Over the last few months, there’s been a lot of talk about an Apple branded tablet PC and how it might effect, change, or even set the market. Personally, I think it’s much ado about nothing and Apple introducing a tablet PC won’t even make a ripple in the market.
Tablet PC sales are small compared to notebook, netbook, and desktop sales and the only people who are truly interested in tablets are businesses that require their employees to be lightly mobile. Think hospitals, delivery services, doctors offices, that sort of thing. The average home user has no need for this type of technology and, while sales might be strong to begin with, the devices will soon be relegated to the ‘used to use’ pile and sales will flatline.
It would be a much better investment if Apple were to work on an affordable, sexy, netbook. Something that had all or most of the features that a MacBook had but a slower processor, less memory, solid state hard disks, and a smaller form factor. People would be interested in that sort of technology and there would be an actual market need for it. A netbook: huge success, a tablet: total waste of money and time.
My prediction is that the Apple Tablet will never see the light of day. It’s going to be one of those things Steve Jobs hypes at conference but kills in production. If it does survive the assembly line, I don’t believe it’ll see its first anniversary before being pulled from the market. There’s just no need.
For everyone’s sake, I hope Jobs is smarter than this. I hope Apple is sexier than this too.