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January 09, 2007


so does that mean Apple is copying Microsoft? or what? just wondering because you dont give it the context... i can only think of one provider that offers tablet PCs.

Hi James,
Toshiba, Lenovo, and others all make Tablet PCs and other smaller devices. I think my point (it was late last night) was that Apple will likely (in my weird opinion), create a version of what they will do as a tablet type platform. It will be interesting to watch others get rolling with new products, knowing that Apple has been working night -n- day on the touch screen which makes all the difference in the world.

Thanks for coming by the blog.

You may want to take a read through this article (it hit Digg last week I believe). Basically, they predict Jobs will stay well away from what is currently known as tablet PCs.,,1981815,00.html

Anyone that read the phrase "runs OSX" in any of the gazillion press releases had to start thinking "I wonder if application 'X' will be ported to it?".

It could get interesting - but I'd still want a keyboard, just like I'd want for a UMPC. Basically, the HP Jornada clamshells are the design point I like, just with more modern processors and screens like on the iPhone. That said, I'm an "old fart" and "these kids today" probably want the on-screen thumboard.

Looks like someone already beat Steve to the punchline - and did a great job at that!!! I REALLY like the idea of having a tablet Mac with GPS natively installed.

Rick - an interesting point and an accurate one. Whether it's prescient or not depends....:) But consider what happens to, say e-books, etc. etc. (& oh btw portable plugin keyboard as req'd). But let me take your basic argument and extend/morph it back to telecomm with my own comment from BigPicture:
Barry - good points all. The speculative excesses will bring their own rewards. Three complementary obs/points to consider:
1. Price Points - the iPhone is a highend cell, PDA/Blackberry and Video iPod each of which is a $499 device (give or take). Proposed price points of $599/499 are a lot less than 3 X $499. And oh yeah, btw, it's also the first truly effective looking mobile online data access.

2. The touchscreen and icon-based UI is a revolutionary rethink of the basic paradigm of what a phone is. This could be as important as the graphic interface of the MAC. It is an entry point into the wider wireless market and overturns the whole telecomm provider perspective of phones are necessary endpoint evils but we sell service to a more user-centric view.

3. It also - as the iPod did - defines a complete supporting systemic ecology of network and apps/services. It is a complete systems view of total product design and that re-think is a necessary condition for the revolution.

4. A 2nd necessary condition is that it work - that is the screen not breakdown under stress and the actual phone services and data/app services provide value and be as easy to use as demo'd.

The sufficient condition would be crossing over into critical mass in that marketspace, which the MAC did not. But at the minimum it completely revises the standards of all the handset, PDA, Bberry and phone service providers and forces them to difficult new levels of design and service.

p.s. - consider what having a home server with a high-speed line with this ease of use would do for the consumer electronics market :) !

Good note, Rick. I've always felt that when it comes to hand sized devices, Microsoft took the PC and jammed it into the PDA form factor, Palm modified the PC to be in a PDA form factor, and Apple has now re-defined it altogether.

The hardware technology for tablet computers has been here for several years, and as pointed out, several vendors have produced them. But they've languished due to the same two transferences: jamming a PC into a tablet, or modifying a PC to be in a tablet. Trading off a keyboard for a touchscreen is not trivial, which is what Apple has so eloquently done.

Not only has the iPhone done away with the keyboard, but it has done away with the stylus. In order to do that, they completely re-thought the rules that you are left with and built back up from there. It is NOW obvious that the widgets in Mac OSX primarily came from this thought process, not just from neo-dashboard thinking. I have never been a widget fan on a keyboard-equipped laptop... simply because you don't really need them. But on a tablet...

For the most part, Mac Widgets (and iPod widgets) are dedicated, singular presentations of live, web-based information nuggets. Instead of navigating to the weatherChannel URL and clicking or typing through lists of cities, you pre-configure YOUR WeatherWIdget once for your city, and now, every time you tap the weatherWidget it shows your local realtime forecast.

Apple quietly released their DashCode widget development environment last month. Yesterday they publicly released it. By last night, there were HUNDREDS of new widgets for the Mac... that are already starting the Darwinian process of natural selection and migration, one can imagine, to the iPhone.

It is easy to configure a Widget to display the Rick Segal RSS feed, or a mashup of all VC-related RSS feeds. There will be lots of dedicated function widgets to populate your iPhone glass face... each reaching throughout the world for the nugget of info it is self-absorbed with finding. Each requiring virtually no typing.

Pretty cool.


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