Another Tablet Rumor That Makes Sense: There’s Two Tablets

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ipod_tablet1
An iPod Tablet mockup from Graham Bower of Mac Predictions: http://www.macpredictions.com/2009/04/ipod-tablet-mockup.html

Here’s a rumor about Apple’s upcoming tablet that makes a lot of sense: There’s actually two of them: an iPod tablet with a six-inch screen and a bigger tablet that runs full OS X.

And Apple may introduce one or both in September, according to veteran tech analyst Richard Doherty, who spoke to BusinessWeek.

Apple has developed prototypes of two different tablet machines—one that resembles a large-sized iPod and boasts a 6-inch screen, and another that features a larger display. Apple may launch one or both devices as early as September,” Doherty says. “A decision on whether and when Apple takes the tablet plunge lies with Apple CEO Steve Jobs,” Doherty says.

One of Apple’s prototype devices is able to run all Mac applications, and allows for video and audio editing and graphic animation, Doherty says. Another, which looks like a larger iPod, lends itself to watching videos, playing games, and reading e-books.

The two devices sound like the best of both worlds. An entertainment-oriented iPod tablet — like an iPod Plus — that runs the iPhone/iPod OS and is great for watching movies around the house; and a bigger Snow Leopard-capable device that can do real work. One for entertainment, another for education, kinda like Gizmodo’s Brian Lam suggested last week.

Doherty also predicts the tablet(s) could start as low as $679. It’ll be a hit because it’s got 65,000 Apps to run on it.

“Apple has a real opportunity to take the magic of the iPhone interface and give that more real estate to do the tasks… It’s an iPhone, but bigger. It’s something that you know, but bigger.” The device may be able to wirelessly access iTunes and Apple’s App Store, which offers more than 65,000 apps such as games, e-books, and calendars.

But what about the inside sources quoted by Jim Dalrymple and others that say the tablet won’t show until 2010? Perhaps the Mac tablet is for next year, and iPod Plus for 2009?