New From Piper Jaffray Analyst Gene Munster: The Apple iPad
So that mysterious media tablet Apple’s rumored to be developing? It exists, but it probably won’t ship until 2010. This according to Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster, who offers up a heaping pile of grist for the Apple (AAPL) rumor mill in a new research note today.
“Between indications from our component contacts in Asia, recent patents relating to multi-touch sensitivity for more complex computing devices, comments from Tim Cook on the April 22nd conference call, and Apple’s acquisition of P.A. Semi along with other recent chip-related hires, it is increasingly clear that Apple is investing more in its mobile computing franchise,” he writes. “Specifically, we expect this to result in a larger (7?-10?) touchscreen tablet that will launch in 1H CY10. Additionally, Apple’s consistent message that it refuses to launch a ‘cheap’ portable netbook, and its desire to differentiate itself in a maturing market before it’s too late, plus its gradual addition of multi-touch technology to all of its core products (iPhones, iPods and Macs) leads us to conclude this product will be a touchscreen tablet.”
Munster theorizes that the device will use a third version of Mac OS X to offer a sort of middle ground between the iPod touch and the MacBook. “The device’s OS could bear a close resemblance to Apple’s iPhone OS and run App Store apps,” he wrote. “Key apps, like Safari and Mail, could make use of the larger screen resolution, making Apple’s tablet appealing for more extended use, but the company could continue to leverage its primary asset in mobile computing, the App Store, in this scenario.”
The design of that OS, however, has been time-consuming and will keep the device from market until the first half of next year. “We expect the development of such an OS to be underway currently,” Munster says, “but its complexity, along with our conversations with a key company in the mobile space, leads us to believe it will not launch until CY10.”
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