iPhone

Apple Tablet could change computing

Erik Eckel considers the Apple's latest unveiling, the much-discussed slate/tablet design. Will it have the same impact as the iPod and iPhone? He thinks it has the potential.

Erik Eckel considers the Apple's latest unveiling, the much-discussed slate/tablet design. Will it have the same impact as the iPod and iPhone? He thinks it has the potential.

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I typically avoid grandiose statements. The really good ones, those proclamations that arrest attention and predict tidal waves of change that others don't necessarily foresee, arrive only a few times in one's lifetime. But we may well be standing on the precipice of just such an occurrence.

Apple's rumored plans for a new tablet computing device may well change the way people use computers. On the surface, the introduction of yet another tablet PC machine (a technology that's largely failed to gain widespread existence on the Windows platform) doesn't seem to mean much. But consider what Apple's been able to do with the iPod and iPhone.

The numbers are, simply, staggering. In November, Apple reported it has sold more than 50 million iPhones and iPod Touch units since the game-changing devices were introduced. Late last month CNET published a report estimating Apple would sell 8.2 to 8.8 million iPhones during the December quarter alone, with another 31 to 32 million units expected to sell in 2010.

The device's popularity is so great IT departments have found themselves supporting the them whether they want to or not. So great is iPhone demand among users, executives, and other staff that organizations everywhere are accommodating the Apple devices, and one Deutsche Bank analyst predicts Apple's iPhone enterprise adoption will continue to grow.

Most telling is the fact that independent developers have created more than 100,000 third-party applications just for the iPhone and iTouch platform. If any doubts remain as to the way the iPhone has changed users' daily habits-whether accessing email, calendars, contact information and a seemingly unlimited host of other applications-consider just one more fact. More than 3 billion-that's billion with a "b"-iPhone and iPod Touch applications have been downloaded from the Apple store within just 18 months, according to Apple. That's absolutely unprecedented.

Now imagine the popularity of a simple, secure, fast-performing and reliable tablet computer that provides almost all the functionality of an iPhone (and possibly all of the functionality, if cell phone service is somehow integrated within the device, which I find doubtful), but with a full keyboard integrated into the display. That's what some sites predict Apple's preparing to introduce with a new tablet computer. Notably, Apple's patent filings appear consistent with such claims.

It's quite possible, if Apple releases a capable tablet priced properly for widespread adoption, that IT departments everywhere will find themselves integrating and supporting the tablet computers as they have had to do with iPhones.

iPhones have changed the way users navigate, view news, connect with others, process email, manage calendars, and perform other basic everyday office operations. The integration of a well-designed keyboard within a reliable tablet computer that provides access to the services, features, and applications that the market is demanding could change the way we all compute.

Basically, Apple's rumored "iSlate" could capture the popularity of the iPhone and further fuel a new computing revolution by adding the convenience of a full-sized keyboard and additional storage space, more processing power, and an exponentially larger display. Once again, just as with iTunes, the iPod, and then the iPhone, the planets appear to be aligning for Steve Jobs & Company.

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About

Erik Eckel owns and operates two technology companies. As a managing partner with Louisville Geek, he works daily as an IT consultant to assist small businesses in overcoming technology challenges and maximizing IT investments. He is also president o...

76 comments
Nsaf
Nsaf

Come on now..next thing would be that Apple is God.

Vulpinemac
Vulpinemac

Maybe Apple is God--of the computing world. They sure seem to have a lot of influence in what other companies do.

twirth5
twirth5

With the form factor and ubiquity of iTunes distribution it could be a force to be reckoned with in the world of ebook readers as well. Think about it, would you like to haul a DMP, a Kindle/Nook/et.al. AND a laptop around with you or tote one svelte unit that can do it all (including basic office applications)?

cfossell
cfossell

I am going to take some heat for this, but here goes. Its 40,000 years ago and I am sitting around with a bunch of my Neanderthal buddies. Everyone is bashing this new thing they call ?fire? and how impractical it is. What are we going to do with it? And don?t get me started on the wheel, how ridiculous is that? I think a lot of people (especially my more technical friends) forget that the revolutions in technology are usually driven by the users, not the IT department. Apple gets this and they are building a platform that pulls from a lot of what has been made popular by the iphone and ipod (app store, itunes, social networking) and bringing it together in a way that fits into most people?s everyday life. Most are looking at this with the perspective of what we use today. The technical specs of whatever Apple releases matter less than how it interacts with the user?s world. I keep my iphone by my bed (it?s my alarm clock) and when I hear something interesting that I want to know more about, I grab my phone and get on the web. It?s a lot easier than firing up my laptop (or even getting out of bed). I do not know, but I would bet that Apple is not looking at this device as an alternative to laptop or even as an iphone on steroids. This will be a whole new experience (easy, accessible and interactive media) and I bet Apple does not even know exactly what that means, but they see a void and an opportunity and the users will help to define Apple?s product. Here where the opportunity is (and why this will be huge): ? Traditional media (magazines, books, TV) is dying. They will see this as a lifeline and content will be there from day 1 (did not happen with the previous tablet revolution) ? Apple has a mature and secure content delivery service and payment processor in itunes. ? The ability to access magazines, books, movies, TV programs, newspapers and the internet quickly and easily from the same spot/device. In bed, on a plane, in your car (while not moving or driving). ? For the office, this will be the ultimate paperless briefcase with the ability to collaborate (without wires or complicated protocols). ? Porn (what do you think drove the video tape and internet? No really?). This is as much about timing as it is the device. Timing is everything. Even true love is really just good timing (or mutual co-dependence). Ok guys-tear me apart.

major.malfunction
major.malfunction

You use your phone as your alarm clock? WOW!!! I'm impressed with your $400 alarm clock! Let's see.....ANY cellphone can do this these days! Fire up your laptop??? I leave mine plugged in 24/7. What's to fire up? Give the chance to use my phone or my laptop...I'll go with the laptop considering it has a 15" HD LCD screen, a real keyboard, etc. These e-readers are nice and all but their downfall is yet another subscrition to a wireless carrier to get the content? And for $300-$400 for a Kindle, etc? So I can have yet ANOTHER device? Which leads to the "paperless office" part you describe. HA!!!! ROFL!!!! Anyone who tries paperless will tell you they probably have MORE paper then when they started out. How will you get the documents INTO the tablet? You need a network...with PCs and scanners. And then servers to get them going...Micorsoft servers, in most cases. Apple products don't play nice with the needs of the Enterprise. So what IT dept is going to run out and get tablets for their staff? To have yet another platform that needs to be bridged together? For what gain? In the end, only the Apple "sheep" will run out to buy this thing. $1000 for a touchscreen netbook? I just can't see how this is "great" and revolutionary. Its so great because someone can read their documents on it and TOUCH the screen.....and then what? I can do this with an iPhone, Palm Pre, BlackBerry, WinMo phone, etc already!

Vulpinemac
Vulpinemac

[i]"You use your phone as your alarm clock? WOW!!! I'm impressed with your $400 alarm clock! Let's see.....ANY cellphone can do this these days!"[/i] Perhaps, but how easily can they do it? [i]"Fire up your laptop??? I leave mine plugged in 24/7."[/i] No wonder your battery dies 5 minutes after you unplug it! Oh, and why use a second device? Do you really leave it sitting by your bed all the time? [i]"These e-readers are nice and all but their downfall is yet another subscrition to a wireless carrier to get the content?"[/i] Yet another single-purpose device that really isn't worth the cost. However, my iPhone serves the purpose quite well and if it were larger, say, about the size of a trade paperback without being significantly thicker, it'd be even better. Hmm... so far my iPhone is doing the job of three separate devices. Let's go farther. [i]"Apple products don't play nice with the needs of the Enterprise. So what IT dept is going to run out and get tablets for their staff?"[/i] Based on the article itself, the better question might be, 'How soon with the IT dept be ABLE to support the device?' It seems IT wasn't given a choice when it came to the iPhone. [i]"In the end, only the Apple "sheep" will run out to buy this thing. $1000 for a touchscreen netbook? I just can't see how this is "great" and revolutionary. Its so great because someone can read their documents on it and TOUCH the screen.....and then what? I can do this with an iPhone, Palm Pre, BlackBerry, WinMo phone, etc already!"[/i] So you're saying that all current iPhone users are merely Apple 'sheep.' Umm... the sheeples are the Windows users, if you really look. They're the ones who belong to a flock because they have little choice. But that's beside the point. If you can't think any bigger than "it's already been done," then this isn't for you. I'll bet you still use legal pads and sticky notes for all those quick 'jots' that you can't be bothered to put down your laptop to enter. The biggest issue with this argument is that none of the devices you name is really big enough to use [i]as a computing device[/i] on a regular basis or powerful enough to compete with a laptop in a mobile environment. What's needed is something between the two, and honestly, the so-called 'netbook' just doesn't cut the mustard.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

which of your points can't be accomplished with already existing tablet or netbook computer? I realize it's difficult to speculate on a device no one has yet officially seen, but what does it do that existing systems don't?

cfossell
cfossell

You can buy music in a lot of places. Amazon is usually cheaper than itunes. Mp3.com, Rhapsody, Napster, emusic just to name a few others. All works great on itunes and ipod/iphone and usually a little bit less expensive. So why does everyone use itunes? For me, it just seems easier.

The 'G-Man.'
The 'G-Man.'

what other choice outside iTunes do you have to add music to your ipod / iphone device?

Tig2
Tig2

The principal thing it does is be smaller and easier to carry. While my netbook is way easy to drag about, my Touch is even easier. And my Touch plays nice with my existing home environment. The problem with the Touch is the small screen. A Touch like device that is the size of my current netbook and slimmer? Sign me up for that! And synchs to my Mac? WOW. Truly a solution to many of the issues I have with my beloved netbooks.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

I don't do anything with digital media and have never seen iTunes. ("I sense a disturbance in the force!" - Steve Jobs)

cfossell
cfossell

I think this is where Apple really shines. They did not invent any of this, but they made it easy. They brought everything together and made it ease to interact with. Right now, if I want ot subscribe to online versions of any of the traditional media, I have to go to their site, enter my credit card and creat a user name and pw, etc. With itune, I select what I want (they have my billing info) and there it is. It's easy and convient and instead of having to type in the URL or click my favorites, I will have a pretty little icon on my slate/table and I have access. I really think the Apple tablet will change how people access to media and entertainment (paid access) more than the business world...at first.

Neon Samurai
Neon Samurai

Video Games have always been a key motivation for hardware evolution in the consumer space. (would we have GPU more powerful than the host computer without them?) Porn, for one's moral objection or support, has always been a key driver in networking the consumer space. BBs.. very popular if it had such a section. Modem speeds; to get files from that section faster. Internet speeds; bigger pictures and video files. Streaming media and "eBusiness".. guess who those initial developments where for first. This is one of the ironies of technology and networking that really makes me giggle. And one more for the road: The industry brings in more money than music and movies combined per year; yeah, sure it's just a minority of degenerates making use of the content out there. ;)

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

with a physical, as-close-to-full-size-as-possible keyboard and an on-board optical drive. Incidentally, if I'm hauling the laptop around, why am I carrying a Kindle? What will it do for me that the laptop and a cellular connection won't do?

KB9QCD-Ron
KB9QCD-Ron

Not all the time... Remember the cube? The computer that would melt if you left it on. Remember the macbook air, the $1800 net book. that over heated in 5 minutes and shut itself off. Remember the newton? The PDA that nobody wanted?

Vulpinemac
Vulpinemac

[i]"Remember the cube? The computer that would melt if you left it on."[/i] Remember the Mac Mini? The computer that's smaller than the Cube and is the least expensive full Mac on the market. [i]"Remember the macbook air, the $1800 net book. that over heated in 5 minutes and shut itself off."[/i] And is still on the market and selling, despite that early issue. [i]"Remember the newton? The PDA that nobody wanted?"[/i] And yet could be found in hospitals around the country and is still in use by some professionals, despite no new models or support for almost 15 years. Yes, I remember. I also remember the iMac, the first desktop computer to eliminate the floppy disk drive as even an optional component and make USB and Firewire the only peripheral connections. I'm sure I could go farther, but why?

Neon Samurai
Neon Samurai

Actually, the Newton was my first handtop machine and it was a fantastic chunk of kit. In that case, it truly was a device too far ahead of it's time. (The first generation Newton's deserve all the jokes over input mistakes though.)

mhbowman
mhbowman

The iPhone is a touchscreen PHONE with a lot of great features, and apps. It's taken the PHONE in a whole new direction with a lot of capabilities people never even dreamed of 10 years ago. The tablet is pretty cool feature that when combined with character recognition allows you to make notes directly on the screen. Once you get past the WOW factor of "Cool, I'm writing on the screen" it's really no big deal. Fact is people can type a lot faster, and it's just easier. With the exception of times when you don't have a place to actually sit and type the tablet feature rarely ever gets used. We've rolled out a dozen different tablet models for our users to test with on two different roll outs in the last 3 years. This was done per USER request. We couldn't make them use them after initial testing. Most wanted features? Speed, and a bigger screens. As for the netbook, pricing is what killed them. For a few hundred extra you can have a full blown laptop. Netbook is a moot point from that perspective.

nfin8
nfin8

Apple did not invent the smartphone, but they did it right. The interface, the flow, the app store, the availability, the technical support. Apple had a little bit of a rough patch with the first launch which was attributed to ATT not having the servers to handle the imense demand for the product. What Apple will do with the tablet will be the same thing. In the last several years, they have released nothing but succesful products. Their stuff just works. Apple would not be releasing a tablet unless they could do it with the same amount of thought that has gone into everything else they have been doing since the first iPhone came out.

jmgroft
jmgroft

Apple has done well with the iPod and, to some extent, with the iPhone. But I disagree that they 'did the smart phone right'. I love my iPod but I still won't own an iPhone. In my opinion, their on-screen keyboard sucks. I'm less than impressed with their calendar/note apps. They weren't even 3G capable when they first came out and they still are only available on AT&T. I'm not saying they didn't do anything right with the iPhone. No doubt, they raised the bar and other companies followed suit. Obviously, a lot of people are buying it. It's a cool phone and has a lot of fun apps. But for productivity, I think that Blackberry/Palm/Windows all have it beat (for now). I'm sure Apple is putting a lot of thought into their tablet. But they will need to do something very differently than anyone else has done if it's to catch on. But Steve Jobs does like to think outside the box. Maybe he'll have more success. Time will tell.

Neon Samurai
Neon Samurai

The iPhone didn't do anything new. Like the iPod which didn't do anything new, it simply polished the existing feature set. It's not like we had basic mobile phones and then suddenly the iPhone invented the phone/pda combination popular today. It's also not like smartphones where evolving in some completely different direction and then abracadabra; iPwnage.

Ian Wright
Ian Wright

Derrrrrr....! Nothing new? Where have you been the last five years. So the experience of millions of users of iPods and iPhones was just down to slick marketing because the Apple products aren't different to what went before? Yeah, right!

johnmckay
johnmckay

It's not about writing on screen.. thats why I hate the ipod type interface. For all it's good points the missing keyboard is a total bummer to me, and the slate will be no different without a keyboard. It's about combining gestures with current tablet functionality. Creating forms for manipulation through gestures and selecting things quickly without a mouse. Look at airline booking systems, checkout systems. It might not be immediately apparent but that's where we need the technology to go. Fre yourself from Word processing etc. Start to look at media for instance, or your Juke Box etc. No mouse or keyboard required.... just touch the options you need at the time. No clutter, neat'n'tidy. And many folk just browse the net by selecting links, back, forward. Ideal. Sure you'll need a keyboard and mouse for many things.... absolutely no use to me witout one. If the islate has a software keyboard 80% of the time then I say it needs a proper keyboard. So that'll be a dealbreaker for me personally. Smell the coffee!

Vulpinemac
Vulpinemac

Yes, you're partially right; touch navigation will be a significant portion of it, but I believe the minute you start relying on a keyboard, you're nothing but an ordinary laptop, just like 99% of existing tablets. Crawl out of that box. Start looking at things differently. Where do laptops have their biggest drawback? Simple--you have to put the thing down on something to use it. Just try walking down a grocery aisle and type something into your notepad. How easy is it? What about inventory management? Have you seen what they're using now? Yes, it's reasonably convenient, but somewhat bulky--and they still have to use a separate pad of paper or go through a rather complicated process to add any notes to what they're inventorying. Trying to use a laptop for the same purpose is virtually impossible! Even the netbooks, as small and low-priced as they are, fall seriously short of the capabilities they were intended to fulfill; you still have to put it down to use the keyboard and there're almost no touch screen models currently on the market that have any form of handwriting recognition. Netbooks, as yet, are nothing but downsized, underpowered laptops. They're not an advancement of technology, they're a significant step backwards! A tablet/slate device should be capable of completely replacing a paper pad. Nothing on the market can do so--yet. Apple's device might, but until it's officially announced and demonstrated, I have no idea whether it will or not. I think it will, based on patents pending or issued, but I don't know for sure.

jmgroft
jmgroft

I totally agree with you that we need better, less cluttered interfaces, but what's this thing's niche? Adding the types of interfaces that we currently see on cell/smart phones to a tablet sized machine just gives us a cell phone with a bigger screen. You say "free yourself from word processing", but word processing, spreadsheets and presentations make up 90% of what people use non-desktop machines for. The rest is email, web browsing and games. In order to catch on, this thing has to fill a niche. Tablet computing has always been about - using the computer as a tablet. You need to be able to write on it, take good notes with it, use it in a classroom/meeting setting without it getting in the way - like paper. Traditionally, tablet devices haven't done that well. If the iSlate can or if it can provide a new type of computing, then it has a chance. Otherwise, even Apple might not be able to pull it off. Personally, I'd be happy with a device that just allowed me to take good notes in my own handwriting and save them. No fancy bells and whistles. No trying to be a regular laptop. Just do one thing and do it well - kind of like a Kindle you could write on.

The 'G-Man.'
The 'G-Man.'

I could download free apps, browse the web and listen to MP3's on it as well. EDIT - it even had a small camera in it! SPV M2000 Smartphone it was in 2005. All Apple done was update the hardware and create a new bit of software. The direction was there years ago and apple just got lucky (it saved their bacon).

Vulpinemac
Vulpinemac

How many people [i]wanted[/i] the SPV M2000? And no, the iPhone did not "save their bacon." You only need to look at Apple's sales numbers and stock value to know that Steve Jobs saved their bacon by only selling the kinds of products people want to buy.

Ian Wright
Ian Wright

Really simple, G-Man. So trivial that no-one else did it. No-one in the industry gets the whole picture like Apple does and that's why their products have been so successful. I want stuff that works well and the iPod/iTunes/iPhone integrated environment works better than anything that came before (or has come after). I have work to do - I don't want to tinker all day with clunky junk. Hate Apple all you like but you'd be an ignorant fool to deny their impact on (first) desktop computing, (second) digital music/media and (third) handheld communications/connectivity. Based on that record, the 'iSlate' is more likely than not to be a paradigm changer.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

They do operate in the same way. Apple happens to be better at it.

Vulpinemac
Vulpinemac

No, they don't. If they did, the Zune would be flying off the shelves as we speak; WinMo would have been dominating the smart phone market for the last 15 years. Yes, Windows took over the desktop market, but not because it was better. Rather, they dominated because the x86 platform was cheaper, by almost half, than the original Apple II and as much as 80% cheaper than the early Macs. Windows started out by riding on IBM's apron strings. IBM's name is what dominated the enterprise market when desktop computing began. Now? IBM is an also-ran on the desktop and relies almost exclusively on its large-frame solutions with only a few desktop models and having sold off its portable line to Lenovo. No, Windows has never operated in exactly the same way.

The 'G-Man.'
The 'G-Man.'

Turn that comment around and use Microsoft with Windows as the example. They operate in exactly the same way you know.

The 'G-Man.'
The 'G-Man.'

all users who have an 'iPhone' are going to start buying really expensive tablet systems and expect IT to hook them up to the LAN / Wi-FI in the office. May as well bring in my own overpowered gaming PC then.

johnmckay
johnmckay

When we heard the talk of MS touchscreen tablet last year I resonded positively, in a deluge of Apple and deadbeat views that there was no market. Now Apple is talking about essentially the same thing and WOW this could change evolution. I absolutely look forward to touchscreen, technology without the pen, and all that it hails. As a tablet user that doesn't like the pen I fully endorse this technological thread and whole heartedly agree it should be dramatic. Like the ipod. But lets be realistic, drop the Apple saviour and give some credit to MS and the hardware companies for getting us this far. I love the products but if I can get the same functionality from a cheaper MS gizmo.... gizmo and MS it shall be!

Sysadmin/Babysitter
Sysadmin/Babysitter

IF: -The tablet runs ALL of the iPhone apps, AND -The tablet runs multiple applications simultaneously, AND -The tablet is rugged-ized with a Solid-State-Disk, AND -The tablet has bluetooth. AND -The tablet runs STANDARD OSX, AND -The tablet tethers to the iphone, or has a slot for a cellular sim card IT WILL REPLACE THE LAPTOP!

Neon Samurai
Neon Samurai

Except for those who want hardware flexability or a more free choice of software. Remember that as an Apple product, the primary function will be to drive more Apple purchases and limit the decision to switch away from it after. I think it'll integrate wonderfully with the rest of the Apple product line similar to how the phone integrates with osX including the syncing of all relevant user data between the two. If the hardware is nice, it may even be interesting to see how other OS platforms adapt to the form factor. It is an interesting potential product launch. I'm just not buying into the jesusphone/jesustablet hype.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

"...will be to drive more Apple purchases and limit the decision to switch away from it after." Why is it that people scream so much about 'vendor lock-in' in reference to Microsoft but rarely refer to Apple's even more monopolistic practices? Just wondering...

Neon Samurai
Neon Samurai

Sadly, I think it's much to do with very successful brand development department in addition to some good product design. What the iPhone does, it does well. What it doesn't do is why I have little interest in it. I'm not particularily effected by the brand label though either. I also agree that there is irony in how loudly people yell about Microsoft while happily handing there money over to an even more restrictive company.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

If all it runs is iPhone apps and the Internet, it won't replace a laptop. It's going to have to run an Office-type suite and be able to interact with corporate closed networks. People do more with laptops than web apps. Now, if you said it will replace netbooks, I'd be with you.

Sysadmin/Babysitter
Sysadmin/Babysitter

I will be using mine INSTEAD of a laptop, by utilizing the "Remote Desktop"/"Terminal Services" of my at-home computer. The iPhone I currently have was a proof-of-concept device to me, as I used it to access my home PC. But, the screen was too small for my "Baby-Boomer" eyes, and fat middle aged fingers. The iPad (with its solid state flash based storage) is more rugged than a net-book with a spinning disk drive. I am MORE than willing to off-load the computing power & storage to my home machine with this access mode.

Gordon Bolin
Gordon Bolin

In this era of pre-release ISlate media maelstrom, this article stands out for two important reasons. First, it is VERY well written with a narrative that is easy to follow. It is hard to be understated when you believe that a revolution is days away, but Mr. Eckel manages to do that. Ironically, this conveys his point more powerfully than if he had written in a more heavy handed fashion. Secondly, Mr. Eckel sees the future very clearly in a way that most others will only understand in a year or 2. The ISlate will literally change the laptop PC business over the coming years in that it will be, built from the ground up, an internet media communications device. There are 140 million lap tops sold per year. Look for that number to decrease dramatically as the ISlate and its inevitable copycats, gain wide-spread acceptance.

tezcatiploca
tezcatiploca

I can see the applications in many industries, healthcare being one of them. What i do not see is exactly where and how a 500 + USD is going to be a success, without the Windows Volume. If the Ipod pricing scheme is a pricing, I just don't see how.

rld
rld

My prediction: I've been watching the "Tablet" market since the 80's and have always been amazed that tablets just NEVER catch on! (unless you consider blue-collar inventory workers using tablets in a warehouse as "catching on"... I don't.) Sure, the ISlate is certain to be a hit for the 3% of consumer-robots who *MUST* buy everything Apple. But the remaining 97% (the emotionally healthy buying public) still wont see the koolness factor. The ISlate will still seem too heavy (yeh, yeh, I know tablets get lighter every year...), it'll always need batteries and recharging and... it'll never be "paper". That's my two cents, and I still can't explain why tablets don't catch on, because they just seem like they OUGHT to be so seriously kool.

galley
galley

Speaking of the past, consider that other companies were selling mp3 players and phones before Apple, but Apple managed to come up with its own takes on those products that have been burning up the market. I'm guessing they wouldn't be introducing a table (assuming they do) if they didn't think they could do it again.

simonwilson
simonwilson

I'd say that the 97% emotionally healthy buying public are perhaps 97% mentally 'it's wot i use at work' stunted public... I use a Mac at home as it removes me from the work PC environment. "Start > All Programs" YAWN! Show me the Dock when I get home!

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

McDonald's sell more hamburgers than anyone else. Do you think that demonstrates they have the best hamburgers, and that everyone else who sells a burger should emulate their product? One of my all-time favorite latrine graffiti lines was, "Eat s#!t; 20 million flies can't be wrong." Windows overall is a useful product. That doesn't mean it can't be improved, or that Apple's relatively small market share is due to an inferior OS.

johnmckay
johnmckay

No context; no logic; just anti MS. So by your logic the MAC is bettter because you dont press the mouse button over two 'icons'. I'm totally missing the buzz here, and having struggled to plod around MAC networking I can fully understand why folk like consistency. Thinking about it; maybe MAC sales would go up if they cloned the XP interface. There's a thought as 97% of the market can't be wrong. Surely?? And I'm all for tablets in some form as long as the weight goes down, has a keyboard and I can interact with media content etc. Not saying I'd part with money for an Apple and wouldn't consider a slate at all. I've seen a few slates, tested a few for a few hours and absolutely no use to me. I can scribble on paper so why would I want to scribble on something that'll likely suspend itself in two hours max? Nah.

Unkn0wn F0rces
Unkn0wn F0rces

I spent 4 years using a Macbook Pro to edit videos and pictures for local schools and businesses. The software is nice...a little to user friendly. It doesnt always like where you save files and the magical Mac fairies like to move them in this case. I also dislike their monopoly they have over their computers components. :D

galley
galley

Based on your statements, you must have had little experience using Macs. :-)

Unkn0wn F0rces
Unkn0wn F0rces

I love being stuck with a machine at home that allows for no personalization. One that will move all of my files around for me and tell me whats right for me...goodness what would we do without Macs.

rbosgood
rbosgood

What I saw here was very little about the new Islate and a lot about what a great device the Iphone/Ipod is. One of the reasons that those devices are doing so well is the media (yes T.R. included) hypes them at every opportunity. you can buy billions of apps, but how many are useful? I have an iphone and have about 10 apps that I use, probably 20 that I installed and then dumped. There were dozens, maybe hundreds of devices premiered at CES but the Apple products got the press. There was mention of the Nexus1 but just to say it does not stack up to the Apple products. Please try to find some time for more even coverage and not promote Apple at every turn.

AOS/VS
AOS/VS

It must be really difficult to report on a device that hasn't seen the light of day. More hype from APPL and the iCult is out in force trying to promote a product that doesn't intoduce new technology. Technology that hasn't proven to be marketable in the past as stated by others here. But APPL rarely comes up with anything new. They repackage existing technology and do an amazing job of mashalling APPL zelots to buy the stuff. The articles I read about the MS Slate were asking critical questions. The APPL tablate is essentially the same thing. Why not apply the same scrutiny?

rbosgood
rbosgood

Apple products are marketed by the media. I doubt there is a day that goes by that someone is not reporting on the latest gee-whiz thing that apple says or does. Not commercials mind you, but news reports, or someone touting the latest "app". I have to carry an Iphone for my job, and I am not really impressed by the phone part of it. I do find it annoying that I have to install Itunes to use it. and that it opens every time I plug it into the USB port to charge the phone (every morning, more often if I actually use it). I think there are some great apps available. I also think that the other smart phones have great apps, but you don't hear about them in the media. The Droid got my attention, but I have to search for a news story about it, hundred's or thousands of apps, but we never hear about them. How many times have I seen apple products in the news this week? Apple succeeds because the media has pushed them from day 1. You are not cool without your Iwhatever. If you want to be a cool kid, buy apple. When you grow up, you don't care so much about being "the cool kid"

Ian Wright
Ian Wright

What all you people who put the success of Apple products down to marketing completely miss is that the users/purchasers have spoken. Fundamentally, what Apple has delivered in the iPods and iPhones are products that people mostly love. The most powerful marketing tool is word-of-mouth, vastly more powerful than slick campaigns. People love these products. That's because they do stuff people want in ways that people can use and mostly with far less hassle than competing products. Apple have been briliiant recently in working out the usability/functionality balance for ordinary people and delivering products that deliver with some extra dazzle if you want it. The best example I can think of is my iPhone phone. People goo and gaa at the interface and apps, but I love to show them the phone keypad. Really really clear, functional and simple. Keeping it simple, elegant and functional where it matters. There's a real tone of 'I hate Apple' so I'll deny any value in their products through lots of these posts. For millions of people, Apple products deliver. Get over it.

Neon Samurai
Neon Samurai

There where other music players with media managers and sync programs. iTunes was far from the first. What it did is lock one into the iPod hardware though. For the first year or two the DRM'd music bought through iTunes did it's best to keep that bundle required. On the hardware side, iPod showed up with a novel interface (the wheel) and bigger storage space. The wheel input was mechanical on the first generation too rather than the later touch sensitive wheel surface. Locked in music, paired media manager and hardware, huge storage space in the manager, novelty trick to grab attention, add in a great marketing team with some silhouette over a white background; whammo!

Vulpinemac
Vulpinemac

[i]"... out in force trying to promote a product that doesn't intoduce new technology."[/i] How do you know? What makes you so certain that there won't be any new technology? We've already seen any number of patents applied for and/or granted that expressly show new technologies compatible with a tablet device far different from anything currently on the market. In all honesty, every available tablet I've seen is based on putting a desktop OS onto a touchscreen device, and as yet that technology has only been good for kiosks and Point of Sale applications; absolutely no true functionality for the everyday home or enterprise user. This is why they've failed. I'm not saying the Apple tablet, assuming that is what's being announced, will be any better. However, the iPhone/iPod Touch devices have proven that Apple succeeds where others have failed by, quite literally, thinking differently from everyone else. Pretty much from day 1 and the original pre-manufactured Apple II computer, the company has influenced how people compute. Yes, the IBM x86 platform and Microsoft have dominated the field, but in almost every case, new technologies and concepts originated with Apple. No, I'm not necessarily saying they were first to produce something, I'm saying they were first to make it something everyone wanted. Take the iPod, for instance. There were other MP3 devices out there, Creative and Sony both had reasonably functional units. But neither of them had an easy method of organizing and loading the music onto the devices. Apple made the first iPod and tied it to iTunes, letting you import your entire CD collection (and other media if you had the right hardware and software) into the computer and create playlists to load into the iPod. What you may have forgotten is that the iPod and iTunes were Apple-only for over a year. It wasn't ported to Windows until the demand grew to the point that they couldn't ignore it. Sony and Creative still had their players, but it was the iPod that came into dominance simply because it was so easy to use. Back then, there was no such thing as 'Cool Factor.' The iPhone did much the same sort of thing; there were other smart phones on the market, most notably RIM's Blackberry, but they were almost all used in the enterprise and few, if any, were in the hands of the general public. Apple introduced the iPhone essentially ignoring the enterprise market, and demand became so great that, as noted in the article, the enterprise has practically been forced to support it--not from monopolistic behavior, but from the popularity of the device and users demanding that support. Please note that in both these cases, it wasn't Apple trying to force its technologies onto the people, it was the people demanding the technology. I see this new tablet device as another advancement that can change how people think about the way things are done in computing.

galley
galley

Maybe because no one actually knows what its features will be yet? This is all based upon speculation. Except that in the past several years Apple built a reputation for bringing products to the market that have been wildly successful. As far as mashalling [sic] APPL zelots [sic] to buy the stuff, most of the people I know that have iPhones don't own any other Apple products (yet).