The question of whether or not Apple really has a tablet to introduce this year seems to be a foregone conclusion. As we reported
, the iSlate will apparently be introduced to the media and a crush of fanboys on January 27th by a happy Steve Jobs. The average Joe still won't get his hands around a unit until March when the tablet will ship according to the WSJ. The financial paper says that the Cupertino based firm is working on two different finishes for the hardware. It is unclear whether this meant that Apple was testing to use one of two different finishes or if there would be two different versions of the product. While our earlier story contained documents showing that the tablet would have a 7.1 inch screen, the WSJ report noted that the iSlate would have a 10 to 11 inch display. According to the WSJ, the device will be used as a "multimedia device that will let people watch movies and television
games, surf the Internet and read electronic books and
newspapers," the report continues, "Textbooks and newspapers, for example, could be presented differently
through color screens, a touch interface, and the integration of live
up-to-the-minute information from multiple sources."
Wall Street pencil pusher Gene Munster of Piper Jaffray says that he expects the tablet to cost $600, debut in March (agreeing with the Journal) and expects Apple to sell 1.4 million units in the first 9 months. This compares with our recent story
on former Google China president Kai-fu Lee who said that Apple was producing 10 million units in the first year, expecting that many to be sold in the first 52 weeks.
AppleInsider is reporting that its tipsters have told the site that in addition to the iSlate being introduced on the 27th, the 4.0 build of the iPhone software developers kit will be released and would allow developers to build apps for the device with the larger screen.