Poorly titled opinion piece from Rafe Needleman which aims to coattail on the euphoria of Apple’s alleged upcoming tablet computer. The title should be Why people don’t buy tablet computers.
Tablet computers—elegant slates that you operate with a touch screen—are attractive if you’re a sci-fi fan. There’s something functionally beautiful about a computer that’s all screen and nothing else, and where your interaction is directly through that screen, not an intermediary like a keyboard or mouse. And the concept works great on smartphones.
Agreed. PC tablets, available for years, have been a nonstarter. So, why would Apple want to develop, produce, sell a tablet? Remember a few years ago when the smartphone wasn’t so smart? Why would Apple want to compete in the low margin, high volume, highly fragmented cellphone industry? Two reasons: the first is obvious; the iPod’s life cycle was waning as more functionality moved to cellphones, and, second, Apple had a better idea of what constituted a smartphone. The end result is the iPhone.
While a tablet may be great for browsing the Web and viewing media, it’s too big to replace a phone and too limited to carry around as a work computer. People will need their keyboarded Netbooks and notebooks for real work. Tablets, like other tweener devices, ultramobile PCs and Netbooks, are accessories to real computers. You can’t do enough on them to justify the price, although they’re sure nice to have if you have extra money for a gizmo that sits between your big computer and your phone, both in size and function.
Agreed. So, what would make a tablet computer catch on as a device that overcomes tablet PCs limitations?
I love beautiful and elegant tech toys as much as any other geek, but geek love isn’t enough to make a real market. Tablets need to cost a lot less and do a lot more before they establish a foothold in the consumer market.
Do more? What a concept.