The iPad cometh

OK, time to set aside that $800 you’d been keeping for a neat gadget for Xmas. Here’s what Good Morning Silicon Valley thinks.

Rumors of a large format, touchscreen tablet from Apple — long the stuff of fanboy fever dreams — are starting to congeal into something with a little more substance. A couple of weeks ago, supply-chain scuttlebutt had the tablet arriving in October with an $800 price tag and, according to VentureBeat, powered by a processor developed in-house by the team Apple acquired in buying PA Semi last year. Friday, the AppleInsider blog reported that the 10-inch tablet, after two years of development and multiple iterations, had received the Steve Jobs seal of approval. “Jobs, who’s been overseeing the project from his home, office and hospital beds, has finally achieved that much-sought aura of satisfaction,” said the blog. “He’s since cemented the device in the company’s 2010 roadmap, where it’s being positioned for a first quarter launch, according to people well-respected by AppleInsider for their striking accuracy in Apple’s internal affairs.”

Why is this more plausible that all the other rumours about the iPad? Well, simply that it’s based on stories about a deal with the record companies to enable them to go back to their old anti-customer practice of selling albums rather than tracks. The idea is that they need a bigger screen in order to add ‘value’ with fancy booklets to go with the album.

It won’t work, of course, but who cares? What we need is a decent, well-designed tablet, and if this is the only way to get it, well, so be it.