Apple’s tablet

I have been following the rumours of Apple’s tablet device with interest. I have been a Mac user since 1984 and, for a long time, I ‘supported’ Apple the way some people support football teams. Of course, once they went mainstream with the iPod, my fervour cooled a little *grin*. However, and in spite of them being just another evil corporation, there is something of a ‘vision thing’ that goes on at Apple that I still approve of. There’s no doubt that their iTunes/iPod ecosystem has transformed music and certainly how I listen to music… I had moved from vinyl to CD with much relief (tired of scratches) and moved to digital music as gratefully. What’s more, once I made the move to digital, I began buying a lot more music (still in CD format for ripping because digital downloads are not high enough quality in my opinion) – and listening to a lot more too…

So, what has all this waffle to do with Apple’s tablet device? Well, it seems to me that it has the potential to bring the ebook revolution. I am unconvinced by the Kindle and the Sony reader: it seems to me that a device purpose built for books is hardly likely to bring books new readers. However, one designed as a general internet device, with colour, could well become a trojan horse with ebooks in its belly. So Apple’s tablet has had me hopeful for some time. Its Achille’s heel (to keep the Homeric theme going :O)) has been its proposed lcd screen. This would consume far too much power. Now that there is talk that it will have an OLED screen, suddenly it becomes plausible.

No doubt you will consider the proposed price to be ruinously high. Rumours that Apple has been working on a tablet device have been around for years. It seems to me probable that the reason Steve Jobs has delayed releasing such a device is because there is a ‘sweet point’ where the technology allows the required functionality (the OLED screen with its low power consumption and its high contrast for outdoor viewing) AND the price is right. The delay until the end of 2010 would suggest that it is the latter that is being ‘finessed’… that Apple will make the kind of deal with its OLED suppliers that it has made with Intel for chips, and with its DRAM suppliers… If it guarantees the suppliers not only a massive pre-order – but to grow their market for them using its new device – then they will sell Apple the OLED screens cheap… Here’s hoping…

[And then, just after having written this blog, I read this that made me doubt my conviction about Apple’s tablet… hmmm… perhaps I’m being too swayed by elegance…]

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