Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Five reasons why Apple can/should/could create a tablet-PC (and five why not)

So there are many rumours (or should we say "reasons"?) why Apple will release a kind of tablet PC on Jan 26th. No one knows, everyone speculates, but let us be honest: Technically, they could. And for me to look into the glass ball: At Jan, 26th, Steve will introduce a device pretty the same like the iPod Touch with a 7" display, having wireless and a OS X. But that is just the beginning.

Marketing and the name will be important
Most rumours go for the name. May it be iSlate, or iGuide (here too), no one knows (despite the fact that both seem to be aquired / protected by Apple's employe "Regina Porter" and Apple's commissioned lawyers). I, personally, go for something else. "iSlate" or "iGuide" does not sound like Apple for me. Better would be "iTouch" or "iBook Touch", something like that. But here, iThink, we will have to wait for Apple's last call.
Apart from the good kind of selection depending on names, Apple's congeniality is not ultimately found in technical reasons. It is founded in design and pretty useable products. And their placement in the market.

Other markets emerge, existing markets got complex
Having the netbook market exploding these days and (for a newbee at the phonie-thingies) some drawbacks at the mobile market which might, on the long tail, get serious for production costs and/or customer revenues, Apple is smart enough to engage new markets. So let us have a look on why Apple should expand their market introducing a complete new device to the market.

Five reasons why Apple can/should/could create a tablet-PC (and five why not):
1. Technically they have OS X for iPhone and therefore "Cocoa Touch" which is needed to run a successful tablet PC nowadays (fast enough multitouch applications).
2. Rumours say that Apple worked four years on something like a touch-PC, if they are not ready yet with their experience on Cocoa Touch, they never will be.
3. Rumours say that Apple is asking software deliverers to not only work for the resolution of iPhone/iPod Touch but to modify their software to work on bigger screen resolutions.
4. Having 100.000 "Apps" in their market place that might be easily modified would help a lot to implement a new platform.
5. After the success of the iPhone everyone will listen to a new device, even if it is "yet another touch PC" - marketing is on their side.

Where there is much light, there is shadow, too. Five reasons against:
1. A tablet PC needs to cope with all functionalities of a normal PC. Can Cocoa Touch be married with OS X at a glance? Windows 7 has it built in.
2. You never can copy a success story in IT-world. After the success of the iPhone, the Apple touch-PC should be a burner, having much more functionality than the iPhone (else it would only fill an niche).
3. Apple is (at the moment) forced to get functionalities to the iPhone other mobile companies have, should they open a second front at tablet-PC's or concentrate to what they have/need to do?
4. Pricing will be critical. Selling an iPhone at $199 which then is partly payed by a telecommunication partner is cheaper than selling a new kind of device at Apple's own [risk] (rumours say it should be well under $1000)
5. January 26th is a date the media knows (now). Steve Jobs has to deliver (something - read the link tot he end). Hopefully he is not taking his mouth too full (or didn't at the past without saying something... ).

Words from the editor (please only read if you want to):

Well, I would not call it "words from the editor" here at the end of this blog. I'd call it: Rumours. I researched a lot depending the Apple-tablet-thingie going on. My opinion is that Apple will - at best - deliver a gizmo working with a 7" touch display on Jan, 26.

On the other hand I read that they will only get new gadgets 'n gizmos for the iPhone on this date. No one can tell, but one thing is clear: Apple does, let's says since mid 2007, not always move fast enough. Nowadays they have to move. Kind of fast. Others do.

So my guess for the future is: On Jan, 26th, Steve introduces iPhone 4.0 :) or something like a "iBook Touch". Starting at 7", getting to 10.1" (promised middle of 2010).