Who Needs An Apple Tablet?


Apple’s tablet computer aims to change the personal computing experience, but some commentators argue that the world does not need another tablet when it has smartphones such as Apple’s iPhone

Just as blogger sleuths gradually unearthed the fine points surrounding Google’s Nexus One smartphone, Internet detectives are dredging up details of Apple’s tablet computer.

The Wall Street Journal reported (paywall) that the tablet will ship in March, quoting sources briefed by Apple.

This tablet is another form factor of computing devices we already use, including our PCs, laptops, netbooks, e-readers and smartphones. Consumers who purchase Apple’s tablet will watch movies, play games, surf the Internet, and read electronic books and newspapers, all things people can do from the aforementioned devices. However, the Journal noted:

“People briefed by Apple say the company intends to carve out a new product category. With the new device, Apple wants to change the way consumers interact with a variety of content, these people said. Textbooks and newspapers, for example, could be presented differently through color screens, a touch interface, and the integration of live up-to-the-minute information from multiple sources.”

That sounds interesting. However, the Journal then cites Oppenheimer & Co.’s Yair Reiner, who said based on talks with sources that the tablet would be priced at about $1,000 (£625). Well, that certainly gives one pause, right?

Aren’t computing devices supposed to be getting cheaper? My $300 (£190) Asus Eee PC says they are. It enables me to do all of the web activities mentioned above, at least as far as everyone else can do these things online. No tricks or eye candy. Just good old-fashioned web surfing for a reasonable price.

Blogger Joe Wilcox wrote a piece on Beta News that burned up the blogosphere. Wilcox argued that the world does not need another tablet, at least not one when the world has smartphones such as Apple’s iPhone:

“Apple is part of the reason why tablets cannot succeed in the current market. The iPhone already is a tablet, with touchscreen keyboard, always-connected Internet and pocketable size for an affordable price – $99 (£62) for the 3G model, subsidised.”

He was quickly eviscerated in digital ink by TechCrunch blogger and Apple devotee MG Siegler and blogger/pundit Robert Scoble, in their own respective publishing grounds.

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