Over the past month, speculation and rumors about Apple announcing a tablet in January have flooded the Internet. Every tech blog has mentioned it and try to cover the rumors as they whiz about. Most people are extremely eager to see what Apple has to offer, with many expecting this release to revolutionize the computer market, and mark 2010 as the year of the tablet.
Of course Apple not the first company to try to sell a tablet. Manufacturers have been trying to make a good tablet for over 10 years now. Most of them ran some version of Windows but they never took off. You would occasionally see one here and there, being used at a meeting or during a project planning. Most of the time though a tablet wasn’t really necessary for what that person was doing. The owner was just trying to find a way to justify spending $1000 on the thing. Knowing Apple, the tablet won’t be cheap like a net book. Depending on what they throw in, a tablet to easily approach $1000 as well.
So why would Apple’s tablet be any different? Why would Apple’s tablet catch on when others haven’t? Software. Most of the tablets so far used either Windows 98, XP, or Vista. None of these devices were designed with a touch screen in mind. Most of them require the use of a stylus to interact with the screen; with poor detection , it would take a number of tries to order the hit the button you were aiming for. Even hitting the close button in the top right corner was difficult. Manufacturers would always put together some junky driver that tried to emulate the fingers with the mouse, but never succeeded. Windows 7 is the first operating system from Microsoft that natively supports touch input. However, Windows 7 lacks a large software library that puts the Touch gestures to work.
When Apple releases their tablet, you’ll be able to tell that one of their main points of focus was getting the user interface right. Apple also have a whole suite of developers eagerly ready to create and release their own applications specifically for this tablet. It happened with the iPhone and the iPod Touch, and it’s gonna happen again. Apple is also expected to make a big push in the eBook market with this device. If Apple can create some kind of content market for publishers to release through, like iTunes, then Apple has an even better chance.
Apple doesn’t invent new products and ideas. The computer wasn’t new in the 1980s, but the first Macintosh got the idea of the personal computer into people’s homes. There were MP3 players before the iPod, but Apple managed to sweep away that market as well. Cell phones weren’t new, but the iPhone changed how everyone used their phone, and raised the standard for smartphone to a whole new level. This tablet release could be the fourth revolution Apple kicks off.
All eyes are on you Apple. Make a killing.