Apple prepares tablet computer | Shanghai Daily

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December 11, 2009

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Apple prepares tablet computer

APPLE Inc is preparing to launch a tablet personal computer in late March or April, with manufacturer partners poised to roll out as many as 1 million units per month, according to a report.

The Oppenheimer research note said the highly anticipated tablet is expected to pitch Apple into the digital book market popularized by Amazon.com's Kindle e-reader. Apple declined to comment.

"Our checks into Apple's supply chain indicate that the manufacturing cogs for the tablet are creaking into action and should begin to hit a mass market stride in February," Oppenheimer analyst Yair Reiner wrote.

"The February ramp schedule suggests a late March or April commercial release, since Apple will need to build at least five to six weeks of inventory before going live."

He said the tablet will have a 10.1-inch multitouch LCD screen similar to that of Apple's iPhone.

Apple has also approached book publishers to distribute content electronically, and has offered them a revenue cut of 70 percent without requiring exclusivity, Reiner said.

He said that compares favorably to the Kindle's 50 percent deal.

Kindle only offers a 70 percent cut to publishers that give Amazon exclusive rights, according to Reiner.

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