Friday, January 1, 2010

What is the finally Role of the Apple Tablet?

While we generally avoid purely speculative piece here on MacRumors, John Gruber posted a very interesting opinion piece on what need or void the Apple Tablet can be filled. Gruber acknowledges that it is not based on knowledge, but it is clear that a draft describes tablet in the works and a "cone of silence" to all persons involved in the project.

Exactly what purpose or role of an Apple tablet will fill a legitimate question is raised repeatedly. Since another tablets company’s which has so far not commercially that, what could Apple bring to the table that will make them success?, Steve Jobs himself has asked what is good for other than web surfing in the bathroom.

Gruber believes the upcoming Apple Tablet will replace the low end of Apple's portable computer market which is currently held by the MacBook and instead focus on some core functionality and do it well.

And so in answer to my central question, regarding why buy The Tablet if you already have an iPhone and a MacBook, my best guess is that ultimately, The Tablet is something you’ll buy instead of a MacBook.

Like all Apple products, The Tablet will do less than we expect but the things it does do, it will do insanely well. It will offer a fraction of the functionality of a MacBook — but that fraction will be way more fun.

Apple clearly has the capacity to reinvent a product category as are the MP3 player (iPod) and mobile (iPhone), and people certainly hope that will be capable of the same thing with the tablet to do. Much of the differentiation of these products have been produced with the software, we agree with Gruber that the Tablet operating system and can not simply be a bare iPhone OS Mac OS or be reduced.

One common prediction I disagree with is that The Tablet will simply be more or less an iPod Touch with a much bigger display. But in the same way that it made no sense for Apple to design the iPhone OS to run Mac software, it makes little sense for a device with a 7-inch (let alone larger) display to run software designed for a 3.5-inch display.

Exactly how that will be accomplished, of course, is the big secret.

Apple is rumored to be launching their Tablet in 2010 and Steve Jobs has been described as being extremely happy with the upcoming device.

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