Apple’s mythical tablet computer reportedly will be delayed because the Cupertino, Calif. company has added a second model with an OLED display, pushing an expected March 2010 launch date to later next year. The report by a Tiawan hardware news site cites anonymous Apple partners.
The company “has decided to switch some components and plans to launch a model using a 9.7-inch OLED panel from LG Display,” according to Digitimes. The OLED panel would be in addition to a 10.6-inch TFT LCD display. LG Display reportedly has a $500 million panel purchasing contract with Apple.
The OLED version of the suspected tablet would cost between $1,200 to $1,500 and retail for about $2,000. Carriers might subsidize the price might lower the cost for consumers. The original LCD version would cost between $800 to $1,000, according to the report.
Some have discounted the new wrinkle, saying such a rumored tablet would be available only at the Atlantis Apple store and sold by unicorns. Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster said Thursday investors are concentrating “more on whether the tablet is real and less on timing.” The analyst termed “irrelevant” speculation that an expected first quarter 2010 introduction of an Apple tablet would slip.
In a note to investors, Munster believes the tablet would cost between $500 and $700. A $600 price tag would mean $1.2 billion for Apple, according to Munster. The analyst wrote Apple could sell 650,000 units in 2010 if a tablet were to launch Sept. 1 of next year. The analyst earlier predicted 2 million tablets would sell its first year and be introduced in early 2010.
However, despite the uncertainty of if or when Apple will introduce a tablet device, others are preparing for its introduction. Publisher Conde Nast is creating a version of Wired and eventually all of the firm’s 18 titles by mid-2010. Apple reportedly had been talking with publishers about having content ready for when the tablet launches.
Along with content from the print magazine, the tablet versions will be able to import videos and allow readers to submit items to social-networking platforms, such as Facebook or Twitter. Conde Nast hopes to be able to charge readers and price their advertising equal to the print versions. This wouldn’t be the first Apple device for which the publisher has developed content. An iPhone version of GQ is available.