Rumor Mill: Apple Building Tablet PC?

The rumor mill is cranking up to a fever pitch over the possibility of an Apple Tablet PC, with fresh reports stating the device will sport a 10 inch screen, come in between $500 and $1000… and be connected to the App Store.

Could this be it? [TechCrunch image]

That last item made us perk up our ears. TechCrunch’s Michael Arrington has heard that the device will run a modified version of the iPhone OS, meaning that “the App Store is a big part of the Apple Tablet, and the device will be particularly useful for gaming.”

Hmmm. How useful would a 10-inch iPod Touch-like device be for gaming? If the tablet were to play the games currently on the App Store, it would have to employ pixel doubling or some similar method to make the resolutions match up. That could uglify even the best graphics in a hurry.

Furthermore, there’s the question of controls. Formerly simple touch controls could get more difficult on a larger screen; the same goes for tilt input. We have no idea what a device this size would weigh, but it seems probable that it wouldn’t be quite as easy to tilt around.

Of course, it’s also very possible that the tablet would use a different standard size for its software. It’s hard to say whether Apple would want to start down this path–fragmentation has held software development for feature phones back for years–but if they’re serious about introducing a new class of device, it could be a good move. We’re guessing that plenty of developers would sign back on immediately.

In any case, the tablet is rumored to be well into development, with a release date of early next year. Perhaps Apple will have more to say about this at WWDC in a few weeks.

[from TechCrunch]

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