In a few days or weeks, according to rumors (http://gizmodo.com/5434566/the-exhaustive-guide-to-apple-tablet-rumors), Apple will introduce a new device to the market. Apparently it’s a Tablet device, with either 7" or 10" display. With much commotion in the tech blogsphere, the ‘iSlate’ (as was suggested) is discussed as if it is a fact of life. However one crucial detail is not clear – will this be a Cellular device like the iPhone or just another WiFi device like the iPod Touch.
Here is my prediction – I hope it is a truly mobile cellular device like the iPhone and if so, we’re in for a massive change in the world of computing as we know it.
First, a cellular mobile tablet launched by a power-house like Apple will overnight change the PC world, rendering many laptops obsolete and redefine usability and mobility. As any user of a smart-phone noticed, it is only a little extra functionality that holds you from leaving your heavy laptop at home while you’re traveling around. Schlepping around with a 5-6Lbs brick, regardless of design and quality, is far less fun than carrying a svelte 1lbs Tablet (my guesstimate for weight). ‘Disruptive’ should be an understated word concerning the device’s possible impact on the PC world – ending one of its worst years ever, with margins squeezed to the limits, the last thing giants such as HP, Dell or Acer need is a device questioning the merits of their only profitable item, the executive laptop.
Second, since Apple has rarely (or actually…never?) failed with market introduction of a strategic device, I will go out on a limb and say that this might change the Software industry as well. With its iPhone app store being so robust and successful, Apple’s Tablet will surely carry on and extended that model. In doing so we can kiss goodbye to the days of $300-Application as the Micosoft, Adobe and others forced upon us in the last 20 years. Say ‘welcome’ to the $19.99 ‘Office’ app.
Again, all the above is assuming a Mobile/Cellular device, not a mere WiFi ‘grown-up’ iPod. I hope this is still Steve’s Apple and the obvious will be done – Apple will push RESET to the PC world and release a the first truly personal computer. If it’s just a grown-up iPod Touch, I will be disappointed and assume Apple’s bean-counters held it back due to fears of cannibalizing Mac sales... But that’s just me.