Apple's next gadget? Image: Piper Jaffray

Piper Jaffray senior analyst Gene Munster took another crack at the Apple AAPL tablet computer he’s been writing about for months, issuing a report to clients Friday that included some back-of-the-envelope sales estimates and a computer-generated rendering of what he thinks it will look like.

“Last week we spoke with an Asian component supplier that has received orders from Apple for a touch-screen device to be fulfilled by late [calendar year] 09,” he writes. “This data point underscores our thesis that a tablet will likely launch in early [2010].”

The device, as he sees it, will…

  • Be similar to an iPod touch, only larger, capable of running most of the 70,000 applications on the iPhone App Store plus a new category of apps designed for the bigger screen.
  • Will be used primarily for Web surfing, e-mail, and digital media, competing with netbooks without being a netbook.
  • Will be priced between an iPhone and a MacBook — between $500 and $700.
  • Is likely to include a 3G cellular modem and could be subsidized by a carrier — either AT&T T or Verizon VZ .
  • Will sell better than Apple TV did its first year (1.2 million units).
  • Could in fact sell 2 million units at $600 each to generate $1.2 billion and add about 3% to Apple’s revenue stream in calendar 2010.

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