Not to be outdone by the turn of a decade, Apple has one-upped Father Time on the buzz meter, thanks to a blog post from former Google exec.
Apple expects to ship 10 million tablet computers in 2010 according to Google’s former head of Chinese operations Lee Kai-fu, who shared the info on his blog, citing a friend he says is familiar with the project. Bloomberg brought the story to the English-speaking world today.
The Tablet will be released by Steve Jobs next month and sell for under $1000, according to Kai-fu. It will look like a large iPhone and sport a 10.1-inch multitouch screen with 3-d graphics, he said.
Lee had been Google’s president of Chinese operations until September, when he left to start Innovations Works, a Beijing-based tech fund.
Ten million is a lot of units for a product genre that hasn’t been defined yet. Sure, we all want tablets, but no one’s quite sure what we’ll use them for—iPhones take care of the portable experience, and desktops handle the big-screen. Are we really that desperate for a laptop without a keyboard?
The big revelation on January 28 when Jobs take to the stage will not likely be the hardware, but how he envisions the new device to shape our media consumption and interaction—the two or three key apps that will define the product. Will it kill e-readers? Hand a new monetization model to big news organizations? Turn video conferencing into the preferred communication mode? Whatever those form-factor-specific applications are, the details are still shut tightly behind Apple’s closed doors.