Apple's forthcoming tablet will be a device that looks to offer more than "surfing the Web in the bathroom."
In a report that seeks to find the future of the tablet PC, The New York Times has offered some insight into Apple's tablet dreams, which the company has been working to bring to reality for years. The story cited numerous ex-employees of the company, including one who said Jobs kept scrapping prototypes because they weren't good for anything except browsing the Web from the bathroom.
Apple allegedly developed one tablet prototype in 2003 using a PowerPC chip from IBM. But Joshua A. Strickland, a former Apple engineer who worked on the company's patented multi-touch technology, said the hardware was too expensive, it didn't perform well, and it had poor battery life, Apple Insider reports.
News agencies also report, Apple is widely believed to be working on a tablet for introduction in early 2010, though the timing may be more flexible than recent rumor suggests.
The company needs to be very sure it has a hit or should start managing customer expectations. If not, anything it does will that falls short of perfection will be considered a failure.
For all the talk, a key mystery remains: What will it take to get people to purchase them? Apple is in the best position to know, based on its experiences with the iPhone and iPod touch and 2 billion downloaded applications.
The challenge is building a device that matches a thin form factor with a color screen, large memory, powerful processor, and long battery life. In addition, it needs to sell for a "popular" price, which seems to be in the $500-$800 range, PC World reports.
it was also reported, unless Apple’s tablet has some super compelling feature, there are some problems it’s trying to solve. Touch screen Tablet PC means an on-screen keyboard, which means you get at best a sucky keyboard that doesn’t provide any tactile feedback. Add to that the fact that on-screen keyboards are a major screen hog.
Apple could release an ebook reader, or a newspaper reader, a portable gaming device, or maybe some sort of mobile mapping device, or a more general-purpose tablet, but it’s tricky to see what niche Apple could be going after.
But then again, if Apple can make lugging a tablet around with you seem cool, then they could sell in the millions, ZDNet reports.