Analyst: Apple Taking Its Time With Tablet, Predicts 2010 Release

Apple is indeed working on a version of OS X to power a tablet device more robust than an iPod Touch yet still more limited than the operating system that powers the company’s line of notebook and desktop computer systems, according to Gene Munster, the widely followed Piper Jaffray analyst.

“We expect the development of such an OS to be underway currently, 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,” Munster said (meaning 2010) in a note released to clients Thursday.

Many in the Apple universe have long predicted a tablet device to compete in the growing market for netbooks, smaller, less-powerful – and less expensive – mobile devices designed for surfing the Internet, watching movies, reading and composing email and other “computer-lite” activities.

Not a few people will be disappointed if Apple fails to launch such an offering in the current year, but Munster implies that such a market, while growing fast, remains relatively small and believes Apple has plenty of time to get its entry right before joining the fray.

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