Apple hints at ‘handheld tablet computer’ with European design trademark filing

“Apple has filed for a European design trademark which may provide a tantalising glimpse of the company’s long-awaited tablet computer,” Tony Smith reports for The Register. “The filing, made in May this year but only published this week, covers a ‘handheld computer’ and contains sketches of what look like an iBook screen minus the body of the computer.”

“Back in November 2003, old pal Matthew Rothenberg at eWeek let the cat out of the bag with a “hunch” that Apple has seeded prototype tablet Macs with developers. It used Mac OS X’s Inkwell handwriting recognition technology and a healthy amount of knowledge picked up during the development of the Newton OS. Inkwell has been a part of Apple’s system software since September 2002’s release of Mac OS X 10.2. So far, only graphics tablet users have been able to do anything with it,” Smith reports. “August’s Apple Expo Paris may prove more exciting than previously thought.”

More details and sketches here.


  1. Yeah, good point, max. Very convincing argument.

    While Jobs has gone on record saying he didn’t think a PDA was a viable option for Apple, I can really see something like a wireless drawing slate/touch screen, enabling artists to see the lines they are drawing right where they are drawing them, i.e. like paper! Those Wacom tablets are wonderful, but it is so difficult to be drawing in one place and seeing the reults somewhere else, usually in a completely different size. Who better to make such a specialized device than Apple, especially with their in-built artist/graphic designer market?

  2. We wait for weeks for a half-way decent rumour and suddenly there are two: new iMac specifications and now the iTablet! Such a device would be cool for browsing the Net from a sofa and maybe controlling the Airport Express audio output.

  3. “Apple isn’t going to make a tablet computer or a phone or a PDA”

    But according to the article, the trademark filing refers to a ‘handheld computer’ which is not the same as a “tablet computer or a phone or a PDA”. End of story.

  4. iSlab – Apple’s revolutionary all in one home entertaiment device. Connects to virtually any electronic device wireless or not. Music, video, audio and data all in one islab.

  5. Perhaps it’s a wireless monitor, where your Mac can broadcast a DVD, or movie onto it via Airport Express?

    Given that the iMac will be coming out later this month, this “tablet” won’t be unveiled until early next year. I think Macworld SF….

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