PDA

View Full Version : Steve Jobs Meetings, Tablets, and iPhones




Blue Velvet
Jan 4, 2007, 12:55 AM
Will Apple's chief executive unveil a tablet Mac or an 'iPhone' at Macworld next week? Former sales boss David Sobotta describes the meeting which explained key thinking

Thursday January 4, 2007
The Guardian

Next week, Steve Jobs will stand on stage in San Francisco to make his keynote speech at the Macworld show, to unveil new - much-rumoured - products. Here's something I discovered in my 22 years at Apple: some of the toughest competition for the best seats, or the first of those new products, comes from former Windows-centric executives who Steve has personally sucked into his "reality distortion zone" in face-to-face executive briefings.

You want to go to one? You want to meet Steve Jobs to persuade him that Apple should build a tablet computer, or an iPhone? Then besides having a big purchasing budget and persuasive reasons, you'd better bring a big ego.

In the spring of 2002, I had been at Apple for nearly 20 years and had risen through the ranks to become its national federal sales manager. I joined a delegation from the prestigious National Institutes of Health, the pre-eminent US federal agency for medical research, for an "executive briefing" at Apple's Cupertino headquarters with Steve Jobs. Most people haven't heard of NIH; but its 2007 budget will be around $28.6bn (£14.6bn). NIH also happens to be one of Apple's premier scientific customers.

Nine key NIH people attended the meeting, including its two highest-ranking technology officers. Setting up an executive briefing at Apple is a bizarre process that takes a couple of months; if you also want Steve to grace the briefing, add another six weeks to run a formal request up the chain of command, including just about every detail but the DNA of the people who want to meet him.

With luck, and if Steve happens to be in town, you will get the commitment that unless something else turns up, he will drop by and stay as long as he feels necessary.

Horror stories

Once you have your ironclad guarantee that Steve might come by, the management chain starts telling horror stories about how the best thing is for Steve not to come. That if he does come, he'll talk about whatever he has immersed himself in recently, whether it is iTunes or Garageband. That whatever Steve has to say might or might not have anything to do with what the customer wants to hear. For a salesman, that's disconcerting; your customers normally only come to these executive briefings to understand where Apple executives stand on key issues. And they're customers, aren't they? They're the ones who pay for it all, the ones who are always right?

Yet it's an amazing experience to take part in a briefing with Steve. Stories about him reprimanding customers are true. Once, when renegotiating a Pixar distribution deal with Disney, he humiliated Disney's chief information officer in front of his staff. Steve pointed to a couple of recent Disney flops, and told the attendees that they could expect more of the same as long as the CIO was stupid enough to keep Macs out of the creative process.

An executive briefing always looks, on paper, like a clash of titanic egos. From what I saw, most wilt quickly in Steve's presence. And customers' reverence for him usually overwhelms any hostility.

In fact, it doesn't really matter who is presenting or what is being discussed. When Steve enters a room, everything stops and attention turns to him. When he walks in you get the feeling that he has sucked all the other thoughts out of the room. As for quoting him precisely - you don't take notes if you want to live. (At Apple's most recent sales briefing, nobody was allowed to have a notebook, phone or computer out while Steve spoke.)

I've checked these recollections with an NIH attendee. Steve did show up wearing shorts, sandals and a few days' stubble. Everyone else was in east coast business casual - sports coats and khaki pants. He also brought his brilliance but not, that day, the arrogance you often hear about.

The NIH delegation wanted to know whether Apple would build a tablet computer that would work in their clinical situation. Actually, more than that: they wanted to convince Steve to make a tablet. After all, Bill Gates had launched one the year before at CES in January, boldly saying "within five years, I predict that it will be the most popular form of PC sold in America". Tablets were the future - weren't they? Not like those music players that Apple had launched the previous October. Pod-somethings?

But as Apple's then vice-president of hardware, Jon Rubenstein, once told me: "Customers do not know what they want to buy. We have to tell them." Steve had not been forewarned about the tablet question, but it became obvious he had given the topic serious consideration. He listed a number of reasons why Apple was not interested. And they provide some of the best insights into why Apple does or does not do a product.

The tablet situation

First, he said, tablet computers were not a big enough market for Apple to spend its limited resources chasing. And even if the market grew, it would not reach a size to be of interest. The form factor was all wrong. Apple was more interested in defining markets than trying to catch other companies that were busy trying to create a market for questionable products. Still, some of the NIH scientists pressed the issue. Steve's follow-up answer was the most impressive I had heard him give.

First, he said, the wireless bandwidth for huge images, plus the security needed to successfully do what NIH wanted, was just not on the horizon. (Apple staff had been notably fuzzy earlier in the briefing about wireless standards after 802.11b.) Plus, tablets' screen resolution was nowhere near that required for NIH's high-quality medical images. Finally, any product designed to work in the medical field would attract significant liability. The hint was that Apple wasn't interested in anything with that kind of potential liability. That pretty well shut down the issue.

So, no tablet. But NIH at the time had more than 2,000 BlackBerry users. The NIH CIO wanted Apple to push RIM for better compatibility. Tough: Steve basically said it was another niche product, and that while there would be convergence of computing and phones, the BlackBerry was not that product. He did not see that compatibility as an area where Apple should spend any effort. So what will the converged product - what is being called the "iPhone" (even though that's a Cisco trademark) - look like? He said the really converged, ubiquitous devices would have to fit in your shirt pocket, and be better than either a phone or a computer by itself.

That was 2002. But let's examine the rumours that Apple will next week unveil a tablet computer or iPhone in light of Steve's comments that day.

The market for a converged computer and phone should be very attractive: Gartner forecast last year that 986m mobiles would be sold in 2006. And there's an "Apple gap": mobile phone users often find their interfaces confusing, even within the same brands. Apple's unique ability to simplify while innovating looks like a good fit there. Plus Apple's deal with Samsung means it is well placed for anything that needs lots of flash memory. It has played around with unique relationships with phone manufacturers: Jobs used a Sony Ericsson phone to demonstrate Bluetooth capability in July 2002, and showed off the Motorola ROKR, the first to play iTunes, in 2005. This fits Apple's pattern of learning what it needs to know through partnership before jumping into a market. Significantly, the first Powerbooks, in 1991, involved Sony. Now the companies' laptops compete, although Sony still makes the batteries. Logically, Apple will make its own phone if it is holding true to pattern.

But a tablet computer? Most analysts would agree the market is growing only slowly, mostly in the healthcare and other specialised industries, and that these models will make at most 5% of the laptop market by 2009 (they account for 1% now). Even Dell doesn't make its own tablet. Furthermore, the tablet was championed by Bill Gates. I don't see Steve stepping up to the plate to help Bill's reputation as a forecaster of computer trends.

I believe there are other reasons why Apple won't make a tablet computer. Even before the iPod gained momentum, Apple executives had a theory that the route to success will not be through selling thousands of relatively expensive things, but millions of very inexpensive things like iPods; and not necessarily computers. Tablet computers remain expensive. Yet the mobile phone market is almost perfect for Apple strategy. There is no real market leader, and it's ripe for simplification. Plus it's worldwide, and engineers from the network operators would be available to do localisation.

Apple might even be able to do a Java-based phone platform which could integrate into current systems. With a focus on simple mail and contact integration with its online .Mac (mac.com) service, Apple could provide advantages for early adopters while making its .Mac service better value (because it isn't right now). Few non-technical people consider doing anything other than transferring numbers to their new mobiles by typing. On anything other than a Mac, the process is just too complex. Apple already knows how to make this easy. It just needs to convince people to buy an Apple phone and a Mac.

Also anti-tablet is Apple's sales force, which often spends so much of its time forecasting what it's going to sell in a given quarter there's precious little time left to actually sell anything. Right now they sell everything from iPods to Xserve RAIDs. However, an Apple phone wouldn't need a new sales force. The network operators' sales force could handle it - probably cutting Apple sales people out of any new commission revenue for phones, much as they have done for the iPod.

Even if Apple partners only with a single national carrier it will get an immediate, huge retail presence.

What about a more targeted tablet - perhaps to control all the devices in your home entertainment stable? Traditionally, Apple stays away from markets where it cannot define all of the standards, so I really don't think Steve will devote resources to make non-Apple stuff work together. Even the vertical markets like healthcare suffer from this problem: too many pieces in a very complex puzzle.

So next week, I'm sure we won't see any kind of tablet computer from Apple. I am 99% confident we will see an Apple phone, with enhanced music capabilities and maybe a few computing features such as email and contacts synchronisation with Macs or through .Mac.

Steve's ability to know where consumers and technology will intersect often creates a road paved in gold. That's why he'll focus his energy on mobiles. The potential there that only Steve can see could well turn into another must-have product for the legions who don't even know they are part of Steve's army. They haven't met him across a table. But they've met the products of his thinking.

· David Sobotta was formerly the federal sales manager at Apple. His blog is at viewfromthemountain.typepad.com/applepeels/

http://technology.guardian.co.uk/weekly/story/0,,1981815,00.html



Cybix
Jan 4, 2007, 01:01 AM
not a bad read :)

kalisphoenix
Jan 4, 2007, 01:08 AM
That Jobs! What chutzpah. Damn good read.

adrianblaine
Jan 4, 2007, 01:09 AM
Very interesting. I agree with him on the whole tablet thing. Most people think they want one, but then it ends up being more of a novelty. I used to want one, and then my dad was given one for his work to try out and I got to use it quite a bit and it wasn't much fun to use at all. Granted it was running Windows, but I don't know how Apple could make it more useful (knock on wood). I'd take a PDA over a Tablet any day. I hope Apple takes their time making a tablet. I want it to be right the first time.

wako
Jan 4, 2007, 03:36 AM
I joined a delegation from the prestigious National Institutes of Health


LOL! Prestigious and NIH just doesnt mix in my books... but thats maybe because I live in Bethesda, MD have been there...

Sdashiki
Jan 4, 2007, 07:47 AM
People are STILL wanting a friggen tablet? Are you serious?

Its a niche market, thats all I can see it as, ever being.

People dont comfortably hold clipboards, especially ones that weigh 2-5lbs.

:cool:

shecky
Jan 4, 2007, 07:56 AM
i am holding off on a Blackberry Pearl just in case apple comes out with something nearly as good (tho probably in a different way) tuesday.

When Steve enters a room, everything stops and attention turns to him. When he walks in you get the feeling that he has sucked all the other thoughts out of the room.

i have had the good fortune to meet with a number of "celebrity" designers who, in the design world at least, are equal to steve jobs' level of wow-ness and this statement is shockingly accurate - its like they are a little black hole and everything is sucked into them when they walk into the room. its really pretty entertaining to see people just mentally drop to their knees with people like this.

psychofreak
Jan 4, 2007, 07:58 AM
People are STILL wanting a friggen tablet? Are you serious?

Its a niche market, thats all I can see it as, ever being.

People dont comfortably hold clipboards, especially ones that weigh 2-5lbs.

:cool:

Tablets suck. MP3 players sucked, and were a niche market.

Sucky MP3 players -> iPod
Sucky tablets -> iTouch

If loads of people have something, people say its a saturated market. If not many people have something, its niche. What market type should apple enter?

MacBoobsPro
Jan 4, 2007, 07:59 AM
Good read.

I like.

Eraserhead
Jan 4, 2007, 08:27 AM
Sucky tablets -> iTouch

What market type should apple enter?

The real question is if tablets didn't suck, would people buy them? That's the difference I guess.

Warbrain
Jan 4, 2007, 08:32 AM
Tablets will always remain a niche computer that no one ever really wants. Yea, it's neat to be able to take with with you and such, but when you realize that they are usually crippled compared to a portable that could be much, much thinner and lighter, then what's the point?

I, like a poster above, am holding off on deciding what smartphone I want until I see what Apple releases next week. Granted, if the "iPhone" doesn't have Wi-Fi built in, I won't be getting it as the Windows Mobile Treo that Cingular is going to start selling does.

PlaceofDis
Jan 4, 2007, 08:45 AM
i hope more for an Apple super compact lappy than for a tablet. who knows. and they could do it well too. that was a good read and very interesting. thanks for posting it BV.

Warbrain
Jan 4, 2007, 08:50 AM
i hope more for an Apple super compact lappy than for a tablet. who knows. and they could do it well too. that was a good read and very interesting. thanks for posting it BV.

Except that Apple will probably not make a smaller portable than what they have. 13.3 inches is already pretty small and what you lose in display size by making a 12" portable you gain back in thickness...

RichP
Jan 4, 2007, 08:53 AM
Apple is already a niche company, making niche products (the iPod now excluded from that). The resources needed to develop a better MP3 player are much different than a tablet computer, which, to be "better" enough to compete, would require a lot of R&D.

I think tablets are cool in concept. However, what do they really offer that a laptop does not? Do people REALLY want to write notes? Hell, I cant read my own handwriting half the time. How can a computer? I realize there are all sorts of other types of notes that are easier to document by drawing (diagrams, etc) but perhaps a tablet is not the solution to this need.

The phone is where its at for the next step in Apples domination strategy; the article states what we already know. They are ready for Apple simplification and emotional "excitement"

PlaceofDis
Jan 4, 2007, 08:53 AM
Except that Apple will probably not make a smaller portable than what they have. 13.3 inches is already pretty small and what you lose in display size by making a 12" portable you gain back in thickness...

depends. if they were willing to go without the optical drive and make it an external attachment, and even a 11" widescreen would be good enough for me. for what i would like it for. i know there are some nice Sony Vios this size and they feel alright, sell for a high price, but they don't run OS X so i'll never get one. but it sure is possible.

Warbrain
Jan 4, 2007, 08:56 AM
depends. if they were willing to go without the optical drive and make it an external attachment, and even a 11" widescreen would be good enough for me. for what i would like it for. i know there are some nice Sony Vios this size and they feel alright, sell for a high price, but they don't run OS X so i'll never get one. but it sure is possible.

Apple will never make a portable with an optical drive that is an external attachment. It limits the usage of the machine and Jobs has had, especially in recent history, the idea that you must be able to use the computer directly out of the box and not have to have extra components like an optical drive to plug in. The computer is meant to be capable of everything that you need it to do for basic tasks and by making the optical drive an extra thing to carry around and plug in will go against Apple's design and will ultimately make it not happen.

clevin
Jan 4, 2007, 09:14 AM
I always feel its a bad idea to enter a crowded mobile phone market. lets wait and see if market will embrace or ditch apple's mobile phone, after all, buyers now want more functions in their phones, not just great design.

mac-er
Jan 4, 2007, 09:15 AM
i am holding off on a Blackberry Pearl just in case apple comes out with something nearly as good (tho probably in a different way) tuesday.


I'm sorry, you can no longer have a Blackberry. Steve has declared them to be a niche product with no future of convergence.

MacRumors
Jan 4, 2007, 09:24 AM
http://www.macrumors.com/images/macrumorsthreadlogo.gif (http://www.macrumors.com)

This Guardian.co.uk article (http://technology.guardian.co.uk/weekly/story/0,,1981815,00.html) describes Steve Jobs presence at executive meetings and recounts his comments during a meeting with the National Institutes of Health CIO in 2002.

At the time, the iPod was just a year old, and the Microsoft had recently launched a tablet form factor PC. Jobs reportedly had a number of reasons that tablets were not a product he was interested in producing. These included

- small market
- bad form factor
- high wireless bandwidth not available
- poor screen resolution for medical images

In September 2002, he made a similar public statements (http://www.macrumors.com/pages/2002/09/20020911210852.shtml) expressing doubts about the Tablet form factor

We're not sure the tablet PC will be successful. It's turned into a notebook that you can write on. Do you want to handwrite all your e-mail? We have all the technology ourselves to do that - we just don't know whether it will be successful

When questioned about the iPhone in the same NIH meeting, he described the convergence of computing and phones and said that product would "have to fit in your shirt pocket, and be better than either a phone or a computer by itself."

scdreger
Jan 4, 2007, 09:26 AM
Let's hope it really is better than a computer or phone by itself :D

Stella
Jan 4, 2007, 09:26 AM
Well, Steve got the Tablet right - its still niche market today.

Blackberry - well, they are more popular today than in 2002 - but its not the blackberry itself, its the *messaging*. Any smartphone ( Symbian etc ) can do anything that the BB can do - its nothing special. Any iPhone should have excellent messaging abilities - but that messaging ( text, graphics, video ) will have to be compatible with existing phones - otherwise there's not much point ( a lot of phones now have BB compatibility such as SE Pxxx range and Nokia's E-Series ). That messaging already exists - SMS, MMS ( MMS - which has still yet to become popular ) so its all about the applications and phone interface. Sleek design with sleek applications.

Good integration with Macs - Syncing and good range of built in apps. Of course, Music too. Most importantly, ease of use.

Any iPhone should have a good SDK to encourage third party developers. You get a good development base, your on to a winner.

virus1
Jan 4, 2007, 09:28 AM
lets not forget what he said about video ipods.

"they're digging in the wrong place!"

cr2sh
Jan 4, 2007, 09:33 AM
The author has a blog called apple peels (http://viewfromthemountain.typepad.com/applepeels/) (linked at the bottom of the article) that is quite good also... his opinion is informed but a bit dated it seems.

He seems to have lived a pretty interesting life.

ero87
Jan 4, 2007, 09:49 AM
Tablets suck. MP3 players sucked, and were a niche market.

Sucky MP3 players -> iPod
Sucky tablets -> iTouch

If loads of people have something, people say its a saturated market. If not many people have something, its niche. What market type should apple enter?

smartest post i've seen in a long, long time....

people were writing really funny stuff on this forum when the iPod was released, about what a terrible idea it was. "What a niche market!"

UnreaL
Jan 4, 2007, 09:51 AM
I got the impression Steve Jobs was God while reading this... Well it certainly reads that way.

The only flaw I see in the launch of a compact MP3/Phone 'iPhone' to Apple is that it will crush the iPod market. Nothing really combines the features of a MP3 player with a phone seamlessly. It will do just what the camera phone did to the digital camera market and subsequently the video market (videos are a booming sucess just not as a method of communication).

People love intergration.

Eraserhead
Jan 4, 2007, 09:54 AM
I realize there are all sorts of other types of notes that are easier to document by drawing (diagrams, etc) but perhaps a tablet is not the solution to this need.

A laptop with a touch screen/stylus would be good for this, if you could make the keyboard of the laptop "slide" to the other side, (allowing the screen to be on top) then you could have the best of both worlds, though the engineering would be a bi*ch.

ero87
Jan 4, 2007, 09:58 AM
...are steve jobs' comments in 2002 relevant to 2007 at all?!

kalisphoenix
Jan 4, 2007, 09:59 AM
smartest post i've seen in a long, long time....

people were writing really funny stuff on this forum when the iPod was released, about what a terrible idea it was. "What a niche market!"

Sure, tablet PCs have only narrowly outsold Christopher Lloyd inflatable sex dolls... but remember the iPod? (http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=265210)

Mal
Jan 4, 2007, 10:08 AM
I got the impression Steve Jobs was God while reading this... Well it certainly reads that way.

The only flaw I see in the launch of a compact MP3/Phone 'iPhone' to Apple is that it will crush the iPod market. Nothing really combines the features of a MP3 player with a phone seamlessly. It will do just what the camera phone did to the digital camera market and subsequently the video market (videos are a booming sucess just not as a method of communication).

People love intergration.

I guess it's a good thing Apple's never been afraid of doing just that. Remember the iPod mini? Top seller, then at the top of it's game, poof, it's gone. The iPod overall could hardly be more popular, so by that same standard, now's the time to come out with it's replacement.

jW

Sdashiki
Jan 4, 2007, 10:10 AM
your telling me that a tablet PC is going to be anything but a stupid niche?


Try to use one as you would your own desktop or even a laptop.

you cant, the logistics for everyday use is just not there.

Put a tablet in your backpack after class, it gets scratched to hell from other things inside there, a normal laptop has a lid.

Hold a tablet and try to write something, as you would a clipboard, most people use their lap and not hold it up in one arm.

maybe my perception of a tablet is different from what could possibly be designed, but a floating screen that is touch sensitive just doesnt seem feasible or useful for the masses.

the question is really, WHY do you need a tablet?

I fail to find any real need, unless they become so indestructible and weightless and cheap that youd be stupid not to own one.

i never thought MP3 players were a niche market, the WalkMan invented the portable music market decades ago, MP3 is a progression of formats. A tablet is a form factor change only, one I doubt will ever take off on the levels of replacing laptops.

quigleybc
Jan 4, 2007, 10:13 AM
This phone better be ***** amazing...........

guzhogi
Jan 4, 2007, 10:16 AM
I wouldn't mind having a tablet/laptop combo kind of thing. Take a MacBook Pro, let the display swivel around 180? and close w/ the display face up. It would be too hard to write a whole paper or something by hand. Imagine what that would do to the screen! But if you can write on the screen, that wold be good for a quick note.

Also, it shouldn't be too big, maybe 15" screen max b/c anything bigger would be awkward to carry, especially for kids.

If they do only a screen like thing, like a portable iMac, and not one where you can swivel around the display to get a laptop, Apple should really make a docking station like thing so you wouldn't have to carry it. Maybe something like the Cinema Display stand. It would be cool if Apple made a docking station that added extra hard drives/CD/DVD-Roms. Possibly add like a second motherboard or something to boost the performance (think SLI/Crossfire graphics cards, but w/ other components).

For those saying it's a niche thing, who cares? To some people, a tablet might be a dream come true! Some people may want something bigger & more powerful than a PDA, but not quite a laptop. Maybe something like a PADD in Star Trek?

MikeTheC
Jan 4, 2007, 10:33 AM
Apple will never make a portable with an optical drive that is an external attachment. It limits the usage of the machine and Jobs has had, especially in recent history, the idea that you must be able to use the computer directly out of the box and not have to have extra components like an optical drive to plug in. The computer is meant to be capable of everything that you need it to do for basic tasks and by making the optical drive an extra thing to carry around and plug in will go against Apple's design and will ultimately make it not happen.

Sony did that with a couple lines of VAIO notebook, and speaking as one who used to work for Sony's main tech support phone center -- and moreover had to deal with customers who bought those things -- it was a complete nightmare. IF Apple were ever to do that, it would generate so much bad press and so many very bad feelings towards Apple that it could actually cause them some serious harm.

Sdashiki
Jan 4, 2007, 10:36 AM
PDA is not a tablet, it is meant to be very small and carried

laptop with rotating screen is not a tablet its meant for few applications


a real tablet is a doctor holding it one arm, fingers and elbow holding it firm.

those with PDAs and those with laptops arent the same people who would buy a tablet.

applesnoranjes

thejadedmonkey
Jan 4, 2007, 10:40 AM
Sony did that with a couple lines of VAIO notebook, and speaking as one who used to work for Sony's main tech support phone center -- and moreover had to deal with customers who bought those things -- it was a complete nightmare. IF Apple were ever to do that, it would generate so much bad press and so many very bad feelings towards Apple that it could actually cause them some serious harm.

Could you explain why? I can't see why they would make any issues...

glassbathroom
Jan 4, 2007, 10:49 AM
Have a look at this!!!!!!! It seems to suggest that someone else is making the tablet for Apple (with OSX). This is very strange news. I am sure Apple would never want associated products to be launched like this. What doe sit all mean?

http://www.axiotron.com/index.php?id=2

http://eshop.macsales.com/shop/ModBook

My first thought was that this must be a hoax, but it doesn't look like it.

Macula
Jan 4, 2007, 10:54 AM
I can see a Apple Tablet arriving sometime in late 2007. But not a tablet as we know it. Instead:

- A laptop form factor and shape.
- A keyboard-sized touch-sensitive area which will be programmable and will serve as a virtual keyboard, a virtual touch-pad, a virtual draw-pad, a virtual audio mixer console, etc. (see related patent, filed recently).
- Therefore, the screen intself will not need to be touch-sensitive. "Tablet" will refer to the touch-sensitive input area.
- Such an approach, based on a "virtual keyboard", spares the need for handwriting recognition technology, which currently sucks and will continue to do so in the near future.

But such a tablet will not appear until:

- The price of NAND memory drops dramatically. A tablet will be of little use if its battery life is limited to laptop levels. Instead, it should approach phone levels.
- Leopard is released, leveraging this NAND memory and also providing extensive synchronization capabilities.

miketcool
Jan 4, 2007, 10:57 AM
It will do just what the camera phone did to the digital camera market and subsequently the video market (videos are a booming sucess just not as a method of communication).

People love intergration.

Yea Apple, bring 'em on! I want to make sure that the next bootlegged video of an execution for a deposed tyrant dictator is done right; done on a Mac.:D

GenesisST
Jan 4, 2007, 10:58 AM
Do you know the difference between God and Steve Jobs?
God does not think he's Steve Jobs... :-)

(Adapted from an old lawyer/doctor joke)

Still like him, but wouldn't work for him!

bozs13
Jan 4, 2007, 11:00 AM
Have a look at this!!!!!!! It seems to suggest that someone else is making the tablet for Apple (with OSX). This is very strange news. I am sure Apple would never want associated products to be launched like this. What doe sit all mean?

http://www.axiotron.com/index.php?id=2

http://eshop.macsales.com/shop/ModBook

My first thought was that this must be a hoax, but it doesn't look like it.

holy craP! what is going on...

miketcool
Jan 4, 2007, 11:00 AM
Have a look at this!!!!!!! It seems to suggest that someone else is making the tablet for Apple (with OSX). This is very strange news. I am sure Apple would never want associated products to be launched like this. What doe sit all mean?

http://www.axiotron.com/index.php?id=2

http://eshop.macsales.com/shop/ModBook

My first thought was that this must be a hoax, but it doesn't look like it.

The Modbook title suggests they modified an existing Apple product, much like the orginal iBooks were reconfigured for use with disabled persons. I doubt they would allow a third party braned machine, rather, a resold macbook or macbook pro modified as a tablet. Strange indeed, good find.

glassbathroom
Jan 4, 2007, 11:02 AM
The Modbook title suggests they modified an existing Apple product, much like the orginal iBooks were reconfigured for use with disabled persons. I doubt they would allow a third party braned machine, rather, a resold macbook or macbook pro modified as a tablet. Strange indeed, good find.

I think you might be correct. That makes a lot of sense.

bozs13
Jan 4, 2007, 11:03 AM
The Modbook title suggests they modified an existing Apple product, much like the orginal iBooks were reconfigured for use with disabled persons. I doubt they would allow a third party braned machine, rather, a resold macbook or macbook pro modified as a tablet. Strange indeed, good find.

yeah, that's what it looks like

kgarner
Jan 4, 2007, 11:04 AM
Have a look at this!!!!!!! It seems to suggest that someone else is making the tablet for Apple (with OSX). This is very strange news. I am sure Apple would never want associated products to be launched like this. What doe sit all mean?

http://www.axiotron.com/index.php?id=2

http://eshop.macsales.com/shop/ModBook

My first thought was that this must be a hoax, but it doesn't look like it.

Just showed up in my feed reader. This is going to be very interesting. I fall into the camp that a tablet doesn't have a broad enough market, but if someone else is willing to provide for the niche users that want one I say let them at it. I'm going to be keeping my eye on this one.

Dunepilot
Jan 4, 2007, 11:10 AM
Really good article.

It's always possible that Apple would just integrate phone functionality into full-size and Nano iPods and just call them iPods still. That's the beauty of the name - Pod - it doesn't really tell you what the product does, just that it's an adjunct of your 'digital lifestyle'.

The next week will be interesting.

idea_hamster
Jan 4, 2007, 11:10 AM
I don't necessarily think that a tablet Mac with the whole touch-screen thing is a good idea (although there are enough Palm and Treo users to think that people are ready to use a stylus-based interface).

But I would like to have a turnable laptop screen -- ever wanted to show someone across the table what's on your screen?

After all, Mac is all about sharing.... :)

balamw
Jan 4, 2007, 11:18 AM
Have a look at this!!!!!!! It seems to suggest that someone else is making the tablet for Apple (with OSX). This is very strange news. I am sure Apple would never want associated products to be launched like this. What doe sit all mean?

I seem to recall something like this before, where a company was buying stock iBooks adding a touchscreen and turning them into tablets. Nothing Apple can really do to stop them, unless of course they do release their own tablet the day before and have some patent or other....

EDIT: http://www.itablet.theplaceforitall.com/about.html

B

Thanatoast
Jan 4, 2007, 11:19 AM
I don't see how an iPhone would kill the iPod market. Not everyone needs or wants an integrated phone.

Think of the 8-gig Nano. For fifty bucks more you can get a 30-gig video, but this hasn't stopped the Nano from selling. Different products for different needs, wants and tastes.

SiliconAddict
Jan 4, 2007, 11:24 AM
People are STILL wanting a friggen tablet? Are you serious?

:cool:

Yes. I'm sick of my 3 paragraph rants. Search Tablet PC and my name. I give up. People just don't get it because most have never used one before and certainly never used one with a GOOD UI. :rolleyes:

CEAbiscuit
Jan 4, 2007, 11:27 AM
http://www.macrumors.com/images/macrumorsthreadlogo.gif (http://www.macrumors.com)

At the time, the iPod was just a year old, and the Microsoft had recently launched a tablet form factor PC. Jobs reportedly had a number of reasons that tablets were not a product he was interested in producing. These included

- small market
- bad form factor
- high wireless bandwidth not available
- poor screen resolution for medical images

In September 2002, he made a similar public statements (http://www.macrumors.com/pages/2002/09/20020911210852.shtml) expressing doubts about the Tablet form factor.

Completely off topic... but I'm sick of the two words "form factor." Completely overused, unnecessarily used and incorrectly used. Maybe the word "design?"

End of rant.

asphalt-proof
Jan 4, 2007, 11:27 AM
I think the most salient comment in the whole article was the "Customers don't know what they want." That really rings true and it kind of defines true innovation. I just wonder how many of the naysayers who lambasted the idea of the iPod when it first came out now own one.

miketcool
Jan 4, 2007, 11:34 AM
Completely off topic... but I'm sick of the two words "form factor." Completely overused, unnecessarily used and incorrectly used. Maybe the word "design?"

End of rant.

Agreed.

Don't start using bad design, its poor design.

Were at an amazing place with technology and we want to incorperate scribling. Why type, when you can slopply scribble on a screen.
I like the modbook idea for digital designers, or possibly medicine. Photoshop mobile with a stylus would be great for showing clients an idea in a coffee shop. Or showing a patient a procedure or drawing on things to make notes, like circling or emphasizing. Even that is pushing the market.
I'll go with a third party if I need one. We're not replacing the keyboard for pete's sake.

balamw
Jan 4, 2007, 11:42 AM
I'll reiterate my "tablet" thoughts from previous threads.

I'd still like to see something about the size of a hardback book, designed kinda like the iMac or iPod with the HDD and CPU behind the screen, which can use BT or USB input devices. and has at least 720p capable screen. Think of it as a MegaPod or iMacMini. Touch screen is not necessary, but would be a plus. Give it plenty of ports besides the wireless (USB/FW/HDMI), and you'd have a great little media/web surfing/light computing box.

B

jbernie
Jan 4, 2007, 11:51 AM
The tablet format would possibly work a whole lot better if you could leave the guts of the laptop behind, in your bag, on your desk whatever, and then you took the screen portion only. That way you leave behind most of the weight and power consumers.

Use flash memory for storage so its low power, and set up some java apps or similar for basic apps (word processing, spreadsheets etc). Then provide a synch between those apps and MS Office etc when the tablet is reunited with the base. I guess two flash cards, one for apps (inside the device) and one for data which can be ejected by the user.

Insurance industy would love it, when you have assessors on site for car accidents or building inspections you won't need to be away from the base for extreme amounts of time.

Of course, it all sounds good until you have to figure out how to power the sucker :). The big issue is the screen as always.

winmacguy
Jan 4, 2007, 12:02 PM
He sounds like a designer version of House MD

cr2sh
Jan 4, 2007, 12:08 PM
The only flaw I see in the launch of a compact MP3/Phone 'iPhone' to Apple is that it will crush the iPod market.

I don't want to jog with my current smart phone. It just costs too much.

While I don't know the numbers break down for iPod sales, which models sell the best, I'd be inclined to believe that the $250 - $350 iPod doesn't sell as well as the $79.. $150.. even $200 model.

An Apple phone might hurt the bigger, bulky, expensive ipod.. but I don't think its going to hurt the majority of apple's sales, the smaller ipod.

pyramid6
Jan 4, 2007, 12:18 PM
What I want is a smart phone that doubles as usb mass storage drive. Allow me to view everything on my portable drive with the phone, but when I plug it into a desktop, notebook, or tablet, I can edit everything on my portable drive. The best part would be if I could take my apps with me. Almost like being able to boot from it.

Plus give it a rock solid WiFi and enough pixels to see something.

This device would make the desktop, notebook, or tablet secondary. The data and applications are what are important, not the "design" of the hardware.

Spike72afa
Jan 4, 2007, 12:20 PM
Too late to worry about it, but here is my take. There should be an iPhone. I don't need or want one, but talking to my son, he and all his friends (college age) would get one in a minute. The idea is having only one electronic toy to carry. My point is that right now it doesn't make sense to go from one set of ear buds to any kind of phone connection. However...
If they have created a good quality set of bluetooth ear buds that can also act as a phone headset, then you really have something. Of course you would HAVE to have voice navigation so that you could move through your tunes and your contact list without taking the phone out of your holster.
That would be something I would buy

persianpunisher
Jan 4, 2007, 12:31 PM
check this out : http://www.engadget.com/2007/01/04/mac-tablet-at-macworld-its-not-what-you-think/

twoodcc
Jan 4, 2007, 12:38 PM
Let's hope it really is better than a computer or phone by itself :D

yeah, let's hope for that! :)

salmon
Jan 4, 2007, 12:46 PM
No time to read the whole thread, but very interesting article.

The reason tablets aren't popular is because no one makes one that's decent. I've been watching closely for 5 years, searching google extensively, waiting for someone to release one like I want. Nada.

I love technology, but as a software developer I'm extremely critical of it and continually evaluate whether it will like my life better, without adding unnecessary aggravation at the same time. Almost always, the answer is no. A proper tablet, with proper form factor, software, cost and features, would. But no one has made one yet.

I'm pretty convinced that there are damn few companies out there that could properly design one. Apple could, which is why I keep hoping, but....

Machead III
Jan 4, 2007, 12:48 PM
I don't want iPod functionality at all. I already have an iPod, and I like it's simple design and functionality as it is.

What I do want is for Apple to do what the combined minds of the entire mobile industry is seemingly incapable of: designing a sturdy yet slick phone with a sensible and clear UI.

Apple could no doubt bring innovation to that, and also the current iPods, but there's really no need to weld the two things together.



All this integration stuff - I don't buy it. Seperate devices, sensibly designed to be small and space saving, allows you to buy what you need, take what you need with you, and doesn't force compromises.

Communication between devices, directly or through a cpu, can make up entirely for having seperate devices.

Superdrive
Jan 4, 2007, 12:49 PM
your telling me that a tablet PC is going to be anything but a stupid niche?


Try to use one as you would your own desktop or even a laptop.

you cant, the logistics for everyday use is just not there.

Put a tablet in your backpack after class, it gets scratched to hell from other things inside there, a normal laptop has a lid.

Hold a tablet and try to write something, as you would a clipboard, most people use their lap and not hold it up in one arm.

maybe my perception of a tablet is different from what could possibly be designed, but a floating screen that is touch sensitive just doesnt seem feasible or useful for the masses.

the question is really, WHY do you need a tablet?

I fail to find any real need, unless they become so indestructible and weightless and cheap that youd be stupid not to own one.

i never thought MP3 players were a niche market, the WalkMan invented the portable music market decades ago, MP3 is a progression of formats. A tablet is a form factor change only, one I doubt will ever take off on the levels of replacing laptops.

Exactly! Somehow, people are rating this absence of tablets more negative than positive. I'd also imagine that most people have no experience in using one of these in the field. Tablets are not everything they are cracked up to be. On top of that, what Apple innovation would make a tablet worth lusting for? It will always be faster/neater to type. I'm not resisting a tablet movement, I just do not think everyone knows what they want.

salmon
Jan 4, 2007, 12:53 PM
your telling me that a tablet PC is going to be anything but a stupid niche?


Try to use one as you would your own desktop or even a laptop.

you cant, the logistics for everyday use is just not there.

Put a tablet in your backpack after class, it gets scratched to hell from other things inside there, a normal laptop has a lid.

Hold a tablet and try to write something, as you would a clipboard, most people use their lap and not hold it up in one arm.

maybe my perception of a tablet is different from what could possibly be designed, but a floating screen that is touch sensitive just doesnt seem feasible or useful for the masses.

the question is really, WHY do you need a tablet?

I fail to find any real need, unless they become so indestructible and weightless and cheap that youd be stupid not to own one.

i never thought MP3 players were a niche market, the WalkMan invented the portable music market decades ago, MP3 is a progression of formats. A tablet is a form factor change only, one I doubt will ever take off on the levels of replacing laptops.
I view a proper tablet more as a natural evolution of a book, notepad and day-planner. It's not about "computing", it's a more convenient way of carrying information around where you need it, and capturing it when you get more.

Conceptually, those tablet-like devices on ST:TNG are a good starting point.

Gosh
Jan 4, 2007, 01:04 PM
Sorry to link via this "composers" web site but I can't seem to link directly to his "Macmini Portable Project" (side tab) page but conceptually his MMP mk111 Tablet Edition - I think is spot on!

Yes, I know Mr Ives needs to do some work on it but - there's a market for this!

Maybe next Monday we see something like!?!

http://www.petergreen.org/

sbarton
Jan 4, 2007, 01:55 PM
http://technology.guardian.co.uk/weekly/story/0,,1981815,00.html

The fact remains that people want a device that they can wear on thier person that offers a reasonable way of accessing, entering, and modifiying text. There are only 3 technoologies that, even in the mid-term future, offer any chance of making this happen.

1.) Tiny keyboards
2.) Handwritting Recognition
3.) Voice Recognition

Number 1 sucks, has always sucked, and will for ever after, suck. They are fine for short text messages such as a crackberry.

Number 3, even if it is 100% perfect, is not suited to a myriad of situations and scenarios.

Number 2 is the only viable text input methodology and only 1 device, ...wait for it....

"The Apple Newton Message Pad"

....ever delivered on this feature.

Eraserhead
Jan 4, 2007, 02:23 PM
I view a proper tablet more as a natural evolution of a book, notepad and day-planner. It's not about "computing", it's a more convenient way of carrying information around where you need it, and capturing it when you get more.

It's true, one thing I like about computers is that you don't loose the information (if it's backed up) and don't need to carry/have tons of paper sheets.

dernhelm
Jan 4, 2007, 02:31 PM
Sorry to link via this "composers" web site but I can't seem to link directly to his "Macmini Portable Project" (side tab) page but conceptually his MMP mk111 Tablet Edition - I think is spot on!

Yes, I know Mr Ives needs to do some work on it but - there's a market for this!

Maybe next Monday we see something like!?!

http://www.petergreen.org/

Yup - just like it. I'm sure everyone would be very happy with a 6-inch thick palmtop computer.
:rolleyes:

Actually, that did look like a pretty fun and interesting little project...

Mac'Mo
Jan 4, 2007, 02:48 PM
looooooong read

dernhelm
Jan 4, 2007, 03:00 PM
The fact remains that people want a device that they can wear on thier person that offers a reasonable way of accessing, entering, and modifiying text. There are only 3 technoologies that, even in the mid-term future, offer any chance of making this happen.

1.) Tiny keyboards
2.) Handwritting Recognition
3.) Voice Recognition

Number 1 sucks, has always sucked, and will for ever after, suck. They are fine for short text messages such as a crackberry.

Number 3, even if it is 100% perfect, is not suited to a myriad of situations and scenarios.

Number 2 is the only viable text input methodology and only 1 device, ...wait for it....

"The Apple Newton Message Pad"

....ever delivered on this feature.

For some strange reason, most people who say they want a tablet, suggest that they want one so they can take notes in meetings. I would suggest that it is never actually the case that these are effective note-taking devices. From everything I've seen, the most realistic usages are the following:

1. Mobile snapshots of your day planner
2. Capturing small one-line "To Do" tasks from meetings
3. Mobile snapshots of your address book
4. Capturing new address book information when away from your computer.
5. Viewing all manner of information, video, photo, text, document, etc that doesn't require a large screen and was probably put there by syncing with your computer.

Taking notes during class or at meetings just doesn't work on these devices. Everyone who tries eventually gives up and goes back to pen and paper. But if you were to make it ridiculously simple to create small one-line to-do tasks from a meeting that would end up in your calendar, and to capture contact information from someone that ends up in your address book, while giving you view-only access to a large variety of information, then you'd have something usable.

Most of the one-line stuff you'd like to capture would probably lend itself very well to voice input, but then you couldn't capture it _during_ a meeting (since someone suddenly talking into their UMPC would be a bit distracting). Typing is equal distracting (click, click) and so the most subtle form of input remains handwriting recognition. In general handwriting recognition is very, very poor (even 99% success means around 1 error every sentence or so - completely unacceptable from a general use standpoint). However, if the recognizer understood the _context_ of what you were writing, success could go up quite a lot.

If apple produces a UMPC, I hope it is focussed at a particular set of tasks, with the capacity to do more general stuff, but optimized for specific things.

Gosh
Jan 4, 2007, 03:15 PM
[QUOTE=dernhelm;3208863]Yup - just like it. I'm sure everyone would be very happy with a 6-inch thick palmtop computer.
:rolleyes: /QUOTE]

Yes, not quite PSP thin but 8" screen Tablet interesting! I'm sure Mr Ives' needs to do the Apple thin thing!:)

hagjohn
Jan 4, 2007, 03:28 PM
Doctors around here are using Tablet PC (laptops) that have a "fingerprint reader" in them. Looked pretty cool.


People are STILL wanting a friggen tablet? Are you serious?

Its a niche market, thats all I can see it as, ever being.

People dont comfortably hold clipboards, especially ones that weigh 2-5lbs.

:cool:

jgracia
Jan 4, 2007, 03:59 PM
holy craP! what is going on...

as simple as they buy a huge lot of ibooks and find the way to rotate the screen with a film that alows the touch screen funtionality.

benfilan
Jan 4, 2007, 04:14 PM
i was just about to post this, damn you. lol.
so yeah, a phone sounds like a cool idea, and i'll have to have one. a tablet on the other hand, not so much. :cool:

jgracia
Jan 4, 2007, 04:33 PM
Doctors around here are using Tablet PC (laptops) that have a "fingerprint reader" in them. Looked pretty cool.

THERE WAS A TIME WHEN AN APPLE COMPUTER WAS INDID A NICHE PRODUCT....... SO WHY NO TRY THE TABLET?

lazyrighteye
Jan 4, 2007, 04:52 PM
I think the most salient comment in the whole article was the "Customers don't know what they want." That really rings true and it kind of defines true innovation. I just wonder how many of the naysayers who lambasted the idea of the iPod when it first came out now own one.

Agreed on the saliency.

And as far as naysayers now using iPods - nearly every... single... one of 'em.
Tho I bet there's one stubborn SOB that proudly uses their Walkman.

People are funny.

Delicious-Apple
Jan 4, 2007, 06:25 PM
I would love to see something innovative from Apple in the tablet market as I believe people secretly want the touch screen functionality but it just hasn't been implemented correctly as of yet. I'd love to see something such as a 12" MacBook Pro with a fully detachable screen. It could communicate with the other half via some kind of High Speed Wireless technology (WUSB for example). :)

I have seen the swivel screen tablet/notebook hybrids at work but they are far too chunky, ugly and impractical. I think a detachable (LED?) screen is a slightly more natural progression from the existing computer setups we have used for so long. It would be extremely lightweight and far more effective as something you can hold in your hands.

You could use the MacBook for word processing and then simply whip off the screen, place the base back in to the laptop bag and do a bit of drawing/design work directly on the screen. Especially with that Multi-Point technology listed in Apples patent filings.

You could go further by integrating a Flash Drive into the screen for buffering/temporary storage that could sync with the base wirelessly or when you reconnect the screen and the base together.

There are a few fresh angles to approach the tablet computer and Apple could turn the currently niche market into something very exciting. It doesn't mean it's going to happen though unfortunately. :(

3CCD
Jan 4, 2007, 06:31 PM
I would love to see something innovative from Apple in the tablet market as I believe people secretly want the touch screen functionality but it just hasn't been implemented correctly as of yet. I'd love to see something such as a 12" MacBook Pro with a fully detachable screen. It could communicate with the other half via some kind of High Speed Wireless technology (WUSB for example). :)

I have seen the swivel screen tablet/notebook hybrids at work but they are far too chunky, ugly and impractical. I think a detachable (LED?) screen is a slightly more natural progression from the existing computer setups we have used for so long. It would be extremely lightweight and far more effective as something you can hold in your hands.

You could use the MacBook for word processing and then simply whip off the screen, place the base back in to the laptop bag and do a bit of drawing/design work directly on the screen. Especially with that Multi-Point technology listed in Apples patent filings.

You could go further by integrating a Flash Drive into the screen for buffering/temporary storage that could sync with the base wirelessly or when you reconnect the screen and the base together.

There are a few fresh angles to approach the tablet computer and Apple could turn the currently niche market into something very exciting. It doesn't mean it's going to happen though unfortunately. :(


Interesting but then you would need battery power for your monitor when it detached which would make it thicker and most people wouldn't like that. Maybe they would I don't know, but communication w/ the other half and power consumption is an issue if they could do that.

Delicious-Apple
Jan 4, 2007, 06:39 PM
Interesting but then you would need battery power for your monitor when it detached which would make it thicker and most people wouldn't like that. Maybe they would I don't know, but communication w/ the other half and power consumption is an issue if they could do that.

There definately would be huge issues but Apples engineering team can perform magic now and again. ;) - It all boils down to me loving the idea of a touch screen but never seeing it implemented correctly. It's a major major issue. The Video iPod (or MacPhone) will probably kick start it off in the Mac sector though.

I imagine the detachable screen as a huge 12" iPod Nano. Im sure you could get it as thin as the Nano with some clever file syncing and power recharging when connected to the MacBook Base.

balamw
Jan 4, 2007, 07:00 PM
I imagine the detachable screen as a huge 12" iPod Nano. Im sure you could get it as thin as the Nano with some clever file syncing and power recharging when connected to the MacBook Base.
My take on it is similar to yours except I take it a step further. Put the battery and everything else behind the display like a Mini iMac (or Macro iPod) w/battery, so the lower part of the "case" is essentially just a keyboard. touch sensitivity could be an option, but not necessary.

Use the KB if you want to or use a remote for media applications.

B

mischief
Jan 4, 2007, 07:09 PM
My take on it is similar to yours except I take it a step further. Put the battery and everything else behind the display like a Mini iMac (or Macro iPod) w/battery, so the lower part of the "case" is essentially just a keyboard. touch sensitivity could be an option, but not necessary.

Use the KB if you want to or use a remote for media applications.

B


Why bother with a kybd at all when Leopard has had rumors of a dock-resident keyboard? Tap lower left corner, tap "keyboard lock" softkey, type away.:D

solvs
Jan 4, 2007, 07:26 PM
check this out : http://www.engadget.com/2007/01/04/mac-tablet-at-macworld-its-not-what-you-think/

That was already posted. It's the Axiotron/OWC thingy. I was planning to be at that booth for the presentation anyway, hoping I can even get close now. Looks neat.

Aniej
Jan 4, 2007, 07:43 PM
what a great article. the writer really presented a clever approach and has a great way of bringing it all together.

EagerDragon
Jan 4, 2007, 07:48 PM
Tablets will always remain a niche computer that no one ever really wants. Yea, it's neat to be able to take with with you and such, but when you realize that they are usually crippled compared to a portable that could be much, much thinner and lighter, then what's the point?

I, like a poster above, am holding off on deciding what smartphone I want until I see what Apple releases next week. Granted, if the "iPhone" doesn't have Wi-Fi built in, I won't be getting it as the Windows Mobile Treo that Cingular is going to start selling does.

I am one of those weird people that would like one ...... so long as it is not crippled!!!
It has to have the power of a MacBook Pro or what ever else there is at the time.

As to phone.... I want something like a PDA not just a normal phone. Key for me will be full integration with my mac.

barnaby
Jan 4, 2007, 08:12 PM
I always feel its a bad idea to enter a crowded mobile phone market. lets wait and see if market will embrace or ditch apple's mobile phone, after all, buyers now want more functions in their phones, not just great design.

I'm still looking for a phone that doesn't take pictures of the inside of my pocket. I went for a flip phone so i wouldn't have to remember to lock my keypad. Now there are keys on the side that won't lock.

I for one would like a cell phone without frill. Or at least one that's annoyance-free.

know-it-all5
Jan 4, 2007, 08:17 PM
Well, Steve got the Tablet right - its still niche market today.

Blackberry - well, they are more popular today than in 2002 - but its not the blackberry itself, its the *messaging*. Any smartphone ( Symbian etc ) can do anything that the BB can do - its nothing special. Any iPhone should have excellent messaging abilities - but that messaging ( text, graphics, video ) will have to be compatible with existing phones - otherwise there's not much point ( a lot of phones now have BB compatibility such as SE Pxxx range and Nokia's E-Series ). That messaging already exists - SMS, MMS ( MMS - which has still yet to become popular ) so its all about the applications and phone interface. Sleek design with sleek applications.

Good integration with Macs - Syncing and good range of built in apps. Of course, Music too. Most importantly, ease of use.

Any iPhone should have a good SDK to encourage third party developers. You get a good development base, your on to a winner.

THERE WONT BE ANY IPHONE (yet)

barnaby
Jan 4, 2007, 08:23 PM
I would love to see something innovative from Apple in the tablet market as I believe people secretly want the touch screen functionality but it just hasn't been implemented correctly as of yet. I'd love to see something such as a 12" MacBook Pro with a fully detachable screen. It could communicate with the other half via some kind of High Speed Wireless technology (WUSB for example). :)

I have seen the swivel screen tablet/notebook hybrids at work but they are far too chunky, ugly and impractical. I think a detachable (LED?) screen is a slightly more natural progression from the existing computer setups we have used for so long. It would be extremely lightweight and far more effective as something you can hold in your hands.

You could use the MacBook for word processing and then simply whip off the screen, place the base back in to the laptop bag and do a bit of drawing/design work directly on the screen. Especially with that Multi-Point technology listed in Apples patent filings.

You could go further by integrating a Flash Drive into the screen for buffering/temporary storage that could sync with the base wirelessly or when you reconnect the screen and the base together.

There are a few fresh angles to approach the tablet computer and Apple could turn the currently niche market into something very exciting. It doesn't mean it's going to happen though unfortunately. :(

You've got a really interesting idea with the detacheable tablet. Why not take it one step further? A tablet without the base.

It doesn't need to be a full computer. A simple processor, and ipod-size harddrive with no music support. Wireless and optional built in GPS.

It could communicate to a computer through WiFi for syncing or getting live data.

You could read the newspaper or an ebook, have slightly better support for entering info than a palm pilot. But not compete with a computer. That could be a drastically lower price-point. And it wouldn't be the same market that palm's live in.

How about connecting to a projector for doing presentations? GPS for GIS applications. Medical applications could stream live data.

Most of all it could be light <2lbs, and inexpensive compared to a laptop.

ChiltonWebb
Jan 4, 2007, 09:07 PM
Hi,

People are STILL wanting a friggen tablet? Are you serious?

Its a niche market, thats all I can see it as, ever being.

Are people STILL NOT GETTING IT? Graphic Artists DRAW. They DRAW. Right now, they draw ON PAPER. A Tablet Mac would be a GODSEND for almost every professional artist I know of.

I could care less about the medical industry, about the business sector, about people who only use the computer to lookit teh googles. I want a Mac I can DRAW ON.

-Chilton

Stella
Jan 4, 2007, 09:42 PM
THERE WONT BE ANY IPHONE (yet)

You know of that? Please state your sources!

Chef Medeski
Jan 4, 2007, 10:43 PM
your telling me that a tablet PC is going to be anything but a stupid niche?


Try to use one as you would your own desktop or even a laptop.

you cant, the logistics for everyday use is just not there.

Put a tablet in your backpack after class, it gets scratched to hell from other things inside there, a normal laptop has a lid.

Hold a tablet and try to write something, as you would a clipboard, most people use their lap and not hold it up in one arm.

maybe my perception of a tablet is different from what could possibly be designed, but a floating screen that is touch sensitive just doesnt seem feasible or useful for the masses.

the question is really, WHY do you need a tablet?

I fail to find any real need, unless they become so indestructible and weightless and cheap that youd be stupid not to own one.

i never thought MP3 players were a niche market, the WalkMan invented the portable music market decades ago, MP3 is a progression of formats. A tablet is a form factor change only, one I doubt will ever take off on the levels of replacing laptops.
Have you ever tried working a physics problem out on a computer?

Drawing a simple diagram of a see-saw?

Those are impossible to do and the idea of a tablet is to allow for the final plunge of work into the virtual world. PDA and smaller laptops have allowed almost all forms of information to be stored, processed, moved, and used very easily and efficiently everywhere virtually. Except if you want to hand write, which helps for taking notes and making diagrams. I'm this close to going all virtual at college. All my books are in searchable PDF. All my notes record the lecture audio wise with text. The only thing I am missing is a way to get diagrams in on the fun.

Here is a simple one.... signatures on a computer.

Correcting a paper. Kinda hard and arduous now... but a lot quicker using a tablet. The only problem before was lack of multi-touch that made a keyboard amust. Yet, with multi-touch you can now have a dynamic on screen keyboard a la Origami that means you could have a slate tablet that never fails.


And to the guy that says a slate tablet would scratch up in a school bag. I put my laptop even though it has a lid in a case cause its fragile. You think I would do anyless for a tablet? And if its in a case its not goin scratch.

Machead III
Jan 5, 2007, 05:34 AM
I'm willing to bet that Apple, in it's shortsightedness, will probably, without even having to, release the iPhone initially in the US only - despite the fact that Europe and E Asia are infinitely larger phone markets, with an audience much more fine tuned to the cutting edge of the market.

No phone manufacturer in their right minds releases a handset in the US first - it's usually the EU and Japan/Taiwan first, then China, then the US.

But Apple's not a phone manager, and stubbornly lives in the world of 18th Century trade where they assume you've always got to ship to the US first, because it takes so long for those damn galleys to cross the atlantic!

daexpert
Jan 7, 2007, 03:13 AM
I had a top-of-the-line Toshiba tablet not long ago for work and I was not impressed. Only really worked for specific tasks and the rest of the time it was annoying to use vs. a standard notebook. Even the convertible ones seemed to be a compromise. So it does not surprise me that Apple is steering clear of this market....

pjo
Jan 8, 2007, 09:34 AM
Are people STILL NOT GETTING IT? Graphic Artists DRAW. They DRAW. Right now, they draw ON PAPER.

....

I want a Mac I can DRAW ON.


They're not portable (for normal definitions of "portable) and are accessories to your Mac/PC, but Wacom does do some serious graphics tablets...

As much as I'd like to replace the spiral bound notebook on my desk with a digital tablet, the tech does seem a bit awkward (from playing with PDAs and PC tablets). Apple could change that; but I'm guessing it'd then cost too much.

My guess is we may see a touchscreen device of sorts - at least as a glorified remote and at most a PDA but no way near a tablet PC.

MatthewCobb
Jan 8, 2007, 10:29 AM
THERE WONT BE ANY IPHONE (yet)

Your username says it all! See you back here in 1 day 2 hours and 30 minutes...