Article: iSlate? Are We Getting Ahead of Ourselves?

by on December 28, 2009

I thought that it was time that I weighed in on the Apple tablet that everyone seems to be talking about right now. This seems a bit like the iPhone rumors that swirled around for the better part of 2006. Everyone was worried about the name, what features it would have, and what carrier would get it. This seems similar to the tablet rumors we’re reading today.

There is no doubt in my mind that Apple will introduce a tablet-like product sooner than later. There has been the argument that netbooks have been hurting Apple, since they have become an excellent alternative for those who want a basic, small computer. The iPod touch is a great mobile device for those who want some portable computing features, but don’t want an iPhone. Clearly, there is a gap between the iPod touch and the basic MacBook.

Rumors have been fueled again because of Apple owning the domain. The name makes sense for a tablet-like device, and domain ownership is something you can’t hide. Of course, Apple could just be buying potential product names, since this was purchased in 2007.

Things such as simpler navigation on Snow Leopard, the “new” MacBook not dropping drastically in price, various reports of orders for parts in China, and the popularity of the iPod touch/iPhone platform only support the idea of an “iSlate”, so what’s the big deal? Well, for starters, what if Apple doesn’t introduce a device soon? Somehow Apple will have failed in the minds of investors and fanatics alike, just like the every other sure-thing product. Remember the disappointment when the iPhone 3GS was pretty much a faster iPhone 3G? Remember when the third-generation iPod touch didn’t have a camera? Somehow, the press was sure that these products would be different than what Apple released, despite Apple not making any promises.

The point is, an Apple tablet makes sense, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it were delayed for one reason or another. Apple rarely has delays after a product announcement, and it may have an immediate ship date. Therefore, rumors are fun and a great way to generate content during this slow news time, but let’s not assume that everything we suspect will be true. If that is the case, why don’t I have a $200 Apple tablet running a full-blown version of OS X that is faster than my MacBook Pro in my hands now?

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