The Apple Tablet’s Killer Feature?

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    Posted: 31 July 2009 05:56 PM #16

    No keyboard. What are you supposed to do with it, lay it flat on the table and hunch forward so you can still see the screen? You certainly couldn’t do text like typing on something 10”. And It won’t fit in your pocket, which is a HUGE advantage for the iPhone/iPod Touch.

    It doesn’t have a tactile keyboard so it’s not as easy to use or as convenient as a macbook, but it’s still 10” so it isn’t portable like an iPhone/iPod Touch.

    What exactly is this thing for?? A 10” Macbook Air would be infinitely better in every way, and absurdly thin too. Just as portable as a 10” tablet.

    I immediately saw the excellence with the iMac, the iPod, the Apple Stores, and the iPhone, but I can’t see this. Leave it to Apple to prove me wrong though.

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    Posted: 31 July 2009 06:04 PM #17

    Ken, if there is no margin to speak of, no. This reminds me of the discussion we had a year or so ago about a nano iphone. Bad idea then, bad idea now. Apple has not built the best company in the world by giving away its products. Through ingenious marketing, strong subcontracting, user friendly products and designs second to none, Apple can sell their products for a premium. If you are a shareholder, this is a perfect scenario. 

    Welcome to the board, by the way. Even though this is an Apple forum, we do not always agree. This is how it should be.



    Adversity does not just build character, it reveals it.

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    Posted: 31 July 2009 06:12 PM #18

    kentest - 31 July 2009 08:21 PM

    For the life of me, I cannot understand why there isn’t some OSX consumer-easy virtual environment for iphone apps right now!

    You’re talking about the dashboard. Probably two lines of code to make it access your Mobile Applications library…

    I agree, the iTablet will not run iPhoneOS. It will run vanilla OS X. This is why we don’t yet have one. There is no combination of battery, processor, and screen in the required form factor that will stay running for the length of two or three full length movies, or for three days of normal use over wifi.  Apple now has the battery technology, is building the processor, and has reportedly ordered the screens.

    I’ve seen a Dell Mini 9 running OS X, and its 2200mAh battery pack runs full OS X for two days without a charge, light use and the screen dimmed. The current Macbook Pros have at least a 4000mAh battery and run for 5-8 hours. Apple will be able to do this, the tablet will run full OS X, and it will absolutely crush the netbook overnight.

    I only have to look across at my bride squinting through reading glasses at her iPhone to want her to have this:

    Finally, I really like that we’ve been asked to produce the killer feature, and two pages of killer features have emerged. That should be enough!  The Apple Macbook Mini will NOT be anything close to a netbook we’ve already seen. It’ll be magically better.

    [ Edited: 31 July 2009 06:23 PM by rezonate ]


    Use your powers for good.

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    Posted: 31 July 2009 07:27 PM #19

    A mac tablet, if it ran OSX programs, would be many things to many people:

    An e-reader, a killer new gaming device, a media player of all sorts, a professional walkabout computer, a device that could integrate with other devices or be an auto updating info center for the home, car and so on.  For professional photographers a proofing device (though it would take some time for the tethering to be worked out).  Aperture probably wouldn’t run on it so well since it is so processor hungry.  The device will need some sort of attachment system for when it is used in a vertical position and it will be interesting to see what Ives designs here.

    In terms of this new tablet, we need to think of the way we look at data / information / entertainment.  It is all about how a screen size fits into our consumption and creation of content.  There will be a place for the book size screen- we just are unfamiliar with how great it will be to have an ultraportable super slim OSX computer that weighs less that the new aluminum extended keyboard I am typing this on.  Ever look at an ipod nano and think: jeez, that screen is just dinky and useless (compared to a touch)?  It will be the same way with the ipad: the touch will seem cramped - and a laptop will seem cumbersome in ways.  I wouldn’t worry about the margins: when it comes out it will be on the pricey side (remember the first iPhone price?  wink  ) and ease lower in price as necessary.

    The killer app? A keyboard projector?  A wireless point of sale device?  Video conferencing? Games?  I dunno.  But if Apple is going to release it it will be the next big little thing.

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    Posted: 31 July 2009 08:26 PM #20

    What if it is like the OLPC II concepts that were kicking about a while ago? Two touchscreen displays? Hinged. Virtual touch keyboard on one screen and full screen on another in landscape mode. Two pages left and right for book reading in portrait mode. Closes flat when in your bag. Netbook would be dead.



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    Posted: 31 July 2009 08:56 PM #21

    I still see it as a niche product with only Apple fanatics buying, similar to ATV. I know, I have one now. It was the GF who bought it though.

    My Apple/AAPL inventory now: iphone, Macbookpro, ATV, common shares, and Jan 10 calls.


    Adversity does not just build character, it reveals it.

  • Posted: 31 July 2009 09:00 PM #22

    The killer feature of the MacBook Touch will be background apps.  The iPhone is great for checking email and casual web browsing, but it’s impossible to do any real work on it.  I agree with other posters that a 10” MacBook Air would be a better choice, but I don’t expect to see it.  A 10” form factor will be great for taking to meetings or classes, and if it includes a stylus and handwriting recognition, the lack of a physical keyboard is less of a problem.  It should run Leopard, not iPhone OS, so it can support an external keyboard (and an external optical drive).

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    Posted: 31 July 2009 09:28 PM #23

    First off, except for telephony, the iPhone is a tiny fancy toy, no good, and/or not optimal for reading text, watching movies, reading books, creating docs. and graphics, or any number of things that require a nice large readable screen.
    I saw a guy on the bus the other day with a Kindle, it looked amazing even from my vantage point behind the guy. Of COURSE Apple will get into e-reader market despite ‘anonymous’ reports. The Kindle IS the print future, smell the pixels. Apple’s take will be even better - I don’t know if the 1st iteration tablet will be the final ‘reader’ but it sure will rock.

    Does anyone remember an Apple patent that they filed about 4-5 years ago give or take - it was reported in this here forum -  the patent had to do with a screen with a bezel and lights. The gist was that the bezel could light up in certain areas and may signify alerts or other action/behavior. Also, the bezel may have touch capability.
    The Killer App for the tablet could be the UI itself! What if you just hold the edges and can control all sorts of functions with only your thumbs on the bezel (and the relevant part of the bezel lights up) as well as touch screen wipes and taps.

    I sure would like to see what Ives and the guys have in mind!!!!


    -I’m sorry, apparently my Karma has run over your Dogma -

  • Posted: 31 July 2009 10:30 PM #24

    Dr. Gripp - 31 July 2009 08:56 PM

    I immediately saw the excellence with the iMac, the iPod, the Apple Stores, and the iPhone, but I can’t see this. Leave it to Apple to prove me wrong though.

    Me too.  But look at it a different way.

    Did we see the excellence of the iPhone, iMac, or iPod before they were introduced.  I sure did not.  It was January of ‘07 when I became truly excited about the iPhone.  Before that I was eager to see what Apple might do with a phone, but that performance by SJ at MacWorld was what really opened my eyes.  Apple had exceeded my expectations.  And even then I underestimated how fabulous an innovation it was.

    Perhaps they will innovate again in a way that we have not anticipated.  Or perhaps they will just judge the market with precision.  Either way, there is some upside here.  And I remain confident in Apple to execute.

    Oops, almost forgot:  Video conferencing.

    [ Edited: 31 July 2009 10:57 PM by capablanca ]      
  • Posted: 01 August 2009 05:16 PM #25

    Crystal balls from days gone by….

  • Posted: 01 August 2009 06:21 PM #26

    I don’t think this will be sold as a Mac, even though it might have most of the Leopard APIs. I think it will still have the same signed apps only setup as iPod/iPhone. I think this setup is very useful for enterprise customers, who can have their own internal app stores.

    Most people have an inkling that they don’t actually need a computer any more, and as a device, no computer has ever been a joy to them -it’s more an inscrutable nightmare.

    The iTablet’s killer feature, IMO, will be that it allows those users, both consumer and enterprise, faced with the prospect of being forced off XP, to defer that decision yet again, and let their old XP system gradually fade away instead of replacing it. Instead they will supplement it with this delightful and magical device that does 90% of what they want.

    Apple continues to dance around the Microsoft monopoly drawing away its strength without directly challenging. Apple is “messing with Microsoft’s mind” with its advertising, its products, and its business model.

  • Posted: 02 August 2009 12:13 AM #27

    Analyst claims first hand knowledge of Apple gaming, home media center tablet
    Sat, 08/01/2009 - 09:56 ? Seth Weintraub

    Barron’s is reporting that an un-named analyst has seen Apple’s forthcoming tablet and expects it to be announced in September with a ship date around November.  They mention that Apple is such a bellwether for the industry that all other manufacturing in this area has stopped until Apple releases this product.  They expect the product to retail for $700-$800 and fulfill a variety of multimedia functions including AppleTV and Gaming.

  • Posted: 02 August 2009 02:27 AM #28

    rattyuk - 31 July 2009 11:26 PM

    What if it is like the OLPC II concepts that were kicking about a while ago? Two touchscreen displays? Hinged. Virtual touch keyboard on one screen and full screen on another in landscape mode. Two pages left and right for book reading in portrait mode. Closes flat when in your bag. Netbook would be dead.

    I would love this!  I don’t see a need for a MacBook tablet, but this would be so incredibly cool.

    This thread was initially dominated by naysayers like myself, but now the positive visions are coming out.  Fun reading.


    Off again, on again…

  • Posted: 02 August 2009 03:14 AM #29

    capablanca - 01 August 2009 08:16 PM

    Crystal balls from days gone by….


    Did you not Trademark “Mobile Me” back in January 2006?!


    Off again, on again…

  • Posted: 02 August 2009 06:11 AM #30

    The media buzz is suggesting its a media and games device, not that it’s a baby Mac. Well I wouldn’t pay $700 for a supersize PSP. OTOH, Jason Schwarz is suggesting it could be subsidized by Apple as part of an extended iTunes subscription, like iPhone subsidy from carrier service contracts. But I don’t really buy that; it’s the opposite of what Apple has always said about subscription music.

    Whatever it is, its function and behaviour will be defined entirely by software, and like iPhone, Apple can continue to add functionality. That would mean subscription accounting, and that would need a revenue stream. But I find mobileme more likely than iTunes as the required contract. But why not all 3: earn a subsidy every 2 years on iTunes, on MobileMe, and on your cell contract; spend it on whichever device you want: phone, iPod or tablet. Doesn’t work for me; I don’t think we’ve figured it out yet.

    But I have always thought that the subscription accounting and the cash mountain might be used by Apple to subsidize devices in a migration from hardware sales to a service business model.

    [ Edited: 02 August 2009 06:16 AM by sleepytoo ]