Ex-Chinese Google Exec Says Apple Expects to Sell 10 Million iTablets in First Year

Apple expects to sell some 10 million of its as-yet unannounced tablet device in just its first year, and this information comes to us from...an ex-Google China executive. Bloomberg reported that Lee Kai-Fu wrote on a blog post on December 28th that an unnamed friend told him so, and so we tell you.

And since you're reading this on the Internet, it must be true! So who's an ex-Google exec to know what Apple's going to do? Maybe no one, but he is a high-powered tech exec based in China with deep roots throughout the tech world.

Mr. Lee was a muckety muck for Google China, serving as the founding president of the search giant's Chinese branch until he left in September 2009 to start a Beijing-based venture capital fund called Innovation Works. Mr. Lee was also a vice president for Microsoft for several years before defecting to Google.

Before that, however, he worked at Apple in the U.S. where, according to Wikipedia, he headed two different R&D groups that developed several products and technologies, including PlainTalk, the Apple Newton, and "several versions of" QuickTime and QuickTime VR.

In other words, Mr. Lee was, and is, plugged into the rarified levels at the top of the tech world, and Bloomberg confirmed through Innovation Works that the blog post was indeed his, though the firm declined to comment on the accuracy of the information contained therein.

Mr. Lee's blog post cited a friend involved in the project, and he also wrote that the device would sell for less than US$1,000, which contrasts with a report from The Wall Street Journal this week that pegged the release price at $1,000.

For icing on this rumor cake, he said it would look like a large iPhone and feature a 10.1 inch touchscreen display, which will serve up a 3D GUI. Note that this post was made on December 28th, as noted above, more than a week before The Baltimore Sun dug up the newly discovered 3D GUI patent Apple filed that we covered earlier today.