The intertubes were clogged today with fervid buzz and florid scuttlebutt about the impending arrival of every fanboi's object of unrequited technolust: the long-rumored but eternally-elusive Apple tablet/netbook/media-pad/ebook/whatever. This latest spurt of speculation was engendered by an AppleInsider article that asserted: " …
People wanted MP3 players and phones and Apple made excellent products in those markets. People have never shown any interest in tablet PCs despite them having been around for years. Apple's marketing team will have to pull a very big rabbit out of its hat.
And the new device will be called....
iJizzinmypants, because that is what all the crApple fannibois will be doing as soon as it is officially announced.
They will be flooding every possible sight, bleating on about how this device will change everything for everyone everywhere, while completely ignoring the fact that every single attempt at a tablet based device has been an abject failure.
And the rest of the world will laugh at those caught in the Jobsientology hype who fall flat on their faces whenm this device turns out to be as market changing as every other tablet device.
A Sytlish Tablet
.. for those that that don't think the netbook are sexy enough. My guess at salient points of the netbook like spec with;
- slim, non-swappable battery
- 10" multi touch screen 1024x800
- ultra low profile charging dock so tablet is e-picture frame (portrait or landscape) on coffee table. Stream pictures from MobileMe gallery
- on screen keyboard. use BT keyboard and stand if you need to type.
- HW H.264 level 3.1 decode. Got to do standard def PROGRESSIVE video or better.
having spec'd one for my start-up in E-O-2007 [RedEmbedded.com]
So you'll no longer have to go to the store or drop the fact you've got an iPhone into every conversation (and every email...)? Just take one tablet and you're cool until the next one comes out? Sounds amazing!
And the thing that'll change the world (of computing) as we know it is things like mobileITX- making x86-compatible (i.e. with billions of applications), wallet-sized computing possible. Imagine the possibilities for embedded / wearable / etc computing- any Tom, Dick or Harry capable of firing up Visual Basic Express (or coding Excel macros) will suddenly be able to code for a low power, (hopefully) low-cost, absolutely tiny platform. The AR community will be able to blossom, home automation can take a step forwards- even robotics would be given a kick forwards (especially the amateurs!).
Compare this to the iTablet and you've gone back to the ridiculously tightly controlled, expensive market. And as the eeePC and subsequent netbook explosion has showed, there's still a huge consumer demand for small, portable, convenient and cheap- as well as incredibly flexible- computers. In fact the first round of Mac vs PC showed us the same thing!
Saying that, the iPhone when released was technically unimpressive (I mean the damn thing couldn't MMS or cut-and-paste, was GPRS and had a really crap camera- as well as other stuff that was missing/rubbish) but still sold thanks to marketing and style. And, of course, the Apple brand. So the iTablet could still be a fairly big hit.
..does it come with Android?? Would be a waste if it didn't.
The Hot-Air Industry
Apple rumours are an industry in themselves. Surely 'Apple Insider' releases a new Apple tablet PC rumour every time they need to boost ad revenue?
Also, how can anyone claim it to be a flop or the second coming of the messiah when nobody knows what it even is yet?!
I hope they do
I hope Apple does bring out a tablet PC and I hope its successful. Not that I would buy one but it may help to kick start a demand for the devices which will bring down the prices of such devices and drive up the specifications. I have always wanted a tablet but the prices have always seemed silly when compared with normal note books, and have always been out of range of what I had to spend at those times I was buying. If Apple is successful at this then the world and its dog will try to copy and I can only benefit. I'll still never buy an Apple though. They may be excellent quality but I still see them as fashion accessories. That isn't a comment on the machines themselves but that's the impression I get watching and looking at their commercials. It puts me right off. (As do the prices.)
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"The iTouch Tablet is about to change society as we know it."
Obvious hyperbole and not to be taken seriously (but the fool who uttered this nonesense probably does.)
I remember the think secret website predicting ibook G4 models every 6 months until they actually arrived 2.5 years later.
They had the gall to say "as we predicted G4 ibooks are here"
Good prediction guys.
If Apple brings out an iPod touch with a 7" screen I will have one of those.
hmm. I'd buy...
Apple designed colour version of the illiad iRex, with colour e-ink screen and 40 hour battery life? That would be nice.
Or at least something with a sensitive enough screen to allow it to accurately transcribe my chicken scratches, then convert them to legible text. If they can do that... whoa!
Let me guess...
It'll have spec similar to $200 devices, but come at six times the price because it's thinner, shinier and got the right logo?
Whatever it is
October is right for the XMAS buying period, but is a bit too soon considering nothing proper has been leaked. So Jan 2010 look favourite - especially if it's good and they want to (for once) have enough product in stock so that they don't disappoint their customers...
I don't have one single Apple product, was thinking of an iPhone 3GS - not one to be had anywhere and this is months after launch. Rubbish planning.
What is the essential difference between a tablet computer and a kindle?
If Apple does produce a tablet we can be sure it will be as part of a kindle-killer package.
i love apple
i'd give my life for steve!
What we know...
From all the bits of kit Apples been buying, and people they've been hiring:
Strange resolution "iphones" running at 1024x768 etc on various analytics for site data...ok maybe hackintosh's on Dell netbooks, but still odd.
Synaptics 8" touchpad with 4-finger control.
And a shedload of flash memory. Ok not so much a big surprise since its used massively as is...but could very easily be for a new project also.
Hiring of the MS Xbox folks for making a games product - maybe to aid iPhone gaming, but a bit late for that really.
And Jobs himself making the whole "we won't make a netbook" thing.
So the end result? we're looking at a 8" "iphone" style multi-touch device used for "netbook" style things, but also a Apple games machine, ebook reader and the like. The big unknowns though is pricing and market, but due to the success of the jesus phone, its highly likely that such a device will also be connected to the mobile phone networks (just guessing on this one), but such a move would be interesting as it would allow for it to be sold very cheap on a contract. £1000 bit of kit on a £199 price on contract? Yes I have just been connecting dots here, and adding the pricing ideas myself at the end...but no worse than everyone elses guesses although my own guesses do actually bring in bits from what we know Apples been buying up and doing.
<i> Over on TheStreet.com, for example, they're already calling it the "iFlop."</i>
<i>But, to my mind, the most important thing that he elicited out of CNBC’s most famous stock jester, Jim Cramer, was the part of the interview discussing using the malleable press to float fictional rumors about companies in order to make money on the negative news.
While Cramer at first tried to deny he did it, Stewart had the videotape of the “Mad Money” host talking about the practice, specifically in regard to Apple (AAPL).
His appalling idea to make a quick buck? Making it up that the mobile carriers did not like the iPhone right before Macworld, in this case in 2006.
“And this is very easy because the people who write about Apple want that story, and you can claim that it’s credible because you spoke to someone at Apple, because Apple doesn’t…comment,” said Cramer cavalierly, as if he was not talking about a way to essentially steal other people’s money and hurt Apple unfairly, to interviewer Aaron Task, then at Cramer’s own TheStreet.com.
“So it’s really an ideal short. And again if I were short Apple, I’d pick up the phone and I’d do that today.“</i>
Wow, such a lot of hate for a piece of vapourware
I think I'l hold fire until there's something I can hold in my hands
Speaking of fanbois...
Just what planet are they on? 'Cuz it sure in hell ain't this one!
"Apple is now racing toward an early 2010 launch of a device that may see the electronics maker redefine the portable computing market for the second time in twice as many years."
They're not seriously talking about the iPhone being the first device to redefine the mobile computing market are they? It didn't even redefine mobile telephony so just how it redefined mobile computing is a mystery? It was a triumph of design but little else.
Apple fanbois really need to get over themselves!
Hmmm, "t/n/m/e/w"... Seems like we've almost got all the letters we need to spell Newton... :)
iPhone/iPod Touch accessory?
Seems to me the best bet for Apple would be to have something you can plug the iPhone in, use that as the processor, O/S and wireless connector and have the 'tablet' act as extra storage/memory/power with a larger screen area, and maybe a physical keyboard.
Saves having to muck about building something from scratch, makes use of the data transfer aspect of the recharge coupling and extends the iPhone/Pod Touch into a netbook.
It'd drive iPhone and Touch sales, and open up the prospect of cheap desktops in the future running off the iPhone nG, merging mobile and desktop computing, and mobile and fixed telephony.
If I was an evil genius with wonderful PR, pots of cash, high-markups and a loyal install base, it's what I'd do.
Re: I hope they do
In terms of wanting apple to bring out a tablet purely to act as a flagship for kickstarting low-cost (better) tablets, they've pretty much already been beaten to the punch by Archos.
The upcoming Archos 9 seems to be heading to market relatively quietly (likely because exactly as said, the tablet market is currently tiny/nonexistant) however with a 9" resistive touchscreen, wifi, bluetooth, dvb-t, windows 7, and a pricepoint of £450 for the smaller drive option, it's looking to be a great introduction to more widespread tablet use.
Granted at £450 it's still not quite down to your average netbook price and it seems to not provide 3G for completely mobile net usage, but it's still half the price of what few other tablets that're available start at, and who'd want to take bets on an Apple device being released that costs less than 4 figures?
@ Geoffrey W
"That isn't a comment on the machines themselves but that's the impression I get watching and looking at their commercials."
Isn't that rather like the Daily Mail film critic who will not see The Antichrist but wants it banned all the same, because of his own impressions on what it might be, as opposed to what it truly is?
Go get yourself a Mac, cross over to the dark side, you'll never want to go back. Expensive, yes. But you really are getting what you pay for in terms of quality and experience.
That said - I remain to be convinced about the whole iTablet notion. It didn't work for Wintel, it is very unlikely - I believe - to work for Apple. But if they can pull said rabbit out of the hat then all credit to them for doing the seemingly impossible.
It is amazing how success brings out the harbingers of doom and the anti-all-things-Apple cronies. Is there some kind of Masonic lodge where they all meet up and compose their nonsense? It is the same old diatribe each time based on nothing more than a personal prejudice. Perhaps these same rednecks wear white robes with pointy hats and go a'burning occasionally? It really is all rather silly
Beer: because the world needs beer, and lots of it too.
Actually, this makes sense
Let's just check a couple of factors.
1 - the iPhone, loved or loathed, it worked. It's shaken up the mobile market despite its flaws. If Apple fixes the App Store approach (which sucks 7 ways to Sunday) this could carry on for a while. Even I am considering one, despite the appalling lack of encryption and security in the device.
2 - the Kindle and a few clones out there *are* addressing a need that is increasing, but the 1984 stunt made me think again. Having said that, Apple isn't exactly wary of DRM although the change in iTunes is encouraging. And there is plenty of mileage in improving the Kindle interface (although it must be observed that not every Apple idea is an improvement).
3 - we've suddenly done an almost New Labour style U-turn on the type of laptops we want. No lonegr a portable desktop, but a light device with a long battery life.
4 - there is an increasing reliance on mobile comms. As a matter of fact, I can't see any other way they will roll out the improved Internet access in Africa - running fiber or copper to all villages is going to cost a lot more and take longer than putting up some towers. Having said that, I can't see Apple sell in volume there - the prices for their hardware are seriously high.
5 - Apple is already halfway there. Take the keyboard off the Air and add a touch sensitive surface, maybe with an e-ink screen for low power.
In summary, I don't think an Apple Kindle-alike device is an impossible expectation. Just don't expect me to buy v1 of it, but I will be interested once the next release comes out..
It's Apple, innit.
I think one thing is clear: the iPhone has demonstrated that portable devices don't need to be Intel-compatible. But if Apple can't break out of Intel-space, nobody can.
It will not be a real open computer, more likely you have to get apps only from the app store.
Touch Tablet Success?
"The iTouch Tablet is about to change society as we know it."
This comment really all depends upon the execution by Apple.
What made the iPod, iPod Touch and iPhone successful?
Apple obviously figured out how to change the industries in these three areas of portable music players, PDA's (they failed the first time with the Newton), and Cell Phones.
If Apple applies the same consideration into the Tablet market, they could do well.
Making a successful consumer oriented appliance technology in a tablet which is easily manageable could be the key. Without the need for OS patches & upgrades in conjunction with virus updates, many traditional market outlets could choose the device over a portable PC or laptop:
- home theater entertainment
- eBook reading appliances
- conference centers
- church pulpits
- university professors
- university students
- audio mixing consoles
- video special effects generators
- lighting control panels
People who have used cheaply manufactured devices (made with little attention to software & hardware details) tire of the experience (due to the issues) quickly - a large number of good ideas go to the technical graveyard. An Apple "iTablet" with the engineering of a Apple MacBook Air might be accepted rapidly.
People who have used industrial devices, which have physical controls, spend a pretty penny for them - moving the technology to touch screen controls could result in a far better user experience and longevity in the device usage without substantial maintenance in cleaning sliders/pots.
If apple does this right, they could really revolutionize many industries.
Apple is smarter than all pundits and analysts. That should be easily deduced by the simple and publicly available knowledge that Apple is a $143.3 billion dollar (Fortune 400) company that just had their best non-holiday quarter in the middle of a terrible economic downturn and, to my knowledge, the analysts or pundits aren't. So, I think it's quite reasonable to conclude that Apple knows what they're doing and that the analysts and pundits are either desperately trying to understand Apple or douchebags (or, quite possibly, both).
So with that in mind, here I go. I believe this new device, like all other Apple devices, is designed to help Apple sell Mac computers. It will be more powerful than an iPhone and more portable/ user-friendly while on the go than a laptop. It will leverage the strength of the App store and all those new Apple developers. The software for this new device will be far more sophisticated then that of the iPhone software and therefore Apple will create a new category of App store software - professional/new idevice software along with their existing consumer/iPhone software. This new idevice/software category will do 3 things for Apple: 1) It will create definitive App store price levels (low, medium, high as opposed to just low now) - something developers have been desperately asking for 2) It will pull in even more developers for the iPhone, the new idevice and even the Mac platform - something Apple desperately wants and 3) It will eventually completely change how software is delivered to users in the entire computer industry. No longer will software developers deliver their software on CDs/DVDs or as downloads from their individual websites it will be delivered through the App store (or a app store) and Apple will get their 30% cut - there's nothing like padding your bottom line with billions of micro-payments.
For full disclosure, in case anyone was wondering, it is quite possible that I'm completely wrong - see first paragraph.
care to expand?
"before the traditional MP3-player niche de-niches, shrivels, and blows away on the winds of technochange."
shrivels to what exactly? where's it going then? what will replace it?
yes, ipod sales are down (due more to a saturated market) but the MP3 player market will be around for years.
people will always want a quality, value for money walkman device. the ipod currently fits that and will for years.
It will not be an iTablet
It will be (is) a new input device.
•A title is required.
"Apple is now racing toward an early 2010 launch of a device that may see the electronics maker redefine the portable computing market for the second time in twice as many years."
What was the other one then?
What will it look like?
Probably the usual whitewashed turd.
Second time? What was the first? I presume they're not referring to the bog-standard phone that redefined nothing.
Similarly, the rest of the world has already moved on with affordable netbooks. I fail to see what will be redefined by Apple joining the club late - other than the price point, of course.
i'd give my life for steve!
That seems rather steep even for Steve. However, I'm sure he'd take a liver.
it'll be a success
Tedious to see that many presumably techno-savvy Reg readers still don't get it, and still hate Apple, (and many still can't spell either). Those who did get it knew iPhone would succeed the day it was announced. Go back and figure out how we knew.
Apple is a company that knows exactly what it is doing, and has more information, talent, IP and cash than any pundit or competitor. Whatever this product is, it's likely to be an important milestone. The Reg may be right that it won't "change society as we know it", but how is that different from correctly anticipating the way "society as we know it" is changing anyway?
Have no doubt that it will be a resounding success. The punters, finally, do "get it" in increasing numbers. Yes, those same punters who gave MS their monopoly are taking it away again.
@Speaking of fanbois
If the iPhone didnt change anything why is Nokia, Microsoft, Google and Palm all launching or have launched App stores?
If the iPhone didn't change anything then why are all smartphones reviewed as the next potential iPhone killer (thus implying the iPhone is the benchmark).
Have you used voicemail on the iPhone? it's totally different to other phones, you can actually see who the voicemails are from before playing them. How is this not redefining the mobile experience?
Have you noticed all the iPhone lookalikes? minimalist touch screen devices with more than a passing resemblance to the iPhone GUI. Why do you think they are copying the iPhone and not Symbian or Windows Mobile?
I think you need to actually open your eyes to what is happening in the market.
I'll believe it when I see it. This silly rumor never dies.
I'm a big Apple booster, and even "I" don't want it. I expect a netbook from Jobsco someday. the market is jumping. But a computer with a big smeary sceen? No, I spend enough time cleaning my iPhone screen. Thanks, but no thanks. I think they are smarter than this.
"But if Apple can't break out of Intel-space, nobody can." - Apple are so locked into Intel it's not funny. Hence the best Mac's on the market are made at home by people who know what they want and are not sold an overpriced, underspec'd bit of Chinese made shiny tat that has Apple stamped on the outside.
"Apple's marketing team will have to pull a very big rabbit out of its hat."
Not really - they just need to call it "the world's first Apple touchscreen". The fanbois will eagerly forget that touchscreens have existed for years, because they've never been put into expensive aluminum cases before.
Apple might have a point
My 11 yr old daughter recently brought an iPod Touch. She loves it and carries it everywhere; not unusual among her friends where it seems to be _the_ device; the DSLites appear to now have become uncool among her girlfriends and even pushing their cellphones into just cheap txt/call devices.
Interesting thing for me (who has owned a 5th Gen 30Gb iPod for years), is that while I have my iPod crammed with music and podcasts, she spends about 50% of her time using the iTouch hooked up to our Wifi network, reading books, playing games, browsing the web. Only downside for her was the lack of flash on the iTouch.
For her spending hours per day reading books on the iTouch, a larger screen version of the same; perhaps with video/camera and video editing and sharing would be a must have device. Though she (and her poor suffering parents) won't be able to afford it if Apple pricing is anything to go by.
@Go get yourself a Mac,
<QUOTE>Go get yourself a Mac, cross over to the dark side, you'll never want to go back. Expensive, yes. But you really are getting what you pay for in terms of quality and experience.</QUOTE>
It would be nice, sure, but it isn't in my best interests to get an Apple. I have too much invested in software, bought, free, and, most of all, written by myself, to make it worth my while switching platforms. Not to mention I make a living writing Windows software. The dark side isn't really the dark side. Its just as bright there as it is here. Just a different country. We all have our favorite climates and cultures but no matter where we live we all do the same living.
The Apple/Windows/Linux/OSX/Whatever war is totally artificial and I love you all anyway :-)
@AC Sunday 19:39
"Apple are so locked into Intel it's not funny."
You couldn't be more wrong. Apple has switched CPU's twice in Mac history, transitioning the entire user base across, emulating the prior platform transparently, even switching from big-endian to little-endian. Microsoft never has.
Apple currently builds OSX for ARM, PowerPC and Intel. Microsoft only builds the OS known as Windows for Intel (despite the punter scamming name "Windows Mobile", that's not the same OS). Apple has intellectual property rights to design and build their own ARM or PowerPC chips using their own in house processor design company PA Semi). Microsoft and their PC-assembling grunts have none of this.
Home made Macs are better? That is so twentieth century. Reality check: ask the next five people you meet if they would rather have a new BMW or a new, slightly higher performance, kit car.
Looking forward, Apple does suffer more of a lock-in problem with graphics processors. Say something interesting about that.
... about what form his tablet will take, but there is definitely a gap in the Apple ecosystem for it. I can see this midsize (between iPhone/iPod and Laptop) device being an excellent way of expanding the range of the App store- it seems daft to only have the app store for software gadgets and micro apps? Why not have it furnishing all Apple software?
Aside from that- this tablet would be a good way of growing Apple's presence in peoples homes. The iPhone cannibalised the iPod market, being as it is an iPod with additional functionality grafted on to it. Launch a sensibly priced 8" computing platform for people like GrantB's kids, or the home theatre mob, or the sofa surfers to use, and I can see vast swathes of people changing their next desktop purchase from a new wintel box to an iMac or Macbook, especially if the iPad gains enhanced functionality as a result.
Perhaps the Remote app for the iPod and iPhone is just the first stage of this? Perhaps there's a new version of the rather limited Time Capsule coming out soon that adds home server functionality, and this iPad is a front end/client for that? Perhaps even a V3 of the Apple TV that adds PVR functionality?
It's all idle speculation, of course, but having just build a Win7 media centre, I can tell you: there's money to be made by someone who can think a little differently in that sector- and having your own hardware line would be a good way to start that market growing- the current iteration of hardware for HTPC's and home servers is utter rubbish.
it wouldnt be exactly difficult to make a decent tablet with the latest advances we've had with HDD and battery life latley
My sister has a hp tablet which is quite good
They have a shitty processor in there and only just enough juice to run the hardware thats been crammed into it !
e.g. encrypt this fingerprint that etc etc it just bogs the machine down so much !!!!!
very tempting to take it all off and disable via the Bios oh wait hangon you cant !!! meh
wish i had a basic install of tablet edition so i could get rid of all the hp crap
Riiiigghhhht, and then MS will try and produce a carbon copy of the idea about 10 years too late because (as it turned out) it WAS wildly successful and did influence how computers were made.
Oh come on!
"Saying that, the iPhone when released was technically unimpressive (I mean the damn thing couldn't MMS or cut-and-paste, was GPRS and had a really crap camera- as well as other stuff that was missing/rubbish) but still sold thanks to marketing and style."
- If the extent of your understanding of why the iPhone has been so popular is "marketing and style" then you truly don't have a clue. The iPhone didn't have to be cutting edge in a feature list. It is the first easily USABLE phone ever produced. I use my iPhone 20x more than any other phone I've ever had because it's easy and convenient. I instinctively knew (when it was first demonstrated) that this was the phone I always wished I'd had. THAT is why people lined up for it on day 1.
Why oh why---
Why oh why do people always have to overhype Apple products, especially those that have not been released yet so.???? And likewise, kill off a great product the moment its growth is less than 300% per year???
IPods (nano and up) will be around for years yet. I use an iPhone, iPod touch, and a nano. Why the nano? Cause sometimes all I want is music. NO video, no touching the screen, etc. I love the new ear buds that have off, on, volume, fwd,and rewind on the cord.
If I need to display or show a video, that is when the iPod touch or phone comes out. They even have a dvd player (portable) that will play video off an iPod.
So, take a breath. Trust Apple to make some magic and just enjoy the ride. :-)
Just a thought,
You can't do it, so mock it!
Sad to see all the negativity and uninformed hatred on this topic. Nice to see a few sensible commenters too. My guess is that the haters simply aren't good enough at their jobs to be paid well enough to be able to afford an Apple product. The price of the hardware is the price of quality. Compare with cameras for example. You can buy a camera for a few pounds, or for tens-of-thousands-of-pounds. They both take the same picture --- or do they?
Did you know that Windows runs better on an iMAC than it does on most shop-bought 'budget' computers --- and that it can run at the same time as OS-X --- on the same desktop, Windows and MAC software running side-by-side --- cut and paste between them. Windows Professional OS is hundreds of pounds --- Apple's is the same version for everyone (doesn't phone home either !) and costs £80 !
As for building a 'HackInTosh', I did that. I also had to hack their OS to get it to run without the presence of Apple chips (there is no law in the UK preventing me from reverse engineering -- unlike in the US of A) Compared to my iMAC it was a pretty poor effort. Great PC and absolutely blistering performance on BSD, Linux and Windows, but the screen just was not as good as on the Apple. I do a lot of graphical stuff and photography. For those applications, absolutely nothing compares to Apple. I have a MacBookPro too. I bought a MacBookPro for my daughter as well, and a Macbook for my granddaughter. OS-X is a fabulous operating system which is almost free from viruses and trojans, etc. --- probably because the scum can't afford one to work out their crap. Take a look inside an Apple iMAC and you will see where your money goes --- superb electronic design and fabulous production quality. Even easier, next time you go to a computer shop, simply take a look at the display on the Apple --- then tell me you would prefer that slightly dirty look on the PCs.
Of course I use PCs too --- and Windows, but I prefer Apple. I don't go round knocking windows, I don't need to. Windows is quite a technical achievement, despite its faults. I always notice that the 'knockers' never made anything themselves, other than maybe a stain on the blanket !
So, buy your girlfriend a plastic engagement ring for H-Samuel, or get the real thing from Cartier? I suppose it depends on how much you love her --- and she'll glean that from which you punt up! I rest my case. :)
Oh, almost forgot --- the iTablet --- hmm --- I don't see the point of all this speculation. Either they bring out a new product or they don't. When and if they do, we can go to the shops and take a look at it. Will it be useful? I have little or no idea -- I suppose different people will find different uses for it, like any new product. Will it be quality? --- bet your life on it! Will its potential market be well researched? Again, bet your life on it! Do you think that you know better? Yes? I strongly advise that you DON'T bet your life on it!
Yeah what Giles Jones said
Where Apple go others follow. I was a Nokia Boi for years due to the fact that within 10 minutes of getting a new handset I could use it with my eyes closed - same buttons, menu layout etc.
When my last contact expired I rushed down to my nearest CW to take a look at the latest offerings from Nokia and lo and behold - touchscreen/icon driven GUIs all round!
Why waste my time with an iPhone knock-off when I can enjoy (and I do mean enjoy) owning the real McCoy? So yes I did it and shelled out for an iPhone 3Gs - and I would NEVER go back. Why? Three words. End. User. Experience. The thing is a) friggin' sweet to use b) just as reliable as any other phone I've used and c) constantly amazing me with genuinely useful applications to download.
Now to the tablet. There is DEFINITELY a market out there for this thing. You are looking at (potentially) a DVD Player, Browser, remote control/media centre, eBook reader and games console in ONE sexy, useable unit that doesn't require a minimum level of technical expertise to master.
Unlike most IT professionals who hang around here and know their way around the NT Registry and don't get intimidated opening up a PC most people in this world don't want to understand how it works to use one. Your average Joe/Joanne just wants nice shiny icons that tell him/her what it does, an interface that is a genuine pleasure to use and the ability to download new apps without piddling around without having to rely on PC World/vendor helpdesks. Done, done and DONE.
And since when did the app store become a bad thing anyway? Half the time this site is running stories covering the latest M$/Mozilla/Adobe vulnerability/bloatware instance. With the App store you have a genuine attempt to impose some standards plus the democracy that comes with ratings and reviews. Also ANYONE can develop for the iPhone and profit from it with the product price genuinely pegged to its quality and desirability due to market forces. Sure, this isn't the freeware utopia the open-source party were after but it sure beats a handful of complacent companies taking 80-90% market share and abusing their position by selling us crap for the rest of time.
I would buy this thing in a second. The irony being I would earn the money to do so by supporting Wintel systems/architecture!