“The Apple tablet has been a topic of discussion ever since Steve Jobs yanked the Newton out of the product line in the late 90’s,” Seth Weintraub reports for Computerworld.Speculation was rejuvenated at last month’s conference call, where Jobs himself was on hand to say of the Netbook category:”

“entrance into that category” is the iPhone. But then he admitted that Apple is going to “wait and see” how the category evolves and “we’ve got some pretty interesting ideas if it does evolve.”

Weintraub reports, “To many, including me, that seemed to scream ‘tablet.’ To get a better idea about this category, however, I talked to Bob Morris, director of platform enablement for ARM’s mobile processor group, who had a wealth of information but (of course) could not speak about anything specific to Apple.”

Weintraub reports, “Here are the reasons, I believe that Apple will choose the ARM platform for their upcoming Netbook/Tablets.”

1. Apple has an internal PA Semi team working on future ARM chips for the iPhone/iPod Touch
2. ARM chips cost an order of magnatude less (to license) than Intel equivalents
3. ARM chips take up less space on a motherboard
4. ARM chips use many times less power, enabling much longer battery life and much sleeker design.
5. You won’t need to virtualize Windows on these types of devices. Most other Apple applications can be easily ported between chips.
6. Apple wants more control over the processors, which it can’t have with Intel.
7. While a variant of the iPhone version of OSX is the most likely of candidates, Snow Leopard’s optimization release might also be for ARM as well.

Much more in the full article here.