Apple could fill a significant void in its year of the tablet

Black Friday Apple Blowout - Part III“In less that three weeks, we bid adieu to 2009 and say hello to 2010,” Eric Savitz writes for Barron’s. “For tech investors, we get the straight dope on the mysterious, but by all accounts real, tablet project at Apple.”

“Slowly, Wall Street is putting together a picture of the Apple tablet. The conventional wisdom is that, while Apple CEO Steve Jobs and others in the Cupertino politburo consistently say derogatory things about netbooks, there really is an opportunity for the company in that vast empty space between its high-end iPod Touch at around $400 and the low-end MacBook at $1,000,” Savitz writes. “There’s a belief the new device will be more iPod than Mac, with no keyboard, and with significant ties to the App Store. A number of analysts have asserted that the iTablet, or whatever it will be called, will have a 10-inch screen, about the same as a netbook, but one that, like the iPod Touch and the iPhone, relies on touch and gestures. It could be the perfect device for watching video, playing games, reading books and magazines, and surfing the Web.”

Savitz writes, “Depending on how the tablet is priced, it could make a huge dent in the currently red-hot e-book reader market.”

MacDailyNews Take: Define “red-hot.” We’ve seen no hard sales figures on eBook readers beyond the #1 eBook readers, Apple’s iPhone and iPod touch. “Selling out” is meaningless, if we don’t know how many they offered for sale.

Savitz continues, “Apple’s tablet is likely to be based on a variation of either the Mac OS or the iPhone OS and will have the ability for full-scale Web surfing, movie watching and game playing. Seems like no contest.”

MacDailyNews Take: Again, it already is no contest: Kindle, Schmindle: Apple’s iPhone and iPod touch rule eBook market. There’s a reason why Amazon keeps improving their Kindle app for iPhone and iPod touch.

Savitz continues, “Keith Bachman, an analyst with BMO Capital, asserted in a report last week that the device is likely to sell for $700 to $800, but that a [carrier] subsidy of $200 to $300 per unit could bring the end-market price down to the $400-to-$600 range. That would put the tablet’s price above e-book readers and netbooks but below low-end Macbooks.”

“There are other things for Apple holders to look forward to in 2010, but the tablet is the real mystery,” Savitz writes. “If it catches on, Apple could sell them by the zillions and drive consensus estimates for GAAP (or generally accepted accounting principles) earnings for fiscal 2011 north of $10 a share. While the stock has doubled off the bottom, and now hovers a hair below $200, with a market cap of $175 billion, Apple in that scenario actually looks reasonably priced at about 20 times earnings per share.”

Much more in the full article here.

22 Comments

  1. I’d still like to see a potential Tablet Bluetooth-enabled, and encourage 3rd-party peripherals like a portable keyboard for those who don’t like the touch-screen variety…but that’s just my $0.02…

  2. If and when TabletMac makes its debut it will quickly replace the low end Mac Book. So I wouldn’t be surprised to see it priced comparable to the white Mac Book.

    Jobs will make the case for its price in the manner he did when introduced the iPhone; comparing the tremendous value of his all-in-one device with existing technology.

    It could be introduced as early as the Spring, but I believe it will make its debut to cooincide with the opening of their flagship data center.

    When Apple combines the hardware with the software (tablet and cloud) Jobs will have solidfied his place in history right along side those we currently celebrate.

    This will be his finest hour and TabletMac will be his swan song.

    Yes, I’ve been on a kool-aid binge since last night.

  3. The first time I read this I thought he called it the MacBook touch – not supported be a second read-through. Well, I’m certain we’ll get a better picture of its place in the line-up when/IF it is announced. The MacBook touch? The iPhone maximus? The iTablet/MacTab? And we are told what its relationship to the app store is.

  4. “Slowly, Wall Street is putting together a picture of the Apple tablet.”
    That may be so, but that doesn’t mean Apple is.

    (But maybe Wall Street will manufacture, market, and sell the “Apple tablet”, too?)

    It’s amazing how much hype has surrounded a product that Apple has never publicly expressed any interest in making.

    This mythical creature has been given life, with rumours of its design, power, shipping delays, and debates about its features and lack of features.

    People, so far, this thing <u>does not exist!</u>

  5. Remember what Steve said during the interview in the recent music event? It’s all about positioning. The reason why they didn’t put a camera in the iPod Touch is that they know how to position themselves for the market. I think sales of the iPhone might be affected if they included a video camera with the iPod Touch, which is a capable pocket computer and runs the same OS.

    I think the price point of $500-800 is still quite logical, should Apple plan to launch a product that can fill in this gap. Whether the features and hardware is as predicted by “analysts” is another issue.

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