EeeeeeeEEeeeee!!… The Apple tablet

The hype’s out there, people are excited, the announcement’s tomorrow. Will it be good?

Well, yes. Of course it will be. The day the iPhone came out, it was obvious to me that ‘that, but bigger‘ was going to sell like hotcakes. You look at netbooks, probably the biggest growing PC form (good ref here?). These are mostly used as internet browsers in my experience (and please point me at some numbers if I’m wrong!) and the one flaw in all netbooks is the trackpad. Which is fairly tricky to use and inaccurate. But as Apple have cracked touchscreen controls on a small screen, the larger screen (current sweepstake winning guess; 10.1″) would have near-perfect accuracy. I guess the keyboard would be worse, but much worse than most netbooks? Probably not. Besides, when do you type on the internet? Compared to clicks, at least, it’s a minority input. So yes, Apple will make lots more money. To go on top of their existing piles of money. Anyone who thinks otherwise is missing a few screws.

Will it offer anything over existing netbooks? That’s the question. Apple don’t like to release something without some sort of game-changing new feature. They have games blogs signed up all around for the product announcement tomorrow, so I guess thats a given. But it’s not a surprise after the massive success of the iPhone, in particular the games market on there. I fully expect to see more long-form games on the tablet though, with bigger publishers, more professional backing, and the (inevitable) bigger prices. What else? depending on hard drive size, media content will be pushed hard. There’s a good opportunity to create a good (if not great, as it is entirely screen-dependent) e-reading solution, and Apple have been signing up various publishers. I would expect to see magazine/newpaper subscriptions and books come to the platform, on top of the existing music, films and tv purchases. It should have plenty of power to deal with film decoding. That will make it expensive, but Apple aren’t one to skimp on features to keep the price low. Unless they are releasing it with some sort of built-in subscription model (much like the iPhone is subsidised, the tablet could be subsidised through magazine subscriptions), I would expect the tablet to be announced tomorrow at £699. Expensive? Yes, and I hope that Apple proves me wrong. But they have always been expensive at the launch of every other product. If they have found ways of reducing the cost, either through subscriptions or skimping on power, then it may fall cheaper, but they like to make some money on the hardware, and have never cared about making money in software, so I’ll stick with that. Lets see how wrong I am tomorrow! 🙂

PS I’d expect the US price to be the same; $699…

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