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Old Dec 31, 2009, 09:11 PM   #1
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What is the Ultimate Role of the Apple Tablet?



While we normally avoid purely speculative pieces here on MacRumors, John Gruber has posted a particularly interesting opinion piece on what void or need the Apple Tablet might fill. Gruber acknowledges that this is not based on inside knowledge, but he is certain that a Tablet project is in the works and describes a "cone of silence" surrounding all those involved in the project.

Exactly what purpose or role an Apple tablet will fulfill is a legitimate question that has been raised on a number of occasions. Since other company's tablets have so far been commercially unsuccessful, what could Apple bring to the table that will suddenly make them a success? Steve Jobs himself has previously questioned what they were good for besides surfing the web in the bathroom.

Gruber believes the upcoming Apple Tablet will replace the low end of Apple's portable computer market which is currently held by the MacBook and instead focus on some core functionality and do it well.
Quote:
And so in answer to my central question, regarding why buy The Tablet if you already have an iPhone and a MacBook, my best guess is that ultimately, The Tablet is something you’ll buy instead of a MacBook.

Like all Apple products, The Tablet will do less than we expect but the things it does do, it will do insanely well. It will offer a fraction of the functionality of a MacBook — but that fraction will be way more fun.
Apple clearly has been able to reinvent a class of product like they did with the MP3 player (iPod) and mobile phone (iPhone), and people are certainly hoping they will be able to do the same thing with the Tablet. Much of the differentiation of these products was done in software, so we agree with Gruber that the Tablet OS can't and won't simply be a scaled up iPhone OS or scaled down Mac OS.
Quote:
One common prediction I disagree with is that The Tablet will simply be more or less an iPod Touch with a much bigger display. But in the same way that it made no sense for Apple to design the iPhone OS to run Mac software, it makes little sense for a device with a 7-inch (let alone larger) display to run software designed for a 3.5-inch display.
Exactly how that will be accomplished, of course, is the big secret.

Apple is rumored to be launching their Tablet in 2010 and Steve Jobs has been described as being extremely happy with the upcoming device.


Article Link: What is the Ultimate Role of the Apple Tablet?
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Old Dec 31, 2009, 09:15 PM   #2
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Old Dec 31, 2009, 09:16 PM   #3
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This has been my long standing opinion as well.

It makes no real sense to simply make the tablet a large iPod touch, Apple wouldn't do that, it's not like them.

At any rate, it should be quite interesting to see what comes out with it!
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Old Dec 31, 2009, 09:17 PM   #4
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If it surfs web, but also runs Keynote and is nice to type on, then I'll buy. I think it is for those occasions a Macbook is just too much.
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Old Dec 31, 2009, 09:19 PM   #5
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What an odd question to ask

I can't see how there could be so much doubt after the success of the Kindle.

It seems pretty obvious to me that the iTablet is for reading.

"Books," (the definition will change) magazines, academic papers etc etc Long-form stuff -- not blog posts much less tweets.

And watching movies.

Isn't that enough?

I sure think so.

Jobs' name goes down alongside Gutenberg even if he thinks that the only place people read is in the bathroom.
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Old Dec 31, 2009, 09:21 PM   #6
D 5
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Jan 26, 2010 KEYNOTE

Jan 26, 2010 KEYNOTE

SJ: Hi, Im Steve Jobs and we have some great products for you Today.
Audience : clapping, cheering.
SJ: Let me show you some stats_
Audience :*Ohhhhhh, Uhhhhhhh,*Ahhhhh
SJ :*We have some new updates to our products and services, New OS, apps, games_
SJ : We have some new partners for our future products (Verizon, T-Moble, Sprint) others
Audience :*Ohhhhhh, Uhhhhhhh,*Ahhhhh, Yeahhhhh, one geek faints.
Audience :*Thats it?
SJ : I have one more thing to show you_
Audience :*clapping, cheering,*Ohhhhhh,*Ahhhhh, Yeahhhhh
SJ : Takes out the New MacBook /(tablet)*
SJ : BOOM!!!!
Audience :*Faints, crying,*clapping, cheering, WOW! Ooooooooohhhhhhh, Yeaaaahhhhh
Internet : Twitter crashes again, over Apple news.
SJ: We have a great Super Bowl Ad I think you will enjoy.
Audience :*Yes, Yes, Please, Please,
SJ : Lets take a look.
Audience :*OMG! clapping, cheering,*Ohhhhhh,*Ahhhhh,
SJ : I think you will enjoy this new line up, thank you for coming.
Audience : Geeks walk out and start blogging on their iPhones.
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Old Dec 31, 2009, 09:24 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by D 5 View Post
Jan 26, 2010 KEYNOTE

SJ: Hi, Im Steve Jobs and we have some great products for you Today.
Audience : clapping, cheering.
SJ: Let me show you some stats_
Audience :*Ohhhhhh, Uhhhhhhh,*Ahhhhh
SJ :*We have some new updates to our products and services, New OS, apps, games_
SJ : We have some new partners for our future products (Verizon, T-Moble, Sprint) others
Audience :*Ohhhhhh, Uhhhhhhh,*Ahhhhh, Yeahhhhh, one geek faints.
Audience :*Thats it?
SJ : I have one more thing to show you_
Audience :*clapping, cheering,*Ohhhhhh,*Ahhhhh, Yeahhhhh
SJ : Takes out the New MacBook /(tablet)*
SJ : BOOM!!!!
Audience :*Faints, crying,*clapping, cheering, WOW! Ooooooooohhhhhhh, Yeaaaahhhhh
Internet : Twitter crashes again, over Apple news.
SJ: We have a great Super Bowl Ad I think you will enjoy.
Audience :*Yes, Yes, Please, Please,
SJ : Lets take a look.
Audience :*OMG! clapping, cheering,*Ohhhhhh,*Ahhhhh,
SJ : I think you will enjoy this new line up, thank you for coming.
Audience : Geeks walk out and start blogging on their iPhones.
Now that's pretty darn close in my opinion..

This "product" will knock the lights out of Google and CES.
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Old Dec 31, 2009, 09:27 PM   #8
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I hope it comes with an IR transmitter. Ultimate remote control? or just a giant remote control... haha.

Anyways, I think their aim is on college students. Taking notes, syncing with other macs. Can't wait to see what Apple has made!
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Old Dec 31, 2009, 09:29 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dsucher View Post
I can't see how there could be so much doubt after the success of the Kindle.
How many Kindles has Amazon sold? They've never said.

arn
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Old Dec 31, 2009, 09:33 PM   #10
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Tablet Uses

Web-surfing; e-mail; movies and music; television; iPhone apps; it's own apps; e-reader (newspapers, magazines, books, comics); game player, cloud computer, etc. I think we all agree on most of this, as the rumor mill has not been silent the past year or two.

But what about productivity? How much will the Tablet "eat into" the Macbook's space? Personally, I hope that at least I will not only be able to read the "Great American Novel" on my "iSlate", but also be able to WRITE the next one! Writing more than e-mail and tweets is a MUST for me....
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Old Dec 31, 2009, 09:34 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by MacRumors View Post
What is the Ultimate Role of the Apple Tablet?
Fancy coffee table tray?
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Old Dec 31, 2009, 09:35 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dsucher View Post
I can't see how there could be so much doubt after the success of the Kindle.

It seems pretty obvious to me that the iTablet is for reading.

"Books," (the definition will change) magazines, academic papers etc etc Long-form stuff -- not blog posts much less tweets.

And watching movies.

Isn't that enough?

I sure think so.

Jobs' name goes down alongside Gutenberg even if he thinks that the only place people read is in the bathroom.
This is spot on. The tablet is not about running the same things your do on a MBP. The tablet can be summed up in one word: content. Think of a single device to access all published content, whether it be Web, News, Video, Apps, Music, etc. It will use HTML5 and CSS to render everything. Make no mistake, this is a game-changer in that it will be the first true content device. Brilliant.
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Old Dec 31, 2009, 09:37 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonny75 View Post
If it surfs web, but also runs Keynote and is nice to type on, then I'll buy. I think it is for those occasions a Macbook is just too much.
To run Keynote, it will need a video out. Likely, but now you're tethered and running Keynote is pointless (edit to add: just get the iPhone app and run it from there). And nothing has yet to convince me that typing will be anything other than a hunt and peck operation. I am prepared to be wowed, but I'm struggling to see this as anything more than a glorified iPhone with an awesome processor/battery life/3D capabiities.
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Old Dec 31, 2009, 09:39 PM   #14
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Sounds like this new tablet may be able to run PS and Painter etc.

I hope the drawing surface will be as good or better then a Wacom tablets,if it does not turn out to be an overweight version of an iphone that is.
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Old Dec 31, 2009, 09:39 PM   #15
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Best quote I've read this week: "Like all Apple products, The Tablet will do less than we expect but the things it does do, it will do insanely well." It's true, so true. Copy and Paste in iphone, optical drive in MBA, video camera on IPT, etc. What will be the big "missing design" of the tablet? No camera? No accelerometer? WIFI only? I don't know . . . but I'm sure I'll read all about it the evening of Jan 26.
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Old Dec 31, 2009, 09:41 PM   #16
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ebook reader and graphic novel display.

This thing is gonna suck...

Build a better Mac Mini Apple, screw the ebook reader.
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Old Dec 31, 2009, 09:44 PM   #17
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the 13" MacBook Pro could lower it's price and fill in for the MacBook. while the "Tablet" could replace not only the MacBook and MacBook Air, but also the AppleTV.

the tablet could also be Apple's entry into the netbook market, but by offering less? the value of a netbook may not be that substantial, but you can still type 60 words per minute on it, while it's not likely that you could do so on a soft-key screen.
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Old Dec 31, 2009, 09:45 PM   #18
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I hope they get it right, but apple hasn't always. It must be difficult for a small group of people to try and think of a product that so many people want, without physically going out and researching it - at least to the point where it's obvious to the public what it will be.
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Old Dec 31, 2009, 09:49 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mattwolfmatt View Post
Best quote I've read this week: "Like all Apple products, The Tablet will do less than we expect but the things it does do, it will do insanely well." It's true, so true. Copy and Paste in iphone, optical drive in MBA, video camera on IPT, etc. What will be the big "missing design" of the tablet? No camera? No accelerometer? WIFI only? I don't know . . . but I'm sure I'll read all about it the evening of Jan 26.
+1 ha - yes, but how then can they make the "tablet 2.0 next year" if they include everything in this one
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Old Dec 31, 2009, 09:50 PM   #20
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Good article.

I'm still not sure about the role of the Tablet.
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Old Dec 31, 2009, 09:51 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arn View Post
How many Kindles has Amazon sold? They've never said.

arn
Well, if they're selling more ebooks now than books, it must be quite a few. Of course that's just in the US, but still ... the Kindle hasn't been pushed worldwide so far.
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Old Dec 31, 2009, 09:52 PM   #22
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iTablet = Apple's response to netbooks

I'm in agreement with Mr. Gruber on this - the Tablet is likely going to replace low-end MacBooks. It's going to be Apple's response to the netbook craze. Too many people run out and buy netbooks, attracted by the low cost, easy portability, etc. Then they find out that:

1. Netbooks are slower than the laptops they're used to
2. Watching HD video on most netbooks isn't all that great (this is improving)
3. Standard desktop user interfaces don't translate well to a small form factor device
4. Battery life sucks (this is also improving)
5. Many netbook owners complain about small keyboards, low-resolution screens and poor pointing device implementations.

Many analysts were saying that Apple had to come out with their own netbook to compete with the rest of the industry. I think Jobs recognized the market for a small, portable device to access the net & media (but with a larger screen/form factor than the iPhone/iPod Touch), and acknowledged the common complaints surrounding netbooks. Then, instead of developing a "me too!" Apple netbook, he's redefining what we think a netbook should be ... et voila, the Apple Tablet.

Assuming of course that all these tablet rumors are true, then the last few days of January 2010 should be *very* interesting.
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Old Dec 31, 2009, 09:53 PM   #23
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what if it did ran on OSX and not the iPhone os....

MacSlate?

iLife, iWork on it... all iPhone apps work ... and of course a new way to read newspapers, magazines, gps, etc etc

?
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Old Dec 31, 2009, 09:53 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Speedy2 View Post
Well, if they're selling more ebooks now than books, it must be quite a few. Of course that's just in the US, but still ... the Kindle hasn't been pushed worldwide so far.
source?

BTW, people buy more than one book for the kindle. Its not one book to one kindle obviously.
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Old Dec 31, 2009, 09:59 PM   #25
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Content device win if conntected to clouds

I think this could be the ultimate content device if there is the option of keeping content on a cloud. I am running into storage issues with iTunes movies and TV shows. But if I can buy all the content I want and access if via a cloud I am in. I like the Amazon model that allows me to get to my stuff at anytime and on other devices like my ROKU. So combine the ability to download to archive or travel with and then have the option to stream or download again if I need to that would be a winner.
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