RUMOR: Apple’s 9.7-in. OLED, 10.6-in. TFT LCD tablet models delayed from March to second half 2010

MacMall 96 Hour Apple Sale“Apple reportedly plans to postpone the launch of its tablet PC from an original March launch schedule to the second half of 2010, as the vendor has decided to switch some components and plans to launch a model using a 9.7-inch OLED panel from LG Display, according to sources from component makers,” Max Wang and Joseph Tsai report for DigiTimes.

Wang and Tsai report that Apple will offer two tablet models, “one of which will have a 10.6-inch TFT LCD panel while the other will have a 9.7-inch OLED panel. LG Display currently is making OLED panels using its 4.5G production line and LG Display’s five-year US$500 million panel purchasing contract with Apple includes supply of OLED panels, the sources pointed out.”

The retail price of the 9.7-inch OLED panel model is said by DigiTimes’ sources to be around US$2,000. “The price could be more flexible if bundled with telecom providers’ 3G services,” Wang and Tsai report. “Meanwhile, the 10.6-inch LCD panel-based Apple tablet PC is expected to priced in the US$800-1,000 range.”

Full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Fred Mertz” for the heads up.]

38 Comments

  1. I can’t believe any screen with a wholesale price over $200 would be possible for inclusion in an iTab. I mean, think about it, if the screen is the most expensive component, and costs 50% of materials, that would make the device’s material cost over $400. If that is about half the final retail cost, as is typical with Apple products, because you have to factor in labor, marketing, shipping, R&D;, etc., then that would put retail pricing at over $800, which is right in the ballpark of what we are expecting. So, the screen can’t cost more than $200, and a rumored OLED of $2000 is just not possible, even if Apple were to get their substantial discount, for prepaying $500M to LG for screens.

  2. There’s no way Apple is going to make two tablets with only 1 inch difference in screen size and two different types of screens. That’s a colossal waste of resources.

    Too many crossed wires in this “rumor” to be even remotely true.

  3. To those (like KenC) who think a $2,000 OLED screen is not a reasonable option, I quote: “The retail price of the 9.7-inch OLED panel model is said by DigiTimes’ sources to be around US$2,000.” … my bolds. It is not the “screen” that costs $2,000 but the entire computer.
    For those (like CYxodus) who think two screen sizes is unrealistic, I point out that Apple may not be able to make that $2,000 price point with a 10″ OLED screen! Though, they would save a little on less-lilliputian parts elsewhere.
    Yet … here we are, talking about a hypothetical product as if it needs to follow certain sensible rules. Seriously? OK, let’s do this.
    A 9″ to 13″ “tablet” would go up against the sub-$600 PC tablets already out there. While you can ask an “Apple Tax” of an extra $100-$200 for that, asking $2,000 isn’t going to fly. That puts it in the same market as the ultra-portables like the MBA. With what added bonus? Can you “pocket” a 9.7″ screen? Maybe in a ski parka!
    OK. Done. Can we get back to real products, products from Apple or its more or less direct competition, now?

  4. Wired magazine had a good take on this “story,” saying that it will only be available at the Atlantis Apple Store, which is staffed by unicorns.

    How in the hell is a product that exists only in the minds of journalists and oft-malinged analysts supposed to be “delayed”? While I’m sure that Apple is developing something that might fit in with some or even many of the rumors going around, it’s ludicrous to start freaking out about whatever that product might be getting “delayed” from an imaginary release date.

    This is why we need to teach critical thinking skills in school.

  5. Reasonably-informed people know that June always has been one possible release date for an Apple tablet, depending on the terms of the existing ATT contract. While a new tablet may or may not double as a cell phone, any successful tablet must have WiFi, an option for bundled cellular service and a few bundled media subscriptions (perhaps 2-3 daily newspapers and a magazine or two, for instance).

    Why June? This is believed to be the expiration date of the ATT iPhone contract, but of course, this has never been verified. So, depending on the terms, the tablet could be offered as a Spring, early Summer or (back-to-school) Fall product.

    As for two tablets? It is conceivable that Apple could produce an e-ink-only (grayscale-only) reader tablet AND an alternative, full-color (LCD or OLED) tablet, but the company would never produce similarly-sized, competing LCD-OLED tablets. Apple also could be developing an OLED alternative that is destined to become a generation two or three device that eventually (a year or two later) would be offered at the same price as the first-generation product.

    It’s more likely that we’re just starting to hear many different rumors that somehow are inadvertently being folded together…

  6. OLED is not a better technology. Just ask anyone with a ZuneHD. OLEDs, operating at their supposed energy efficient levels can only be read/seen in low light situations. The brighter the surroundings, the more power the device has to push through the screen in order for it to be read, thus ending it’s power efficiency.

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