The Secret Wars of Google & Apple (and perhaps Kindle?)

Just as soon as secret rumors caught fire that Apple's soon-to-be released "tablet," will now be released under the new name, "iSlate," a fresh wave of rumors have hit the digital airwaves.  Apparently, Google has released RFPs (Request For Proposal) to several hardware companies including two prominent computer manufacturers in Asia to launch their new netbook. While these two titans battle it out for marketshare, will Kindle and other PDA (personal digital assistant) devices just sit on sidelines?

Technical specs for a Google designed netbook honed for its Chrome OS have been leaked on the net. According to a report, "Google will partner with select hardware manufacturers to bring the sub $300 netbook to the market by the 2010 holiday season." For my techie readers, the IBTimes says the netbook will run on Chrome OS and will sport a chipset from NVidia's Tegra line, while be powered by an ARM CPU.

It is also rumoured that the netbook will sport a 10.1-inch TFT HD-ready multi-touch display, and would come with 64GB SSD (mind you, not HDD), 2GB RAM and other bells and whistles such as WiFi, 3G, Bluetooth, Ethernet port, USB ports, webcam, 3.5mm audio jack and multi-card reader. Its 6-cell battery will allow for an impressive 8-12 hours of operation without charge.

On the opposition side of the equation, Apple is running a tighter ship on rumor control. While a series of tech designers have actually released proposed 'looks' for the new iSlate (see "The $1000 Apple Tablet Remains A Secret Until The Big Reveal") all we really know is that price tag could come in as high as $1000 and won't hit store shelves until March or April of 2010.

Matt Buchanan of Gizmodo recently pulled together an “Exhaustive Guide to Apple Tablet Rumors.” Leaving no slate unturned, he discusses design, costs and features.

One of the more interesting rumors highlighted is its ability to "redefine newspapers, books and magazines," and that its "got an ebook bent." Tech designer Isamu Sanada's proposed designs for the iSlate is actually called a "Kindle Killer."

Isamu Sanada designer of Apple's Kindle KillerIsamu Sanada designer of Apple's Kindle Killer

So while rumors will continue to circulate, it will be interesting to see how the Google-Apple Battles will unfold in 2010. While the low cost of Google's netbook could attract early adopters, knowing the quality of product that Apple is capable of turning out, my bet is on Jobs' latest innovation. Like the iPod and iPhone before it, people will wait and pay for a product that is produced by the masters of i-technology.

And while Kindle, Sony and Barnes and Noble's Nook have had their own skirmishes in attempting toKindle - Sony - NookKindle - Sony - Nook capture the attention of the eBook reader (see "Kindle vs Nook & Sony e-Reader for the Holidays!") -- are their devices enough to sustain a attention-deficit marketplace that is constantly looking for the next shiny thing with more and more bells and whistles? After all, how many devices can we carry and still remain mobile?