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Apple Working on Tablet Since At Least 2003

The New York Times recaps many of the rumors and expectations about the upcoming Apple Tablet, but also introduces a few original sources of information about the tablet project within Apple.

According to former Apple engineer Joshua A. Strickland, Apple had been working on a tablet-based device since at least 2003. According to the newspaper, one 2003 prototype used the PowerPC chip and was so power hungry that it quickly drained the battery:

"It couldn't be built. The battery life wasn't long enough, the graphics performance was not enough to do anything and the components themselves cost more than $500.

Another Apple executive claims that the idea had been shelved a number of times at Apple due to Steve Jobs who questioned "what they were good for besides surfing the Web in the bathroom."

Whether or not the success of the iPhone has changed the mind of Jobs remains to be seen. In fact, reports have suggested that Jobs has not given final approval of the product yet. As always, the question remains how Apple might expect such a product to fit into people's lifestyles. Back in July, we questioned what this "killer feature" could be in the Apple tablet.