Can a the mythical Mac Tablet succeed?

Discussion in 'Apple, Inc and Tech Industry' started by MVApple, Aug 3, 2009.

  1. MVApple macrumors 6502a

    Jul 18, 2008
    For a moment, lets assume that this tablet runs a modified version of iPhone OS and that the rumors of using a semi-pa chip is also true. Can such a device succeed?

    Let's stop for a moment and think about the success of the iPhone. The iPhone, IMO, has been successful because of the applications. If this tablet is going to run a modified version of iPhone OS what is it going to offer that the ipod touch/iphone doesn't already offer? I know some people would like an ipod touch with just a bigger screen, but the majority of people I would guess would want more for a device that will possibly cost $700-800. I would guess multi-tasking would be one of the things this mythical device would offer. The semi-pa chip should be much faster and capable of providing multi-tasking while the larger size of the device would mean a larger battery.

    If it's running a modified version of the iPhone OS the I'm going to guess that it should run all of the current crop of applications. That's a great start but it has to do more than just multi-task and run the current crop of iphone applications for enough people to buy this and make it a success. The $700-800 price tag is a HUGE hurdle. For a bit more you can have a full featured Snow Leopard laptop.

    What do the majority of people use a compute for though? Think about it, the majority of people do just a few things on laptops: view photos and movies, listen to music, browse the web, and office applications. If this computer is good enough to multi-task and run modified versions of iLife and iWorks will that be enough to convince someone to buy a mac tablet as a second computer. Research shows that people who buy netbooks buy them as second computers, not first computers.

    A mac tablet running a full office suite, a full web browser with flash, and all of the current crop of iPhone applications will be much more powerful than the current crop of netbooks running Vista or XP.

    So can a mac tablet be a success with a price tag of $700-800?
  2. mysterytramp macrumors 65816


    Jul 17, 2008
    Absolutely ...

    One, it could easily kill the Kindle. If you've seen one, you know a Kindle is pretty cool, perfect for what it does. But I just wish it did more ... fetch email, surf the web, etc. that's what a Mac Tablet could do (frankly, any tablet could do).

    Two, it could be a primary mobile computing device. Easy to read on a train or bus (and on the john). Small enough that you could include telephone electronics so with a bluetooth, it's also a big iPhone.

    Three, for $700 -- if it's powerful enough to compete with laptops -- I would think it could easily take over the university and corporate markets.

    For three months a year, I have an assignment where I have to park one mile plus from the office. I either take a trolley or walk. Those netbooks look awfully tempting those days, regardless of how underpowered they are. I'd gladly give up Flash if it meant it cut the weight in half. If this thing doesn't weigh much and costs $700, I'll be begging the boss for one.

  3. MVApple thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jul 18, 2008
    Actually, zero chance it kills the Kindle. Today, a small percentage of people buy the majority of books. As Steve Jobs said, not a lot of people read these days. Those who do are the ones who buy the majority of books sold. These voracious readers don't like to read on backlit displays. The success of ebook readers are the e-ink displays that look very close to printed paper.

    This is something a lot of people don't seem to understand, possibly because a lot of people theses days don't read and overlook the huge differences between backlit lcds and e-ink.

    That's not to say it won't cut into Kindle sales. Some people don't mind reading on LCD displays, but I can guarantee you that the majority of people who do the majority of book purchasing who are looking for an electronic reading device won't pick a backlit lcd.

    Then there is still the problem of content, unless Apple has something up their sleeve.

    If Apple could somehow release a display that did e-ink AND had a regular lcd display with full color then I'll be waiting to pre-order such a beast. I don't think this is really possible though. I know someone came up with an lcd technology that doesn't need a backlight and looks pretty close to e-ink but the problem with that technology is that the color is absolutely horrible. No way Apple uses technology like that in something that will most likely be marketed as a media device.
  4. mysterytramp macrumors 65816


    Jul 17, 2008
    Have you used a Kindle? The display is awesome. Besides, most backlit LCDs aren't attached to a device as convenient as a Kindle. Comparing it to "backlit LCDs" is like comparing Maseratis to Hyundais.

    But that's not what's holding back Kindle. What is, is the price. It looks expensive for what it does. But if you create a device where people think there's greater value, even if it costs more, people will buy it. That's why a $700 tablet will destroy a $400 Kindle.

  5. MVApple thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jul 18, 2008
    I haven't used a Kindle but I have used a Sony e-reader with a similar display. Yes the display is awesome and its the reason people love to use it to read books.

    I don't think you're following my point though. My point is that a Mac Tablet will use a backlit LCD display and will therefore not replace a Kindle with an e-ink display. It's not just about which device does more, its about which device is more appropriate for said task.

    People buy Kindles for the e-ink display and not for much else. Unless we aren't on the same track here and you are assuming a Mac Tablet will have an e-ink display, the Mac Tablet can't compete with the Kindle for reading pleasure.
  6. clevin macrumors G3


    Aug 6, 2006
    gee, you apparently have no idea about why there is a ebook, why there is a tablet, why there is a smartphone and PDA, why there is a laptop and why there is a netbook?

    a mac tablet suddenly can kill everything in the market? from ebook to laptop? from PDA/smartphone to windows tablet?

    when it reach 1% computer marketshare, let me know, hopefully i won't be dead by then, 70 years hopefully is enough for that. or maybe not.
  7. danpass macrumors 68020


    Jun 27, 2009
    Miami, FL
    I'd like to think so.

    The MacTablet looks pretty neat (if it turns out to be like the popular pic floating around)

    Even so I'd put that money toward a 13" MBP running Snow Leopard. Then maybe later on ...
  8. MTI macrumors 65816

    Feb 17, 2009
    Scottsdale, AZ
    You have to wonder how many potential 13" Macbook buyers are holding off to see the vaporware tablet.
  9. no.1 Apple Fan macrumors regular

    no.1 Apple Fan

    Jul 8, 2009
    In a pineapple under the sea
    Whoa, hold your horses. I highly doubt this will be an ebook reader. I think it will run OS X.
  10. MVApple thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jul 18, 2008
    The rumors are that it will run a modified version of iPhone OS. Also, some people are saying it will be an ebook reader because amazon released a kindle application for the iPhone which most likely means they'll release one for the tablet, in effect making this an e-reader. Although if it runs a modified version if iPhone OS I would assume current applications on it would work to some degree, already making it an e-reader.

    I don't think anyone is saying this will be a dedicated e-reader with an e-ink display though. Although personally, I would love an e-reader that can display full web pages. That way I can read all the news on e-ink for free. :D

    Well research has shown that netbooks are purchased as secondary computers, not primary computers. I don't think very many people would want to use a modified iPhone OS for their main computer, especially one that doesn't have an attached keyboard.
  11. LizKat macrumors 68040


    Aug 5, 2004
    Catskill Mountains
    Yep I think I am in that category. I am not ready to get a 13" macbook but eventually my two G4 12" are going to croak and I'm spoiled by having had them around so long, I like the small footprint and have loved their reliability. I have considered the 13" MacBook with some interest while still fantasizing about a 12" one which I now realize is just absurd.

    However, if the tablet exists and isn't just a gaming toy or something fairly crippled then I would really go for it. Later on I might still get another MacBook but it would probably then be a 15" MBP, so Apple would make out like a bandit off my hardware jones once again :)

    Hopefully the tablet would let me do stuff like use a spreadsheet app and at least some multitasking like take notes while surfing etc. And of course the thing should be a talented entertainment processor, let you watch movies, videos, listen to music, surf net, buy and rent media content, etc. The big wonderment for me is whether it would let you sync an iPod from it --kindof a daisy chain effect if you think about it-- or if it will only act as an iPod itself, i.e. something that you have to sync off a laptop or desktop. If the device exists, I bet there have been some hot discussions over that issue. I ruefully suspect that you will not be able to sync other iPod-like devices from it and so in that respect it will just be a Really Big iPod.
  12. talkingfuture macrumors 65816


    Dec 4, 2008
    The back of beyond.
    I think it will succeed because it is Apple. Lots of people said there was no point in making an MP3 player, but they did and it succeeded. Lots of people said there was no point in Apple entering the phone market....

    This "tablet" whatever form it takes will be released when Steve Jobs etc are satisfied that it will succeed.
  13. liptonlover macrumors 6502a

    Mar 13, 2008
    I think we can assume that whatever features this tablet boasts, they will be there not as gimmicks and they won't be omitted to lower the price, and the device as a whole won't be something that doesn't fit anywhere and has no use. Touch is SJs not-so-secret love, eliminating nearly every physical button on the device. He won't put this device out until/unless he's proud of it and it has a use.

    So pretty much I say trust Jobs to do a great job, and because it will be amazing, even if it hits $1,000 for the price it will certainly succeed. The only other question to ask is which market. I don't think anyone actually knows if it's going after the currently *non-existent* tablet market, netbooks, laptops, or unlikely as it is, e-readers. Or something completely new.

  14. MTI macrumors 65816

    Feb 17, 2009
    Scottsdale, AZ
    All I can say is

    Mac TV
    Quadra 900
    Puck Mouse
    Powerbook 150
    Mac Mini Core Solo

  15. MisterMe macrumors G4


    Jul 17, 2002
    Anyone can write a list. With a little knowledge, perhaps your list would have been different.
  16. eawmp1 macrumors 601


    Feb 19, 2008
    29 And it came to pass, when Jobs came down from mount Sinai with the two iTablets in Jobs' hand, when he came down from the mount, that Jobs knew not that the skin of his face shone while he talked with him. 30 And when all the children of the Apple faithful saw Jobs, behold, the skin of his face shone; and they were afraid to come near him. 31 And Jobs called to them; and all the children of the Apple faithful returned to him: and Jobs talked with them.

    So let it be let it be bought!
  17. MTI macrumors 65816

    Feb 17, 2009
    Scottsdale, AZ
    While the Apple logo on a device does speak to pedigree . . . it is not and never has been a guarantee of market acceptance. That was my response to the quoted post.
  18. djellison macrumors 68020

    Feb 2, 2007
    Pasadena CA
    Define 'success'
  19. OllyW Moderator


    Staff Member

    Oct 11, 2005
    The Black Country, England
    I'm not even sure what it's for but I'll keep an open mind until the full details and prices are announced.
  20. bruinsrme macrumors 603


    Oct 26, 2008
    I am intrigued by the idea of the tablet but from an ergo point of view I could not see myself spending hours on a device of that design.
  21. niuniu macrumors 68020


    Mar 29, 2009
    A man of the people. The right sort of people.
    I know that the rumours have the device targeted towards a video experience - but I'm really hoping for a fast and proper OS X web browsing experience. The iPhone is just too small and slow for operating your business away from the desk. I'd give my right arm for a portable and easy to use web tablet now.. finger's crossed.
  22. Annngel macrumors regular

    Jun 26, 2008
    Somewhere.. over the rainbow.
    Yeah. I read somewhere that the tablet is gonna be somewhat like a mediapad? Which i think doesn't make sense?

    I don't understand why would Apple wanna create something like that unless it's a 3rd version of ipod touch but still..

    I wish apple would create the tablet to..enter into the competition of netbooks. Since that's the only competition they are currently not participating?

    Am i making sense?
  23. Scarlet Fever macrumors 68040

    Scarlet Fever

    Jul 22, 2005
    I've asked this question many times, but I have never gotten a substantial response.

    Who would actually use a tablet? I struggle to find how anyone could actually use it any more efficiently than a notebook.
  24. Lesser Evets macrumors 68040

    Lesser Evets

    Jan 7, 2006
    Possibly. It seems like a mildly lame addition to the Apple product line up, so let's not assume you are correct. Apple tries to always bring something special to a product when it breaches a market...

    With 4 times the screen space, there is 4 time the space behind the screen to add electronics that make the device a LOT better for computing than an iPhone with a large screen. Most likely, this device will be more powerful than what you described. Hopefully it runs a trimmed OSX instead of a slightly expanded iPhone OS.

    If your device is marketed for $700, it will find a niche market and probably not be a wildly successful product.

    If my device is marketed for $700, it will probably be very successful, but not as successful as many of Mac's past innovations.

    They have to make this tablet do something special. I am hoping for art/handwriting capabilities, along with enhanced computing to do data entry and spreadsheets on the tablet. If this tablet can be a trimmed down MacBook, as well as a game platform, and a media platform, and a book reader with color, and handles iWork as well as other programs, it will be a do-all.

    Consider, though, this might hurt the higher end products, unless the computing power of laptops have better utility to people who buy them. We'll see what happens when this the "mythical" product appears.
    Are you serious?

    Notebooks suck. I've used them for over 10 years now and loathe the design.

    First, they aren't truly portable. You have to sit down to use one properly. It has to be unfolded. It has to start up like a normal computer or it loses battery quickly. It's clunky and awkward and the keyboard is fixed to the screen.

    Second, I want a portable I can use standing up that will allow great web browsing, email, media, and hopefully has the ability to expand connection to an external keyboard for faster and more complex data entry.

    Third, I want a tablet with handwriting recognition and stylus/art capabilities. You can't do this with a laptop of any sort unless you have a lot of silly devices hooked up.

    Fourth, I want something that is smaller and lighter for portability.

    I've realized since 1996 that the laptop designs are ridiculous and were archaic the day they were invented. Once a good tablet comes along and takes hold, the laptop is finished. Hopefully this is the year of that change.
  25. MTI macrumors 65816

    Feb 17, 2009
    Scottsdale, AZ
    I believe the last great handwriting/stylus based system, Palm OS, showed that the public could really care less about handwriting recognition. Perhaps learning the strokes of Graffiti was too much, but even those that did (like me) didn't clamor for it's return when provided a keyboard.

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