I was listening to last weeks MacBreak Weekly in which they were discussing the possible forthcoming Apple iSlate or whatever it is going to be called. The chat was quite interesting as they speculated on what features and form factor it may take. Incidentally, someone needs to tell Leo Laporte to stop talking over his guests and let them finish speaking, his constant interrupting really annoys me.
I’m not that bothered about the tablet/netbook Apple thing and don’t think I will be getting one, mind you I’m saying that at the moment not knowing anything about it and seeing it in the flesh may elicit a different buying response. I’m going to try and speculate what this device will bring because it is going to need something really special to differentiate itself and I can’t see Apple just doing a smaller MacBook style netbook. If you look back to the iPhone launch that was a semi surprise in that people had been speculating that they would bring out a phone but nobody had anything concrete as regarded shape or specs. When it was announced I think the form factor and UI came as a genuine surprise and this situation now, I reckon, is not too dissimilar. People know that a tablet shaped device is on the cards but that is about all that is out there in the public domain.
Going back to what I mentioned earlier, this thing is going to have to offer something that neither Apple or competitors has really offered before in a device like this whether it be in terms of content services or input methods. With the iPhone, Apple’s last really big new product, they were entering a market they had not been in before and I think the tablet is going to do something similar. Others have mentioned really bringing eBooks to the fore and I reckon/guess they are right, it will be a media centric device with the ability to purchase eBooks via iTunes plus some ability to interact with your other media stuff in the house. I’m also going to guess that it will be more of a media thing than traditional laptop computer.