Apple tablet rumours are heating up and getting more specific. The latest prediction is that the announcement is scheduled for January 26 2010.
The interesting thing about this article is that it takes it as a given that the mobile version of OSX will be used and existing iphone apps that are resolution independent will run. Also interesting that multiple sizes of tablets are being predicted before any have been introduced. If Apple does do a demo or announcement at the end of January will the roadmap with regards to having more than one screen size be revealed or just the first tablet announced?
Most of the concepts are just an iPhone with a larger screen. Highly unlikely that a DVD drive will be included. A jailbroken iPhone app was recently announced that supports bluetooth keyboards. This makes even more sense for a tablet so here is hoping that one button mouse type of rigidity doesn’t happen.
Some well done quotes sure to increase speculation on the details of the tablet design.
Speculation will be increased by provocative statements that Steve is pleased with the product and that it has a surprising interface.
Reasons identified by Conrad Blickenstorfer, why previous tablets didn’t work need to be revisited in light of the expected new entry.(Conrad, the editor of publications like Rugged PC Review and the founder of Pen Computing Magazine, has been reporting on tablet computers for over two decades)
No one has ever made a truly committed effort to design a great tablet.
The jury is still out on this, as the design is as yet unseen and Apple’s commitment can only truly be gauged on how much they devote to this expansion of the iphone platform over time.
The underlying software and hardware were not ready for
prime time, especially touch-screens.
“The sole reason for the renewed interest is that with the iPhone, Apple has shown that touch can work elegantly, effortlessly and beautifully,”
Tablets were based on immature technologies, like handwriting recognition and voice recognition, that weren’t ready. Apple has already shown some early voice recognition cards, a Dragon natural speaking app has been introduced, and virtual keyboards are being used instead of handwriting recognition. Bluetooth keyboards may also be an option to supplement the portable onscreen keyboard when the tablet isn’t mobile.
Tablets have previously been positioned as premium-priced products. Innovation on the interface will be important to determine what functions make sense for the tablet and what price can be supported. An affordable introductory price will take a lot of pressure off while the product line builds up its capabilities.
Windows was designed for use with a mouse and is simply not suited for tablets.
Considering most tablets have run Windows for the last eight years, “this is by far the most important reason why tablets never succeeded,”
If Apple can leverage its 100,000 iPhone apps that are already designed for a touchscreen interface this will be a powerful entry point for larger screen devices. App developers have yet to be heard on how well previously developed apps will be able to take advantage of larger screens. This has big implications for the iTunes store if the different classes of Apps need to be identified for each form factor.