Mythical iTablet Suffering Mythical Delays Due to Addition of Expensive OLED Screen?

Mac Touch Concept Rendering

Apple has yet to announce an iTablet, which is good because the supposed universe dent'er is supposedly suffering a supposed "delay" -- getting pushed back from early to late 2010 so that Apple can supposedly add a supposedly expensive, LG-crafted OLED (organic light emitting diode) screen to the mythical mix.

At 9.7 inches, it would cost $500 for the panel, and bump the entire kit up to a $1500 or $1700 price point. So much for the imaginary device filling a slot between the sub-$500 iPod touch/iPhone and the $1000 MacBook, right?

A cheaper 10.6 inch device is also rumored to be in the imaginary pipeline for that, somewhere over $800. Both could get "cheaper" (front facing consumer price-wise) if they run 3G and are subsidized by a telco, like the iPhone is by AT&T.

There were OLED rumors for the iPhone 3GS earlier this year (with iTablet chatter attached), which of course didn't pan out (though they did for the Zune HD). Would Apple go big on OLED for an iTablet before they go small, and presumably more affordable, with the iPhone? Especially if it delays something that's had no public mention and certainly no release date attached to it? (Insert Microsoft Pink references here).

Either way, you want OLED?

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Rene Ritchie

EiC of iMore, EP of Mobile Nations, Apple analyst, co-host of Debug, Iterate, Vector, Review, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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Reader comments

Mythical iTablet Suffering Mythical Delays Due to Addition of Expensive OLED Screen?


Want OLED? Couldn't care less. Question should be why does Apple feel they need it? Is it because it saves some much needed battery life? Does the OLED do something else for the device that a regular LED can't? Is it a quality or durability issue? Does it drive down their component costs for other devices (next gen iPhone/Touch) if they go this route? Got to wonder what's really behind this if it is true.

I would rather pay much less money. Like the $700 price range would be perfect but $1500? I'd really have to think hard. I wouldn't be the first to buy. I'd wait and hear other peoples reactions first

Is it possible that Apple is planning on two versions of the tablet - one with the OLED and one without? Makes sense to me to have a regular tablet at the cheaper price point, but also allow fanboys to pay a premium for an iTouch Pro with a fancy OLED.

I want OLED. It looks better than TFT-LCD, significantly better unless under direct sun-light.
But I live in my parents' basement and refuse to go out if possible so sun-light is a rare thing to come by.
Also it's not like LCD looks smashing under the sun anyway, though under the same condition OLED is plain unusable.

Just one more reason why a giant iPod touch makes no sense... unless it powers larger desktop applications (iLife, iWork, Office, etc.).
The addition of e-books, comic books, and other print media alone isn't going to attract enough people who will spend this kind of money.
There's HAS to more to this thing.

Well yeah after many watched that Six Sense is coming out Open Source people Apple probably decided hm...maybe iTablet will not be a good idea after all?
Read it yesterday on mwd

@ joseph -thanx for that video that was amazing what he came up with.
-Sry every1 for going off topic.
As for a $1500.00 iTablet it better be somthing mind blowing not just a pretty screen. Unless this lotto ticket comes thru for me.

i am trying to understand the appeal of a tablet outside being used by businessmen and artists. without a physical keyboard it doesn't strike me as a very practical device to use by the average person daily other than being an overgrown iPod Touch.

Reports of an iTablet suggest it falls into an odd more-than-an-iphone but less-than-a-mac hole, satisfying the primary users of neither group without adding a heck of a lot on its own. I have to agree with fastlane here -- if the iTablet is legitimate, there has to be more to it than what we have seen so far.

Look. You're confused at what the purpose of the tablet is? People are paying hundreds of dollars for a crappy, monochrome Amazon Kindle that does just one thing: display book pages. The iTablet is, at a minimum, there to destroy other eReaders including the Barnes and Noble one.
Second market for the iTablet is netbooks. You guys seem to completely not understand that market and just how robust it is. So far Apple has zero presence in the netbooks category, and it is a large and growing one. The iTablet will also destroy competitors here, as a far more capable internet surfing and emailing device with much better graphics capability and Apps to boot, leveraging the App store in a new consumer product category.
Key to the success of both of these iTablet's uses is that it not reach laptop prices, and that it remain very portable. Only a complete moron would say that they're going to cost over $1000, that totally destroys the purpose of the thing. It must by necessity be priced between $499 and $899. That also rules out OLED, though internally Apple is trying to move mountains to get OLED on the next iPhone for the very substantial battery savings.
Speculation is fun, but speculation about $500 screens on a $1500 eReader/Netbook is dumb.

Everyone I know who owns a netbook uses it as a notetaking device in class. How is a tablet, which presumably has no physical keyboard, going to surpass netbooks in this regard? Even if it has a stylus, I won't be able to enter text as fast as on a physical keyboard.

Adding a physical keyboard is easy, they can do it any number of ways from a bluetooth enabled portable one (the kind you can simply roll up) to one a tablet can "mate" with physically so that it looks like a laptop. These are all peripherals, can easily fit in a bag for those who must have a physical keyboard. The rest of the time when they don't need to type as much, e.g. when reading their notes or just making edits or doing research or reading their virtual textbook, it's all done directly on the tablet. And that takes care of students--the rest of the market for netbooks, mainly professionals who don't do typing-intensive tasks or people who just take it on the road for emailing etc., they won't ever need the keyboard at all.
IMO the iTablet is a terrific idea with a ready customer base, and Apple is perfectly positioned to produce the gadget that will meet it. No way will they drop the ball on this.

@Arti (apologies if I am putting words in fastlane or anybody else's mouth)
Nobody is confused at how a mythical iTablet could be pointed at those markets, but rather we are waiting to see a winning product coalesce -- how Apple will either meet the price points ($250 for reader, $300-$500 for netbooks) expected in those markets or identify enough extra value in an iTablet to justify a price premium to a budget-conscious audience.
The market for netbooks, particularly, is not driven by performance, but primarily by price, portability, and battery life. A 10" iTablet "with better graphics" seems to go against the grain in all three.
Since we have not seen anything (yes, opinion) in speculated-upon-designs to crack those markets, and we think that Apple more often than not has their head on straight, we think think there has to be more to it -- that Apple is either has something hidden from the pundits to allow it to attack better the netbook/ereader markets, or they are going after some blue ocean with a new category of device. Either way, we are waiting to see more.

I had the omnia HD with OLED screen befor my current 3gs and it was the best screen I have saw on a mobile device and I have had a few the 3gs screen was seriously drab in comparrison to it and watching videos was a let down. And that was using my 3 gs with brightness turned all the way up which is something I never actually do in the real world as drains the batterytoo fast. An oled screen in the next iPhone would be a great addition. Not only is the difference in colours and quality worth it but oled arE less power hungry and have a longer life than normal lcd screens

$1500??? That is just mind blowing. Why not just get a macbook? Cheaper and more functional. Sure a touch screen is nice, but if all input were through a touch screen I'd go nuts. It works for the iPhone, but I'm not sure about a media tablet/netbook/mini macbook device. If apple wants to be competitive, sell it(the cheaper of the two tablets) for $400-$500. I would jump on that price. Ditch the OLED.


Nobody is confused at how a mythical iTablet could be pointed at those markets, but rather we are waiting to see a winning product coalesce

Exactly. A leading product, not just another follower in a nicer package.
Of course some people would buy giant iPods with nothing more to offer. But how many people? And is it Apple-esque to bother with such things? I don't think so.
Apple cares less about things already being done (netbooks and e-readers). They care more about that "one-of-a-kind" which hasn't been done yet. Sure, if they get some of the e-reader's and netbook's market while they're at it, then that's just a bonus. But I highly doubt that Apple is setting out to compete with them directly with nothing else to offer other than touch screen.
This "iThing" would have to fill a gap that the MacBook, iPhones and touches don't fill — be it more functionality (desktop apps) than the iPhone and touch, or more convenience and portability (one small slab) than the MacBook. That's Apple's goal with everything they do — make products that people don't yet even know that they need (to paraphrase Dieter). Nobody needs this iTablet as it's been described so far. Even Apple TV serves more of a purpose.

... I won’t be able to enter text as fast as on a physical keyboard.

Pressing something down can't ever be faster than just touching it. :shock:

Fastlane, I have an iPhone and I love texting on it. Editing Office documents - not so much. For serious typing, I still need a physical keyboard. Would you want a capacitive touch surface instead of a real keyboard on your Macbook?


For serious typing, I still need a physical keyboard.

So, the more typing you have to do, the more effort you'd like it to be? That's the same Blackberry email argument that makes no sense at all — the more emailing they're doing, the harder they want to work their fingers. Baffling.

Would you want a capacitive touch surface instead of a real keyboard on your Macbook?

Absolutely. I can't wait for that. Physical keyboards are last century. I can touch my MacBook keys right now much easier and faster than if I pressed them down.

OK, well, different strokes... ;)
BTW, I never said typing on the iphone took less effort than on a device with a physical keyboard. It's simply different.

There is no way they are delaying for an oled screen. something that size is just too expensive right now. It wouldnt make the difference for enough people to pay the price. plus it doesnt do well in sunlight(isnt the point of this tablet to be portable?.) Dont get me wrong, oled is beautiful (true blacks!). Its just not economical yet at that size.

I don't care what APPLE does!!!!! All they do is innovate and make average products GODS!!!! they did that to MP3 players, high end desktops and laptops, Phones, and now NETBOOKS!!!! APPLE IS GOD!!!!!!

Lol besides people don't care if they need it or not!!!! Through the apple brand on a SNUGGIE and watch people buy it like crazy!!! APPLE is the Micheal Phelps and Kobe Bryant of Electronics!!!

Sorry to go OT, but does anyone else feel compelled to choke the life out of these idiots that post "First"?!?
Back on topic, I might have interest if this were at a price point between an iPhone and a mac book. 1,500? That's a Macbook Air. I would just get that.

I am about to lose it. My patience level is about exhausted and I don't know what to do. I would LOVE an Apple tablet, as I simply use my laptop for remote web browsing around the house, but it's a tad too big. So the bottom line is this... I am giving Apple until March to give me either a tablet, or some REAL evidence of one coming soon. If not, I will start looking elsewhere to fill this void, even if its Android or Windows OS.