“I hate to break it to you, but the emperor is virtually naked. At Comdex in November 2002, and with great fanfare, Bill Gates introduced the tablet as the next mainstream mobile platform. Non-Windows tablets had been in use for years as niche products serving vertical markets like healthcare and insurance. When questioned about whether the tablet was really up to shouldering the mainstream computing needs of the broad horizontal market, Gates was unwavering in his assertion that Windows XP Tablet Edition would make it so. Microsoft’s focus-group research, he said, showed that people hated the tablet the first day, grumbled about it on the second, sort of got it on the third, and so on until the 10th day, when they said they couldn’t live without it. I wasn’t convinced, but many early forecasts reflected Gates’ thinking, showing growth in the tablet market reaching 5 million in 2005, 9 million in 2006, and 14 million by 2007. Well, here we are mid-2005 and not on a run rate to hit even 1 million for the year,” Roger Kay writes for Technology Pundits.
“Three years after introducing the tablet, Microsoft has largely left the OEMs to their own devices, so to speak. It does match qualified marketing funds one to one, which is a help, but other support is pretty thin. The prospect of a large supporting ad campaign has faded, and the company itself doesn’t seem as excited about tablets as it used to be. It would be a bad thing to have taken the OEMs for a long stroll through the park only to abandon them before leading the way home. The OEMs have made substantial investments to help realize the future as articulated by Gates in Vegas in 2002. And, so far, there doesn’t appear to be much there there. In fact, I think I see an emperor in his birthday suit,” Kay writes.
Full article here.
MacDailyNews Take: More proof that Apple’s not going to be doing a “Tablet Mac” any time soon or another reason why Apple will tackle the tablet form factor and show the world how to do it right? Based on Kay’s estimates of 3.5 million in 2009 (1.2 million slates and 2.3 million convertibles which feature a screen that spins around on a mono-hinge and snaps into a slate form factor) and giving Apple a very healthy 10-percent of the market, that’s 120,000 slates and/or 230,000 convertible “Mac tablets” in 2009. Those numbers don’t sound like something Steve Jobs would deem to be high on Apple’s list of priorities. What do you think?
Related MacDailyNews articles:
RUMOR: Apple Tablet exists running ‘reduced version’ of Mac OS X – May 24, 2005
Apple granted U.S. patent for Tablet Mac (with images) – May 10, 2005
Apple looking to add wireless connectivity to iPod, rumored Tablet Mac? – August 25, 2004
Apple hints at ‘handheld tablet computer’ with European design trademark filing – August 13, 2004
The Age ponders video Bluetooth iPod; tablet Mac possibilities – January 22, 2003
Apple readying secret iTablet for Macworld unveiling? – January 03, 2003
Tablet Mac watch begins – November 17, 2002