RUMOR: Apple tablet to cost $700-$1000, feature new touch gestures, Multi-Touch™ version of iWork

Christmas PD5FM $10 discount“Recently, anticipation for new tablet computers has been almost absurdly focused on the magical product that people expect to emanate from the mind of Apple’s chief executive, Steven P. Jobs,” Brad Stone and Nick Bilton report for The New York Times. “Analysts who have spoken to Asian component suppliers now think that an Apple tablet will ship by the end of March, and that Apple will hold an event to introduce a new product by the end of this month.”

“But Apple’s tablet may not end up dominating the emerging market for tablets, as some seem to expect. One reason is price. Analysts think the Apple tablet could cost anywhere from $700 to $1,000,” Stone and Bilton report. “Conversations with several former Apple engineers who worked on the long-gestating tablet also suggest that Apple may be asking users to learn a somewhat complex new vocabulary of finger gestures to control it, making use of technology it acquired in the 2007 purchase of a company called FingerWorks.”

“‘The tablet should offer any number of unique multitouch experiences — for example, three fingers down and rotate could mean ‘open an application,’’ said one former engineer, who asked not to be named because Apple demands secrecy from all current and former employees,” Stone and Bilton report. “Another former Apple designer said a team at the company had ‘spent the past couple of years working on a multitouch version of iWork,’ Apple’s answer to Microsoft’s Office software suite. This could indicate that Apple wants the tablet to be a fully functional computer, rather than a more passive device for reading books and watching movies. That could help justify a higher price.”

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Take the word of “former” Apple employees with a truckload of salt. For crying out loud, beleaguered Palm is a dumping ground for former Apple employees. The Times’ sources likely haven’t worked on the tablet project. For all we know, the last thing they worked on at Apple could have been System 7. Even if their information comes from talking with their successful friends who still work at Apple, they may be getting quite a bit wrong, as Jobs doles out info in compartmentalized fashion, so only a few people at the very top really know exactly what a project in development is truly meant to be when finished.


  1. I already have tablet fatigue. What about Apple’s other products?

    While Apple is creatively leaking information about the tablet, what are they doing that we’re not paying attention to?

  2. We’ve known iWork is better than Office for a while now.

    We also know that Apple sucks at Windows Apps, but hey, if this thing got iWork some traction, I would LOVE to see a Windows version of iWork to really take it to MS.

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  3. Quite a while back a current Apple top person said the tablet would be good for creating content. Not just imbibing media. Capable of real work. Going to be wonderful!

  4. For me, it would be useless if it WASN’T a fully functional computer. I certainly don’t need or want another “entertainment device.”

    The more I hear the more I believe that this would be something I could really use.

  5. @Mike,

    I don’t think Apple will release an official Windowss version of iWork.
    They would, IMO, try to popularize the online version of that suite.
    The cloud! The integration of iWork and MobileMe… That’s the next step.

  6. @TowerTone,

    The gestures will not be complex at all. Trust Apple. They know what they’re doing.
    They came up with the iPod click wheel, which was new and so intuitive.
    Another example is zooming a picture with your iPhone/iPod touch.
    These features are so natural to the users. Expect any new UI to be as easy to use.

  7. @scott: Ever heard of NDAs? Even if you don’t work there, they can still sue you.

    That said, Jon Rubinstein (Mac/iPod tech) and Fred Anderson (CFO) at Palm were part of the Jobs inner circle when Apple’s digital strategy started, so of all outsiders, they have the best insight into Apple’s earlier thinking. Rubinstein was squeezed out when Apple started on the iPhone, so his knowledge may now be dated.

    The only other person from the early 00’s inner circle no longer at Apple is Avie Tevanian (Mac OS). I think he’s in venture capital now.

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