Apple's big media event yesterday produced what everyone had been
expecting: a tablet device, which as we know now, has been named the
Apple is promoting the iPad as a "magical and revolutionary device" but
there was palpable disappointment amongst many who had been discussing
(and speculating) about the device for so long. Living up to the hype
was probably impossible, but is some of the disappointment justified?
Is the iPad as "revolutionary" as Apple would have us believe?
Later today, Apple is expected to unveil what some believe may be its most important product ever: a tablet computing device.
The Apple tablet has been the subject of speculation for some time and in the lead up to Apple's media event today, the buzz has hit a fever pitch as just about everyone is talking about it. Obviously, the press and blogosphere will have plenty of information to
feast on later, but I think the buzz about the Apple tablet is in and
of itself worth examining. Why? I think it tells us something about...
Apple is buying Quattro Wireless... and coming out with a tablet computer. Google just announced its entry into the mobile phone market. TVs air programming streamed from the web (or from a PC in the next room), and soon they'll accommodate HD video Skype calls. All this digital convergence has to make you wonder: are there still digital channels, or is digital just becoming, well... just plain digital - a channel unto its multiplicity of selves?
Devices just aren't specific anymore. You play games on your phone, surf the web on your TV, and watch TV on a wireless handheld device. Is it still talking "on the phone" if I "dial" via Google Voice on my Blackberry, or via Skype on my laptop? Are you "watching television" if you're viewing an episode from your favorite series on Hulu, YouTube, or iTunes - and watching on a PC or tablet or even a phone? "Reading the newspaper" on an ebook reader?
And will all this convergence make marketing simpler, or much more complex?
Rumors are swirling around Apple's major product announcement later this month. According to a variety of sources, Apple is set to unveil the long-awaited tablet computing device that has been the subject of speculation for quite some time.
Many believe that an Apple tablet will be as revolutionary as the iPhone. Some go so far as to suggest that it could alter the computing landscape altogether.
When asked about netbooks earlier this year, Apple COO Tim Cook didn't beat around the bush: "They have cramped keyboards, terrible software, junky hardware, very small
screens, and just not a consumer experience, and not something that we would put
the Mac brand on, quite frankly".
That's fine, but the reality is that netbooks have made a huge mark on the market and have been given credit for driving much of the growth in the PC market. It's not hard to see why: for $300 or less in some cases, consumers can have an internet-capable 'mini-laptop'. In this economy, it's safe to say that many netbooks have been sold to consumers who otherwise would not have made a laptop purchase due to price considerations.