An interesting CNet story posted today, Report: Analyst has seen Apple tablet, predicts September launch, gives anonymous teeth to the story that Apple has a touchpad ready to go. According to the article Apple is waiting for final approval from Jobs, and will announce it next month for sale starting in November. The price point? A hefty $700-800. Not that the price should surprise anyone–this is, after all, Apple. (And when I say hefty, I am comparing that to current prices at Best Buy for full-up notebook computers, where I saw core2 Duo computers with 4 gb ram and 250 gb HDs, and HDMI output recently on sale for $620.)
That said, the uses mentioned for the tablet are what surprised me the most. HD Video/media. Gaming. Umm…
So far, that sounds like an iPod Touch or iPhone on steroids. Don’t get me wrong–I like my iPhone. I use it every day. And if you go to the podcast my son and I do at Father Son Chats you can listen to us talk about some of our favorite apps.
I just don’t think that is why people buy netbooks.
When I talk to people who are buying, or wanting to buy, a netbook, they are seeking a small, lightweight computer to do their lightweight computing tasks. For them that means being able to type out rather lengthy emails, update documents and spreadsheets, and oh by the way, also to web browse. Only a few of the folks I talk with say their desire is to watch videos or movies on a smaller device. (And of those, they typically have wanted to watch DVDs–even after I told them they could get the files digitally.)
That said, let me really go out on a limb here with some predictions:
1. The Apple slate computer will receive thousands and thousands of digital pages of commentary.
2. Mac/Apple Podcasts (specifically Mac Break Weekly) will break with their coverage of all iPhone all the time, to sing the praises of this device, and wonder how their life had any meaning prior to Jobs revealing this device.
3. Apple Mac OSX owners will line up immediately to purchase them. (Demonstrating that there still exists a segment of the population that has not been taxed sufficiently to pay for the new Health Care Initiatives in this “bad economy.”)
4. The tablet will sell well. Not as well as the iPhone, since people don’t have the argument “well I needed a new phone anyway” argument, but it will sell reasonably well.
5. Netbooks will still sell quite nicely, as will the HP and Dell notebook computers.
Oh, and I will want one.