Would you consider a 6-inch iPod touch to be a tablet?

Businessweek spoke to Richard Doherty, a director at market researcher Envisioneering Group on Apple’s upcoming Tablet(s):

"There’s no hotter topic [than tablets] in Asia right now," …Apple has developed prototypes of two different tablet machines—one that resembles a large-sized iPod and boasts a 6-inch screen, and another that features a larger display. Apple may launch one or both devices as early as September, Doherty says. A decision on whether and when Apple takes the tablet plunge lies with Apple CEO Steve Jobs, Doherty says.

Obviously tablets have been tried and failed before.  He has some answers on why Apple’s could be different.  He guesses a much lower cost than has been predicted before as well as 65,000 apps on launch.

Price, for starters. Apple’s tablet may cost as little as $679, Doherty says. Then there’s the Apple software mystique. "Apple has a real opportunity to take the magic of the iPhone interface and give that more real estate to do the tasks," Kay says. "It’s an iPhone, but bigger. It’s something that you know, but bigger." The device may be able to wirelessly access iTunes and Apple’s App Store, which offers more than 65,000 apps such as games, e-books, and calendars. Apple declined to comment for this story.

Really? Apple declined to comment for this story?  Shocker.

But the iPod tablet isn’t the only tablet being built in Cupertino.  Doherty says there is a Mac tablet out there somewhere too.

One of Apple’s prototype devices is able to run all Mac applications, and allows for video and audio editing and graphic animation, Doherty says. Another, which looks like a larger iPod, lends itself to watching videos, playing games, and reading e-books.

This may not be such a boring September after all. Perhaps Apple leakers are saying 2010 for the Mac tablet and 2009 for the iPod tablet?

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