‘Minor issues’ with Apple’s tablet could force the Cupertino, Calif. company to delay shipping the highly-expected device until June, suggests an analyst. If correct, the three-month lag would dispute previous claims a tablet would ship by March.
Issues with battery life and durability are suspected culprits of any delay, Kaufman Bros. analyst Shaw Wu told investors Tuesday. The holdup would put the tablet, which Wu calls the “iSlate” into a more traditional pattern for Apple. When the company introduced its first iPhone in 2007, it announced the iconic handset in January and began shipping in June.
Wu, citing checks with Apple’s supply chain, confirmed Apple will announce the tablet Jan. 27, which the company recently said will be used to unveil its “latest creation.” The tablet is more of a “super” iPod touch rather than a mobile Mac, he said.
“From our understanding, it is not intended to replace a Mac but be somewhat of a ‘super’ iPod touch where video, gaming, Web browsing, e-books and the ability to run multiple apps would be enhanced with a much larger screen,” the analyst wrote.
The rumored tablet has also been called an “iPhone on steriods,” using much of the iPhone’s technology, to the point Apple has delayed updating its handset due to concern details may leak before an official announcement, one report implied.
Describing the device’s features, Wu said the tablet’s 10-inch to 11-inch touchscreen could add $100 to the price tag, possibly pushing the cost to $999, rather than $600, which other analysts, such as Gene Munster of Piper Jaffray had hoped. The eventual price could come down if Apple inks carrier subsidies for the device.
In another area, Wu said Wi-Fi was the “most likely option” for connectivity, arguing 3G was avoided to “not further clog already strained” high-speed networks. Apple could sell 1 million of the device each quarter, building 5 million tablets in the first year, said the analyst.