Nick Jones of Gartner on the potential of an Apple tablet to disrupt the marketplace:
The world changes when people spend significant amounts of their time or money in new ways. In the mobile space this means a combination of features and price which enable us to do something new when we’re moving around.
That’s where the iPhone and iPod touch are now. What about a diminutive MacBook tablet experience?
Portability will be the key issue for any new Apple tablet. Something in your briefcase or handbag changes your world more than something on your desk, something in your pocket changes your world a lot more than something in your briefcase. Apple could certainly benefit from a new form factor for applications where the iPhone or iPod touch screen is a bit small.
So, whatever it is that Apple has waiting in the wings will be smaller than a MacBook, but larger than an iPhone or iPod touch. Size matters. Will Apple’s iPad be required to fit in your pocket to be successful?
If a new Apple tablet emerges the first thing I’m going to be thinking about is the number of people who have pockets into which it fits. Because if it’s not in your pocket, it can’t change your world.
Which is why Apple’s iPad design will be the MacBook of the future, rather than the iPod touch of the future. The answer to the question“, Can Apple make a pocketable tablet?” is simple. No, they did that already. The iPod touch and iPhone fit in the pocket, but both suffer from capability due to size and power constraints. Laws of physics won’t change because we want them to change.
Whatever comes will be less revolutionary and more evolutionary; evolving the notebook experience rather than the handheld experience. More power, more battery, more capability, less money, wireless, portable, but it won’t fit in your pocket.