Tablets await their savior: Apple

Parallels Desktop 5 for Mac “Everybody’s making tablets, but nobody knows what they’re for. One of the most common, yet totally incoherent product areas at this year’s CES, the handheld, five to 10 inch tablet is a gadget that everyone seems to want to produce, but nobody can explain,” Sascha Segan writes for PC Magazine. “So it’s a good thing Apple’s getting into the game.”

“Watching CE makers talk about their tablets is like watching aphasia in action,” Sascha Segan writes for PC Magazine. “As far as I can tell, tablets like the Dell Mini 5 are for uh. Just because screens exist between four and 12 inches, companies are insisting that we have to have them, because, well, uh. I think they’re e-readers that let you surf the Internet on your couch.”

“Dedicated e-readers like the Amazon Kindle are, in fact, tablets, but they’re not what we’re talking about here. The tablets we’re discussing are to the Kindle as a smartphone is to a voice-only phone. They’re probably not as well designed for a single use, but they have more uses,” Segan writes. “Like, for instance, uh.”

“So, welcome Apple. If there’s one thing that Apple’s good at, it’s communicating why you should want things,” Segan writes. “Apple has always played the role of refiners and explainers, taking existing technologies and making them more human. (See: the PC, the MP3 player, the smartphone.)”

“There’s one thing Apple can’t change alone, though. As a Dell product manager pointed out to me, many people are going to want 3G subscriptions so they can take their tablets out of the house. And at $60 a pop, that’s a no-go,” Segan writes. “That’s why Apple needs Verizon.”

Full article here.

21 Comments

  1. Anybody ever think about how difficult it might be to hold these tablets? iPhone is perfect in your palm, but a 10 inch screen? Maybe we’ll need the ‘iHold’ accessory.

  2. How about a velcro adjustable strap on the back that you can slide your hand through? Then you could hold it like one of those yard-game paddles with the velcro ball. That’d be fashionable! ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”wink” style=”border:0;” />

  3. OK, why does Apple need Verizon?

    I believe evidence has shown that Verizon needs Apple more than the reverse. They have been hitting hard on ATT to stem the tide of iPhone sales. That doesn’t sound like a position of strength. Plus, the iPhone can connect to WiFi with any open, free, or ATT WiFi enable locations: Think McDonald’s or Starbuck’s. I will jump off a cliff of an inch or so and say a Apple tablet will do the same. So, does Apple need Verizon? In a word- NO! would it be nice- YES! more choice is always better. But I will risk that this person has Verizon and is dieing to have an Apple product. More Apple lust form the customers of the FIRST CELL PHONE COMPANY TO TURN DOWN THE iPhone! Ha!

    So, No Verizon only bring more choice to the table with no NEED to have them. Well, other than filling the need of the customers of Verzion that royally screwed it base by wanting to CONTROL every damn thing. So, pass a towel to Verizon’s media and normal customer base so they can wipe the drool and sweat from their face! WAITING is a hard thing to do.

    From a very happy first day iPhone user! Love the fun! Glad I was not locked into Verizon!

  4. The iSlate is not another mobile device at all.

    It’s a larger screen, battery and maybe a processor unit for a device you already have. Who wants another device and another contract. LED LCD or OLED choice and then you just slide your iPhone or iPod touch into the docking port and Bam all your information and your connectivity. At your computer, connect the device to a USB port and Wham Multi touch pad for your Mac with a display.

    Now that would be one slick shit device. And for Wicked Multi-touch all Apple needs to do is some iPhone OS and Mac OS updates which are in the pipe already.

    I telling you the more rumors I hear the less I believe this device is going to be a separate iPhone/iPod touch tablet device. There is just not need for the device. But a device that complements and adds on to a device that Apple’s already selling at a rate of a few Million + Units a month. Think about it. Why remove attention from a winner. Why not expand and refocus attention squarely on your award winning products (iPhone and iPod touch) by offering a must have innovation for that product that expands the product in ways the competitors haven’t dreamed of.

  5. And their has been way too many Apple Tablet Leaks for any of them to be credible any more. Apple wanted and most likely has been encouraging the Apple Tablet leaks so all the PC maker and smart phone makers would rush through a bunch or R&D;to make tablets when they can even define a market for a tablet type device.

    But a Mac and iPhone/iPod touch accessory 10″ Multi-Touch screen and slate device defining a market is an easy task.

  6. <rant>
    I’m not sure how the public is benefiting from this carrier pi_sng contest. The new Apple tablet and similar devices will only press this point further. As we move freely around the country we should be able to get our data from wherever we happen to be without owning multiple handheld devices, one for each location/carrier, or worse doing without network access when we happen to find ourselves in the wrong carrier’s back yard. </rant>

  7. I’m sorry, even less useful than a smaller laptop or larger iPhone is a $800 accessory/really fancy keyboard.

    You do hit on the key word of innovation – in order for an Apple Tablet device to succeed, it has to be innovate out of the pit of the tablet as a smaller laptop or larger iPhone. The problem is that, like the iPhone before it, all the speculation is trapped in that kind of thinking (note recent stories on MDN of the tablet as “iPhone on steroids” or “smaller macbook”). If the Apple tablet is to really take off, they will have to pull off the same trick that they did with the iPhone – introduce something outside the bounds of the iterative changes that most currently envision.

    A true success will be delivering a device that consumers can see has a distinct and attractive purpose that their laptops and smartphones do not have.

    If anyone can pull that off, Apple can. That does not mean that they will, but they are capable.

  8. @ Rubber Johnny

    All the $800.00 to $1,000.00 pricing speculation is based on the device being a tablet type device, Some of the rumors have said that Apple is planning on price that is lot less then predictions are indicating. So a $200.00 to $400.00 (my best guess at pricing assuming a 20% to 25% Apple profit margin) for a 10″ high resolution multi-touch accessory screen, with extended battery and onboard video processing that also would act as a USB Multi-touch screen for a Mac system is not that expensive. It also would not require the customer to buy and pay for another monthly data plan. It would not remove focus from the iPhone if anything it would just increase sales of the iPhone and iPod touch beyond the number of stand alone table devices Apple could sell. A tablet device would cannibalize some of the iPhone and iPod touch sales why cannibalize when you accessorize. Apple could introduce the device and sell it at or below cost (a first for Apple) and sell more iPhones in the process which would add up to bigger profits in the end.

    This is exactly the type of innovative product Apple is famous for, Plus I think that Apple already has the patents that cover just such a device.

  9. “Watching CE makers talk about their tablets is like watching aphasia in action,” – That’s because they have neither imagination nor vision.

    As to that “well, uh. I think they’re e-readers that let you surf the Internet on your couch” comment, my iPod touch serves that purpose well enough.

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