Tech world waits for Apple to show them how to make tablet computers

Christmas PD5FM $10 discount“Apple has a knack for spotting problems we didn’t know we had. It can leave us wondering how we survived without vast libraries of music and TV shows in our pockets or the comfort of knowing ‘there’s an app for that,'” Jessica Mintz reports for The Associated Press.

“Now, speculation is growing that in two weeks Apple will unveil a tablet-style touch-screen computer that is bigger than an iPhone but smaller than a standard laptop,” Mintz reports. “If indeed that is Apple’s next move — the company won’t comment — it would have to show us why we ought to pay for yet another Internet-connected screen, on top of the TVs, computers and smart phones we already have.”

“Bill Gates, co-founder of Apple nemesis Microsoft Corp., predicted repeatedly during the 2000s that tablets were about to take off. He was wrong because those tablets required people to use a pen-shaped stylus to tap buttons or write on the screen, which was attractive in workplaces where employees needed to check boxes or fill out forms. For most people, though, using a stylus for regular computer tasks such as editing a spreadsheet was more cumbersome than using a mouse and keyboard,” Mintz reports.

MacDailyNews Take: Bill Gates was wrong because when Microsoft doesn’t have a product from Apple off of which to cheat, they produce ridiculous messes like MS Bob. Just watch, after Jobs unveils and explains it, Microsoft et al. will suddenly “get” tablets and the typical knockoff parade will proceed apace.

Mintz continues, “It seems it will be Apple CEO Steve Jobs who swoops in with a tablet that takes advantage of recent technology improvements and garners the most buzz. Dell and HP didn’t present a retail-ready tablet because the companies want to be able to adjust if Apple’s vision turns out to be radically different, says computer industry analyst Roger Kay of Endpoint Technologies Associates. ‘If Apple blows it out of the park, we know that that’s what the space is going to look like for a while,’ he says.”

“Touch screens and the underlying software are also dramatically better today, and we’ve gotten used to pinching, swiping and using on-screen keyboards thanks to the popularity of Apple’s iPhone,” Mintz reports. “And gadgets — especially ones made by Apple — are thinner and sleeker all the time, making them more portable than clunky early tablets.”

Mintz reports, “We’ve seen this happen before: Portable music players and “smart” phones had existed before the iPod and the iPhone came along, and yet it was Apple that redefined those categories.”

Full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Fred Mertz” for the heads up.]

17 Comments

  1. Apple will once again blow everybody’s mind.
    It’s not about the tablet but rather the ecosystem.
    Nobody at CES mentionned that latter aspect.
    What is multi-touch without an app store after all?

  2. Nice to see that Jessica Mintz understands how the others wait, and then (try to) copy Apple.

    Hmmm. That awareness seems to be getting more and more mainstream.
    Boy, the times they are a-changin’.

  3. @NHL

    it’s true, there is a subtle shift taking place and those who realize salaries are at stake, don’t want to be on the wrong side of history. For the moment, they’ll throw Apple a bone, but I know better. What’s really going on is, the preponderance (sp?) of opinion, conjecture, and assorted facts is beginning to influence people’s attitudes.

    The worm has turned.

    Apple was right all along, about its products and their approach and no one knows it better than its customers and now, thanks to the Internet, others are starting to believe.

    What I fear most is, Apple growing so fast, they won’t stop and take the time to relearn Jobs’s mission statement.

  4. Pfft. Apple’s so-called competitors have now dropped any pretense of innovation. They’re just gonna sit back and wait for Apple.

    As an Apple fan, this fills me with pride. As an electronics consumer, however, this disgusts me. One company can’t carry everyone else forever.

    ——RM

  5. @iluvmy
    have you considered the possibility Apple has been licensing its tech for over thirty years? They could very well license multi-touch or some flavor of it. The question is would they ever admit it, or allow any licensee to discuss it publicly.

    I also believe there are lots of folks on Verizon who are saying, I don’t care about multi-tasking or voice and data simultaneously, just bring us the damn iPhone!

  6. @G4Dualie

    You are absolutely right about verizon customers waiting for the iPhone. Funny, people will change hardware, but find it impossible to change carriers. Can’t understand why people with a choice, find it impossible to talk themselves into changing carriers.

    I guess it’s the same reason people are trapped in the windows mentality. They convince themselves they can’t change. So they wait patiently for knock off windows and iphone’s to buy, because they “know” their favorite computer maker and network will catch up. They wait for years, and then buy something that costs less than an iPhone or Mac, and feel gratified that they waited for the “deal” that others missed.

    It’s really sad to see all of the self delusional people patiently waiting for the knock off’s to appear. Coming up to 3 years on the iPhone, and can’t see anyone close yet. Heck, these people will buy androids that approach the first gen iPhone capabilities and pat them selves on the back because they didn’t have to buy Apple hardware. I just don’t understand why there are so many Apple haters out there.

  7. I guess my problem is I doubt Apple is going to put out a tablet computer. It will be a media focused gadget and I highly doubt one can install full OS X apps. Like a touch sensitve Adobe CS 4 version of illustrator or photoshop. Can use both of them with a Wacom so why not?

    Stop kidding yourself that this will replace any exsisting platform. It will appeal to:

    1. People who love gadgets
    2. People who run no applications other than email / internet (granted a huge % of people fall into this bucket)

  8. For a long time tablets have been available, and not taken off except for certain applications and situations. I see a lot of pharmaceuticals companies using them as visit documentation. Some applications written for the medical profession as well, but they con’t come close to the dictated word, that can provide a much better representation of documentation of a visit.

    What Jobs needs to do is deliver accessibility to content and your ability to use it easily, with a product that is a bit more sophisticated and something that has greater power and depth in computer input without the use of a physical keyboard.

    Otherwise he’s just giving us another tablet or larger iPhone. So I think content will be a major portion of what he has to offer.

  9. @Mark Texas

    Contradict yourself much?

    You said there won’t be a tablet, then you said there would be, but it wouldn’t run PS or ILL. ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”LOL” style=”border:0;” />

    Wacom doesn’t make a tablet capable of running CS4 either, so what’s your point? Cintiq doesn’t run PS either, its simply an interface for a computer and costs three-times what you paid for your last PC.

    Who told you Apple’s tablet will replace any existing platform? This tablet will BE the platform, silly.

    I have an iPod Touch that does a lot more than email and internet so it’s reasonable to think that an Apple tablet would possess a lot more capability than my Touch. However, even if it could run it, I wouldn’t put CS4 on the damn thing. PS is bad enough on my 24″ LCD let alone run it on a ten-inch monitor. That’s just stupid.

    You were right about one thing though; the tablet will appeal to people who love gadgets.

  10. @flashix

    What Jobs needs to do is deliver accessibility to content and your ability to use it easily, with a product that is a bit more sophisticated and something that has greater power and depth in computer input without the use of a physical keyboard.

    Otherwise he’s just giving us another tablet or larger iPhone. So I think content will be a major portion of what he has to offer.

    BINGO! That is so true. I really think you’re onto something there. So many people out there think that Apple will release just another tablet without accessible content that is hard to use and is unsophisticated and lacks the power and depth in computer input using a physical keyboard.

    The Apple ][, the Mac, the iMac, the iPod, and the iPhone all came with world-class support and content. So why would the tablet be any different, right?

    Right!

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

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