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Speculation About a 'MacBook Touch' Builds

Speculation about a possible Apple tablet has started infiltrating the mainstream media with an article on ABCNews summarizing public reaction to this possibility. The buzz about Apple's next product kicked into high gear after Apple's Peter Oppenheimer uncharacteristically described a new product during the Q3 2008 financial results conference call.

Rumors about an Apple tablet have been ongoing for years with credible claims that had originally pointed to a 2003 release. Since then, it has been revealed that Apple had been working on a tablet called Safari Pad but this was later morphed into the iPhone.

Shortly after the financial results call, MacDailyNews published an unconfirmed report about a "MacBook Touch" with a laundry list of possible features. While the exact details of the report remain up for debate, an earlier rumor from Jason O'Grady did point to a Mac OS X tablet launching this September or October. O'Grady believes this sort of iTablet is exactly what Oppenheimer was referring to.

This, to me, means that Apple is going to leverage the more than 100 patents (like MultiTouch) that theyve filed for iPhone in a larger screen device that borrows heavily from iPhone. Think of a larger, media playing, eBook reading iTablet with 3G, GPS, and Bluetooth. Now think of it in 6, 8 and 10-inch screen sizes. This is when things get interesting.

Indeed, Apple's extensive multitouch patent library has depicted multitouch control panels intended for use in Mac OS X and not just the iPhone OS.

Many believe that if Apple were to introduce a Tablet-based computer, they would have addressed the issues that have prevented mass adoption of existing Tablet PCs. Based on the "Safari Pad" codename of their previous tablet project, it seems obvious that Apple once considered web browsing to be the killer app of such a device.