Apple tablet coming, but remains a technological unicorn for now

“If you’ve only been half paying attention you probably think that the Apple Tablet is a done deal. It isn’t. Outside the impervious hallways of One Infinite Loop the tablet remains a technological unicorn — a mythical beast whose beauty, elegance and singularity we can only imagine,” John C. Abell writes for Wired.

“Wired.com is among the vast majority of publications which fervently believes, however. We have found supporting evidence in all manner of tea leaves, including the decision by Apple to allow iPhone developers to create free apps that can be platforms to charge for something. This is probably just a way of porting the shareware model to mobile. But a free shop window would also be a perfect way for publishers, we argued, to offer readers the same chance to sample without charging them for the privilege,” Abell writes.

“Apple admits nothing, of course. In a recent meeting with media executives, including some from Condé Nast, attendees were required to sign a non-disclosure agreement, participants told wired.com. Despite this precaution the word ‘tablet’ was never uttered — indeed, hardware wasn’t even discussed,” Abell writes.

“Tablet speculation mostly centers on what’s in it for the user, and third parties, including the print media,” Abell writes. “But the key is what’s in it for Apple — more specifically, what’s in it for CEO Steve Jobs. We think there’s one thing that makes an Apple Tablet inevitable: Jobs is considering his legacy, and he wants it to include saving the media, pulling it back from the brink at its darkest moment.”

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Legacy, schmegacy. Jobs is just doing what he’s always done: Pushing forward.

30 Comments

  1. I certainly think a tablet could function as a “book” or magazine. It would replace a lot of bookshelves and student book stores.

    On the other hand, if the content is anything like usual web pages – covered with little green words that pop up meaningless ads (see any MDN or MacNN story) – then no one will be interested in paying to read it. They make it impossible to really read anything because they block the text. For a tablet to be successful, any paid content must be free of such trashy distractions.

  2. The tablet is most definitely real but may not yet be ready to be everything it WILL BE. And it’s been a goal for decades, nothing new there. More a question of getting industries able to use it now and getting the technology advanced enough AND inexpensive enough.

  3. Just because these “attendees” signed a NDA doesn’t mean that they would be privy to info about unreleased tablet or something of the like. This is meaningless.

  4. More speculation on the speculation.

    Without the signed contracts for the content, the iSlate won’t see the light of day.

    The last thing Apple needs is another orphaned Apple TV like project on their hands.

  5. Imagine the money it might save schools in the future, on textbooks that are available to students with an iSlate (iTablet)?

    Imagine the hassle it would save students from carrying around all those books of which only 1/2 ever gets taught. My kids could read while waiting 20 minutes to get into our favorite restaurant (where they wouldn’t be caught dead with a textbook) or anywhere for that matter.

    Imagine a student 10 years from now “seeing” video clips of the 9/11 event rather than only reading about it or seeing pictures. The possibility of book publishers to insert multimedia into the pages of books or articles… no not porn.

    Imagine the usefulness of having “links” in technical articles or books available to reference for better understanding a subject.

    Imagine the possibilities in the future of a device that become ubiquitous like this. If the iTablet follows in the footsteps of the iPhone, with content delivery/ availability via iTunes, it maybe the learning, news and reading device of the future.

    Imagine if AAPL came out with a device running on a proprietary PA Semi chip? Certainly it would be able to outperform Atom or other available chips, otherwise why would AAPL use it?

    Think Different. ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”wink” style=”border:0;” />

  6. Like Steve Jobs needs to worry about his legacy. He’s already cemented as one of the most important men in American history. Most presidents have had less of an influence on the world than Steve Jobs.

  7. Jobs already cemented his legacy from transforming four different industries. This is either a complete idiot or needs to go back to school on how to do simple research. Better yet, just google. Saves him a lot of time and money.

  8. @surfcity
    I get your vision. Imagine students with now electronic textbooks that can now highlight in various colors for studying and have it save with the textbook. And later for studying, only the pages with highlights show up.

    Also imagine if they can take notes as well as draw on these things for note taking in class. This would require a stylus, but I don’t think that would be the end of the world.

    Would have loved to have one of these when I was in college.

  9. I have to agree with breeze and silverwarloc – this is NOT about Jobs’ legacy!! This is about what Apple has ALWAYS been about: they simply make the hardware <u>they</u> want. If it’s technically feasible and makes economic sense, they will do it for themselves more than for anything else…

    And while the ‘iTablet’ is a brilliant idea with immense potential, don’t forget that THE battery drain on mobile devices is the screen. At 10.5″, this baby is going to need one heavy duty battery, which will increase weight. I can’t wait to see how they solve this (for all its drawbacks, the Kindle’s battery lasts “relatively” forever).

  10. @surfcity and PhxDoc
    Your visions are compelling in some ways, but I think they are a bit too passive in user orientation. The magic function that makes the tablet worthwhile is object-oriented personal media creation (the implicit promise of Microsoft Surface [big-ass-table]). To be able to create a movie with your hands, without doing any filming, using the deep resources of the web; to take Keynote’s capabilities a step further by diversifying the frames; to enable collages/pastiche/sampling with images/text/sounds/video where the user makes the selections and arrangements and the software takes care of cleaning up the technical details– and all of these things possible without earning a degree in film production and mastering Apple’s high-tech editing programs.

    It would open a new world. It’s a task worthy of Apple. And it can’t be done well on an eReader, an iPhone, or a laptop.

  11. Speaking of books and school, why do kids carry around so many books nowadays? I carried a few books, when I was growing up, but I was not the norm. Most kids never carried their books from school to home and vice-versa. Does all this book-carrying make the kids smarter?

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