In preparing a great title for this short article, I chewed through about 10 trees worth of paper. Nothing seemed to fit and I tossed the dried carcasses into a throwaway plastic basket. You see, the Apple Tablet has been rumoured ever since the Newton made the mistake of hyping itself in a Steven Seagal movie. Well, rumours are coming to another head just ahead of the WWDC, CES, and about every other big meeting capitalised by thousands of geeks.
Whatever the reality, if January passes without an official tablet announcment, the rumour will be cleaned up. Currently, readers’ patience is being tested by claims that the machine will either be a subscription television module or a glorified eBook reader. They also claim that the hardware will see light of day around the middle of 2010. It might actually work as a computer too, but it would really ignite the App Store if it ran on a tweaked iPhone OS.
The tablet genre of portable computing is boring. There hasn’t been a serious entry yet; nothing screams ‘buy me’ for real, useful reasons. It will take a computer which doesn’t sport Windows to ignite the buying masses. It will also take a non-Windows computer manufacturer to think of a tablet as more than just a presentation tool.
Apple, if you dig your hands into nano-toting pockets and wait this year out, just forget it. The tablet computer is losing ground and feasibility with regards to the iPhone and netbooks. If anything, it would be nice to have a multi-functioning computer platform which took cues from eBook readers, not roll-down displays and laser pointers.