Is the Apple Tablet Coming Next?

I was reading over on Engadget this morning and saw mention that supposedly, the next big thing that Apple will be releasing is a tablet style computer. The rumor comes from someone over at Asus, the company who manufactures products like Apple’s Macbook, so it might not be too far off base.

My only trepidation with Apple doing something like this is that as of yet, no one has been able to make a tablet PC that’s really been a hit. People like Nokia have definitely tried, but so far there hasn’t been a market for such a device, though I think nerds all over the world have dreamed of owning a Star Trek style computer for a while now.

But on the other hand, before Apple entered the MP3 player market, the options out there were shabby at best. And there wasn’t really a touch screen phone market before the iPhone, but now almost every major mobile phone manufacturer has made or is making a phone with a touch screen. So the idea of Apple popularizing a tablet style computer isn’t too far fetched.

My guess is that it’ll be a hybrid somewhere between a Macbook and an iPhone, using a touch screen for input. It’s really hard to speculate past there too much. I think the success of a device like this is Apple figuring out exactly what will and won’t work. Like, will there be a desktop, which gives you freedoms like a real computer? Or will be a restricted environment like the iPhone, where you’re given buttons to take you to different areas? I think this is the really key part of Apple making this something successful. But I’m sure that they already know that.


November 6, 2007