Apple Mac Tablet with Docking Station in 2007?
Smarthouse.com.au claims that Apple has a full working prototype of a Mac tablet PC within their labs with plans for a 2007 launch.
According to sources in Taiwan, the targets for this unreleased Mac tablet are expected to be home and education markets rather than the enterprise market.
The Mac tablet has been designed to handle third party applications such as home automation software that will allow users to control lighting, audio, entertainment devices and security feeds. It also acts as a full blown PC has wireless linking for a new generation of Wireless Hi Fi speakers that are currently being tested by Apple.
The Intel-based Tablet Mac would also offer a docking station to provide HDMI output to the appropriate screen. Beyond using the technology documented in Apple's recent patent applications for touch-screen/tablet Macs, Apple is reportedly licensing at least three patents from 3rd party companies.
This is not the first time that there have been rumors about a Mac tablet. In fact, rumors of a Mac tablet culminated in early 2003 with significant evidence that a Mac tablet project was in the works at that time. At the time, one description of the tablet at the time was as follows:
A device that superficially resembles a large iPod with an 8-inch diagonal screen, lacks a keyboard, packs USB and FireWire ports, and runs Mac OS X along with a variety of multimedia goodies.
The tablet, of course, never saw the light of day... though its unclear why Apple never released the tablet (if it did indeed exist).
As a historic note, Apple did work on a tablet form-factor for their Newton (PDA) devices. An unreleased prototype can be seen here.