Well it’s January so it seems it’s time for another Apple product announcement, and next week looks like a doozy. Invitations to an event on the 27th were sent out today to most major media outlets (um…Apple, you seem to have forgot Nerd City…just saying) with the tag line “Come See Our Latest Creation.” All bets are that Apple is finally ready to reveal their much rumored and talked about tablet device. Thanks to the secrecy of the Cupertino company there’s NOTHING for sure about this mythical device. Oversea suppliers are pointing at 10″ screen sizes, the success of the iPhone makes is a near certainty that it’ll be touch based, and the more recent news that multiple publishing outlets have been approached lead to the device having a ebook/magazine reader ability. Possible names? iSlate, iPad, and the more recent one to gain some traction is iBook. Make sure you check out the link below for a full rundown of the rumors that are out there from Gizmodo, because there’s a lot of interesting things being said right now. Now, what would I like to see you might ask? Well I’ll tell ya! After the jump of course!
Gizmodo Apple Tablet Rumors HERE
My thoughts and wishes;
First off, with a 10″ device Apple needs to reinvent the input method used. The iPhone changed how we interact with a cell phone, so I expect something similar next Wednesday for how we interact with a computer. When I first handled a iPhone (before the App Store existed) I knew that it was a game changing device thanks to the user interface and it’s slickness. 10″ is too big to type on with your thumbs like we do with an iPhone or similar mobile device. The keyboard would HAVE to be split up. And I can’t see typing with it flat on a desk being the way to use it…that would defeat the portability aspect. This WILL have been worked out and I suspect it’s the reason it’s taken years to make it to the market.
Next, I want it to be affordable. Good luck with this wish right? Well, Apple stands to make a TON if its media partners can get their act together. There are over 100 million accounts registered with iTunes…all potential money spending customers to Apple. Think of the money that could roll in with an affordable device that can download/watch TV, movies, music, books, magazines, newspapers, and God knows what other content. And why not make these services a monthly subscription as well. How much should it cost? The $1000 price has been floating around but I think that’s too high. If it can come in closer to $600 then it will fill the in-between gap of the iPhone and entry level MacBook which would give Apple an entire market range of products.
And lastly, the fanboy in me wants it to be as good (or better!) than the hype. I want it to be the iPhone of the portable PCs. Whether or not you use, or even like, the iPhone you’d be lying if you said it didn’t change the cell phone market for the better. Every single carrier and manufacturer has been trying to play catchup since the Jesus-Phone appeared, and no one has came close yet. There are other great devices out there, but no new thinking other than “hey let’s make a touch screen phone and give it an app store.” Sorry guys but you’re too late to the party.
One of the last interesting details to emerge was what outlets other than your typical gadgets, electronics, and mainstream media got an invite today. Kotaku (which is the sister GAME site of Gizmodo) and IGN (the largest online GAME site) were both invited to this shindig. I think this says something very telling about the device, and more importantly, Apple as a company. Apple was somewhat reluctant to say the iPhone and iPod Touch were gaming devices at their launch. Even after the success of the App Store games were more of an afterthought left to those outside the walls of Apple to pursue. But fast forward to now and nearly every major game manufacturer has a iPhone game in development. Independent devs are making $200K-$1 Million a MONTH with games. For Apple to invite two of the largest game sites to their media event says they are much more serious about gaming this time around. And why wouldn’t they be? They’re projected to sell close to 11 MILLION iPhones this QUARTER. With an established user base of 70 MILLION already. Who wouldn’t want to develop a game with a customer base like that.
So Apple, get your media partners in sync, get your app developers tuned to a larger screen, give it the horsepower of a low end Mac, give it the UI that it needs to revolutionize its size, and please, PLEASE don’t make me rob a bank to buy it.
I also think that while the tablet will be the star of the show there will be other announcements. Probably the normal spec updates to their whole product line. If the content providers are ready to go, we might see a new iTunes as well. Maybe new functions with Apple TV. And then, because Apple’s invitations usually tell us something about the event itself, I’m also guessing multiple colors for the iPhone and/or iPod Touch. Since they have so many black rectangles (and a few white ones) out and about, might as well throw a new palate to the masses. A little extra color has been working wonders for Green Lantern lately…