Apple 'Tablet' Coming in October — Maybe

In many ways, the Apple tablet is the rumor that just won't die. For years now, rumors about its impend

ing release have made the rounds on the web, but earlier this week came a substantial report that not only gave the elusive tablet a price, but also a release date.

In a report published earlier this week by the Taiwanese news site Info Times, Apple has already tapped Foxconn to manufacture the device, with Wintek on board to supply the touchscreens. Wintek, it should be noted, is the same company that supplies the touchscreens used in the Apple iPhone and iPod Touch.

But now onto the details that actually matter.

According to the report, Apple's tablet will finally be released sometime this October, with Apple planning to have it available in time for the holiday shopping season. It will reportedly have an asking price somewhere in the range of $800, and the display will of course be a touchscreen. In terms of size, Info Times notes that the display will be 9.7 inches, which would make a tad smaller than most popular netbooks.

As for the internals of the device, Venture Beat reported this past Monday that the Apple tablet will sport an entirely new chip design from PA Semi, the boutique microprocessor design firm that Apple purchased last April. Notably, the PA Semi team specializes in creating very capable processors that are extremely power efficient. With PA Semi's work finally coming to the forefront after its sale to Apple, we can only assume, or hope, that the battery life of the upcoming Apple tablet will be somewhat impressive, or at least acceptable. And with a 9.7 inch screen, battery life will be of utmost importance - if you think the iPhone sucks up battery life quickly, just try increasing the screen size almost 3x!

As with all Apple rumors, this should be taken with a grain of salt. But with netbooks continuing to gain in popularity, and with the iPhone already entrenched as the smartphone to beat, the timing for a tablet may finally be perfect.

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