DARE M&S charge more for pies with the same "specs" as Tescos pies !?? It makes me even angrier to think they could *buy the ingredients and make the pie themselves* for much cheaper !!! :-D

  30. Matthew LaShure


    "It makes me even angrier to think they could *buy the ingredients and make the pie themselves* for much cheaper !!! :-D"

    That's the thing, you can't buy the ingrediants for a Mac and make it yourself. OSX is not sold retail, and the terms of using OSX state that you can only use it on a Mac branded machine.

  31. Bad Beaver

    @ Matthew LaShure

    Get a life.

  32. Random Coolzip


    "I wouldn't buy one as I'm never anywhere where something smaller than a laptop but too large to fit in my pocket would be at all useful."

    Ah, but Apple's industrial design team has that problem licked: the iTote, a new bandolier-styled thingy, first in the new iWear (or wearWare, still niggling over that) line of accessories. Cooler than a messenger bag, it sports an integrated WiFi detector and flexible solar cells for Big Room charging. Complete with dedicated iPhone pocket and iPad (whoops! pretend you didn't read that!) pouch, iTote will make clumsy belt holsters and saggy, bulgy shirt pockets the objects of scorn they deserve to be!

  33. Bad Beaver

    @ Matthew LaShure

    STFU! You can buy OS X retail and if desperate you can haX0r your own Mac together no problem. You just don't really want to do that due to the iffy hardware "support". The reason that Macs work well is that Apple has a lot of control over the hardware. That is why you buy a Mac in the first place over some frankensteined homebrew your little cousin made from leftovers in his den. You're free not to like Apple's business model, go and buy something else.

  34. magnetik

    @Matthew LaShure

    Er, I think you'll find plenty of people using the likes of EFI-X and building their own machines perfectly legitimately. As pointed out by others, Apple would have a hard time enforcing their EULA for a home-built machine.

    Anyway you completely missed the point, and the pie analogy clearly went way over your head. Why should any manufacturer sell their product at a price *you* think they should based on what you know about the price of their components?

    There's a lot more to a product than it's specifications. No wonder you don't understand why people buy Apple products.

  35. Andre Thenot

    I call it...

    ...the MacTouch

  36. David Halko

    Perhaps it will be...

    Perhaps it will be an Apple Notepad or Apple Legal Pad.

    If it fits into a manila envelope, like the Apple MacBook Air, it could be very interesting!

  37. Goat Jam
    Jobs Halo

    Giles is right

    It won't be a mac if it's running ARM.

    Apple wouldn't want to tarnish their "It just works" marketing by having hordes of confused mactards trying to load all their run-of-the-mill mac apps onto the tablet only to discover "well no, it doesn't just bloody work".

  38. Anonymous Coward

    @ magnetik & Bad Bear & fanbois...

    I'm pretty sure Matthew LaShure was just saying that Apples are more expensive then similar hardware running Windows or Linux.

    Personally, I hate how any apple device has become almost a fashion accessory such as the generic fanboi quote shows: "I have an iMacTouchPod so i'm better then you then your M$ windoze penguin heap of sh1t!!!!!!!!"

    Its running on an ARM to just make all those iPhone apps work on it so a mixture of OS X and iPhone OS 3.0 so everything works. Or maybe it's just OS X with an iPhone emulator. As long as it "just works" then the fanbois won't make like lemmings off a cliff.

    Personally I don't see the point in building an apple slab. I've never seen any tablet PC first hand running any OS although that may be because I come from the wilderness of Northern Ireland.

    A.C. because I don't want to be knocked out with a slab (apple, concrete or otherwise) by fanbois like that policeman on Monday.

    What poncy beer is this? Where's the Guinness?

  39. Tony Paulazzo
    Gates Halo

    Wow - fanbois

    The mac is crap! iStuff retarded. Bill Gates is God! and we've got the Archos9 (9" tablet) coming real soon, with Win7 installed for £450 Sterling. We win, you lose.

    Jeez, telling someone to get a life because they told the truth about Apple pricing, 'Hey kettle, this is pot, you're black!'

    Hey, and guess what, Google is evil / good!

  40. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    AC 01:38

    See here's the thing. I rarely see an Apple fanboi suggest that "M$ Windoze Sux!!!" Infact, it's the wintards that normally type that. Take at the post directly below yours for an example of this.

    Why can't a device be a fashion accessory? Does it make the device any less functional? The price that Apple set it's products at is obviously OK, because people keep buying their products. That's the simple theory of supply and demand. Generally speaking, Apples products are reasonably competative. Yes, you can buy cheaper, but you really do get what you pay for. Take the often accused of being over-priced Macbook Air against it's competitor from Dell, the Adamo. The 2.13GHz Air will set you back £1,349. Pricey. The equivalent Dell, the 1.4GHz Adamo costs £1,899! And Apple "fleece" their customers? Comparing a Vostro/Studio/Inspiron to a Macbook Pro is like comparing a Ford Focus to an E-Class Merc. The Focus is still an excellent car. It cost a lot less than the Merc, but the E-Class feels better and looks better. It's made with better quality components too. Compare the Macbook Pro range to Dell's Latitude/Precision/XPS range, which is where Apple have positioned the Pro. You'll find the prices are very competitive, and in most cases, the Mac is cheaper. At this price point, Dell also match Apple for quality of finish and components. Ditto the all-in-ones.

  41. Anonymous Coward


    $800 = £490. So that's a £40 difference - not to mention that $800 is only a rumoured price (hell, the device is only a *rumour*). I'm sure that an Apple designed an built device would be worth the extra £40, but the I am, by youtr definition, a "fanboy", what are you? WRONG! That's it...

  42. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Halo

    @Tony Paulazzo

    Archos, and win, in the same paragraph.

    Aha. Ahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha etc.

  43. Tony Paulazzo

    Fanbois (part two)

    Maybe, should'a used the joke icon. I've got an Emac in my spare bedroom that my neice uses, a desktop dual booting Ubuntu and Win7RC - mostly games, and my main work laptop with Vista (preinstalled), but yea, mostly I'm a Winblows fanboi, but above that I'm a computer nerd. Which means I also retract my previous cost analysis thanks to a quick Google search.

    @ AC, what's wrong with Archos? - never had one, no interest before, but I so want a tablet PC and true, not read any in depth reviews of something apparently coming out in a few months, but it looks so cool. I'm gonna wait till I find out more about it, like battery life, power to run apps etc.

    Let's face it. PC tablets are just so star trek.

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