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Is a Bigger iPod On The Way?

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David Silversmith
David Silversmith

Rumors are swirling that a large screen iPod touch device will be released in the Fall of 2009. Various industry sources are reporting that this new Apple Tablet will have with a 7 or 9 inch screen.

Now before you put your plans on hold and skip buying a Netbook or an iPod consider that these rumors have swirled for years!

    * 2008 - Rumor: Tablet Mac coming this fall (updated 5x)
    * 2007 - No rumors, but a contest to design what you think the Apple Tablet should look like
    * 2007 - Up next for Apple: the return of the Newton  - Consider yourself a true Apple fan if you have any conscious memory of the Newton - Apple's 1990s PDA.
    * 2006 - Apple tablet coming soon?

Granted - the Apple Tablet rumors are getting stronger.  Techcunch claims that "prototypes have been seen and handled by one of our sources."  Additional confirmation is coming from various manufacturers in Asia that have reported that they are in discussions to build a new tablet device for Apple.  Those manufacturers are probably key to the potential success of this device as the price point and production capacity could be the limiting factors in how many Apple Tablets could be sold.

So as with any purchase of technology you have to ask "Do I buy what is on the market today, or wait for the next great thing?"  Well, if the industry pundits and technology leakers are accurate - here is what you can expect from an Apple Tablet:

    * A 7 to 9 inch screen
    * Full support for the iTunes app store with its thousands of games and other applications that are perfect for a touch screen device with an accelerometer.  Yes gamers are drooling over the idea of those games on a larger screen!
    * If the chip matters to you, this could be the first Apple product to surface with a chip designed by P.A. Semi, a company that Apple now owns.

Of course, even more important than the features are the price and the release date.  Price is probably the easier of the two to estimate as you have to look at the space between the iPod Touch and the MacBook so estimates are in the $500 - $700 USD range.  A 4th quarter 2009 release would make this a possible holiday item - but without manufacturers lined up, early 2010 appears to be more likley.

Today's netbooks have cramped keyboards, terrible software and small screens. If anybody can turn around that consumer experience, it is Apple.  But how long will the wait be?



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