While the rumor mill is abuzz with the prospect of an Apple tablet device, the anticipated details vary considerably.
Dan Knight of Low End Mac argues that the processor is likely to be the same type found in the MacBook Air, and that the device could be able to run either iPhone OS or the full-blown Mac OS X, possibly simultaneously. Others assume that the processor will be some variation on the ARM architecture, and that the operating system will be essentially the same as that found on the iPod Touch, the iPhone OS without the telephony components.
AppleInsider initially reported that we shouldn't expect to see this device released until early 2010, but then followed a few days later with the news that it might arrive as soon as September. (Apple's fiscal 1Q-2010 begins in October, '09.)
Financial Times broke the story that there is a tie-in between Apple's tablet and an effort to bring back the multitrack album, which has been losing ground to single song sales. PC Magazine chimed in in support of the FT story, adding some details of their own.
Jason Schwarz of Seeking Alpha emphasized how the new tablet will get a big boost from apps already written for the iPhone and iPod touch, and that it will be an even better platform for such apps. He also suggests that there's a tie-in between the tablet and a high-speed data offering from Verizon, but claims that there will be no carrier exclusivity.
Others hoping to climb on board the bandwagon include book publishers, who see such a device as potentially presenting a better opportunity for them than does Amazon's Kindle.
Meanwhile, Mac Night Owl asks whether an Apple tablet device would be "a product in search of a purpose", and PC World has already pronounced it "a train wreck".
I'm going to go out on a limb and predict that it will come in two versions, a less expensive version with Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, but no long-range datalink, and a more expensive version with a software-defined radio unit capable of working with a variety of data services.