Skip to Content

Fresh Apple tablet rumors: February launch. $800-$1,000. AT&T, not Verizon

Rendering: Piper Jaffray

The iPod event is behind us. Apple TV did its thing on Monday. No new MacBooks loom on the horizon. So it’s time for Apple (AAPL) watchers to talk once again about the tablet computer that is said to be the focus of Steve Jobs’ laser-like attention.

Stepping into the fray is Taiwan Economic News‘ Steve Chuang, a reporter with a pretty good track record on the supply chain beat.

In a report Monday about three companies that claim to have won contracts to supply batteries, mini coaxial cables and power chokes (whatever they may be), he offers a surprisingly detailed summary of what the mythical device might contain:

  • 9.6-inch Wintek touch sensitive screen. Down from 10.2-inch, 1o-inch and 9.7-inch in previous reports.
  • HSPDA mobile broadband. This is the so-called high-speed downlink packet access protocol used by AT&T (T) for enhanced 3G service. No support here for rumors that Apple might give this one to Verizon (VZ).
  • P.A. Semi-engineered processor. As expected. Apple acquired the fabless semiconductor company in April 2008 for just this kind of project.
  • 300,000 long-lasting batteries. That’s the size of the order DynaPack International Technology is said to have won.
  • December delivery for February launch. Rumors tend to push delivery four months down the road. July’s crop had the tablet coming in October.
  • Price point: $799 to $999. That would give Steve Jobs a lot of latitude. And netbook makers plenty of breathing room.

Of course, wise reporters will believe nothing about any hypothetical future product from Apple until they see it.

But here’s my question: How long will Jobs continue to do business with suppliers who go blabbing to the press the minute they win an Apple contract?