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Research Firm Predicts Apple Tablet, 300,000 iPhone Applications for 2010

The New York Times covers a new, wide-ranging report from research firm IDC outlining its technology predictions for 2010. Among the firm's predictions for Apple are the release of an Apple tablet computing device and the achievement of a 300,000-application milestone for iPhone and iPod touch applications.

IDC predicts that by the end of 2010 there will be over one billion mobile devices accessing the Internet. While increasingly sophisticated smartphones will represent a substantial portion of the growth, Apple's "iPad" tablet device is also seen as a game-changer for the industry opening a new high-growth market for mobile devices.

The long-rumored Apple touchscreen tablet computer, or iPad, will arrive in 2010, IDC predicts. It will be more of an oversized iPod Touch, with an 8-inch or 10-inch screen, than a downsized Macintosh. With its larger screen, IDC says, the Apple tablet will be ideal for watching movies, surfing the Web, playing online games, and reading books, magazines and newspapers. It will be general-purpose, unlike Amazon.com's single-purpose Kindle reader. The Apple offering, Mr. Gens says, "could deliver a real kick in Kindle's butt."

The research firm also sees mobile devices continuing to "exert a powerful transformational force" on the computing industry as they evolve to become viable competitors to traditional computers as users' primary machines. That evolution will occur hand-in-hand with an explosion in the market for mobile applications, which IDC predicts will triple the number of available iPhone and iPod touch application to 300,000 from the 100,000+ applications currently available in the App Store. Similar growth is predicted to occur for Google's Android platform, as well as the popular netbook market.

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