Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Mac tablet to debut soon?

THIS should be a very interesting month for gadget lovers as Apple will be unveiling a new operating system for its iPhone.

Called iPhone OS 3.0, the OS has been in beta for the last couple of months to enable third-party developers to write new applications for it.

So what's new with iPhone OS 3.0? A lot. There will be more than 100 new features, including the much anticipated ability to copy and paste text. You see, the iPhone is the world's most brilliant mobile phone without copy-and-paste technology. If that sounds so wrong, it is. Thankfully, that will be rectified soon.

But what about a new iPhone, will there be one as well? No announcement of that sort. When it comes to hardware, Apple reverts to its usual policy of absolute secrecy. It is however widely speculated that Apple will unveil a new iPhone to go with the new OS based on the fact that the last two iterations of the OS were all loaded on new hardware (the original iPhone and the iPhone 3G).

But wait, that's not all there is to it. Speculation is also rife that Apple is preparing to introduce a revolutionary Mac computer based on tablet computing/touch screen technology.

Sites like ZDNet and TechCrunch have been fuelling the rumour since it was discovered that a patent filed in 2004 for some sort of tablet computer was credited to Apple CEO Steve Jobs and 14 other inventors.

The rumour gained momentum again early this year when it was reported that OEMs in Asia have been contacted about mass producing the device.

This rumoured Mac tablet has been likened to an oversized iPhone or iPod Touch. The screen can be anywhere between 7-inch and 10-inch and the operating system is expected to be iPhone OS.

Another sign is that the 2004 patent has Jobs' name on it, which has never happened with other Apple products. Jobs' name tend to appear only on patents that show real Apple products in their somewhat final form.

Having lived with the keyboard and screen all our computing life, it is indeed an enticing proposition, this touch screen interface. The original iPhone ushered in the era of MultiTouch for mobile devices when it debuted in 2007, so the next logical step for Apple is to equip something similar on its full-fledged computers.

After all, the line between laptops and mobile devices in terms of what you can do has blurred considerably in the last few years.