Apple to debut $700 tablet in September?

Chicago (IL) – Apple’s iPad will be announced next month, according to an industry analyst who claims to have seen the rumored tablet PC like device. And we still wonder who will pay at least $700 for what essentially seems to a blown up iPod touch.

Another week, another iPad rumor. “One veteran analyst who has seen first-hand a prototype slate-style computer from Apple says the device could be announced in September for release in November,” Barron’s reports today.

And get this: The publication claims that the computer industry is “so anxious to see what Apple introduces that it has held off on competing designs until Apple” has its product out. That would especially include Lenovo, which has taken a break and now simply waits for what Apple will release.
Credit needs to be given where it is deserved and Apple has done a fantastic job at telling the industry how a portable music player and a smart phone should look like and what it should do. But as far as an iPad is concerned, we still remember the ill-conceived concept of the webpad of the late 1990s and early 2000s, true tablet PCs that are not more than a niche in today’s market as well as the failed Microsoft Origami idea, also known as UMPC.

From what we have heard from analysts is that the Apple iPad (that name is purely our guess, by the way) will be basically a monstrous iPod touch with a 10” screen and possibly an integrated keyboard. It will allow Apple to close the gap between the most expensive iPod touch and the cheapest Macbook, hinting to a $700 – $800 price tag, according to Barron’s veteran analyst. The larger screen indicates that Apple will be pitching a more convenient consumption of Internet and entertainment content, such as videos.

The real question is whether that tablet will be pretty and functional enough to justify an additional $700 expense, if you already have an iPod touch/iPhone and a Macbook.

We are anxious to see what Apple will come up with.