Myths and legends and tablet Macs

by Giles Turnbull

None of what follows is fact. Most of it is wild speculation, some of it pure fiction. But I enjoyed musing on it.

Take the following facts:

  • The iPod shuffle is a tiny, stripped-down music player

  • The Mac mini is a tiny, stripped-down personal computer

  • Both were launched at unexpectedly low retail prices, heralding renewed interest in Apple products from people who had not previously been Apple customers

  • iTunes has helped Apple to conquer the digital music business; iTunes now supports video download and playback

And add the following, um, non-facts:

  • The video thing in iTunes suggests that Apple might like to conquer the digital video (TV/movie) business too. Well, they'd be dumb not to try, right?

  • Some say we should watch Airport Express; what else could it do? Wireless video distribution around your local network sounds like a reasonable sort of thing it could do. Anything else?

  • What if there were tiny, stripped-down portable computer that people could use to benefit from these mythical new capabilities?

Mix it all up. Add the Nokia 770 handheld internet device, just announced. It's a tiny, stripped-down browsing device with WiFi and Opera running on a Debian variant.

If Apple is working on a tablet computer, I wonder if it might follow the shuffle/mini line of thinking. Make it tiny, strip it down (no hard disk, no optical drive, no keyboard, etc) and make use of all the cool stuff that's already floating around - video iTunes (vTunes?), Airport Express, HD everywhere. What have you got? Something perhaps a little bit like the Nokia 770; but also, as with the iPod shuffle and the Mac mini, entirely unlike anything any of us were expecting.

OK, enough crazed imagining. Normal, fact-based reporting will resume shortly.

What do you want from an Apple tablet? Do you want one at all?


2005-05-26 10:20:35
You might be onto something ...
2005-05-26 13:44:02
And why not the vPod?
I'm just waiting that machine. Why only photo on the iPod? The vPod will have music , photos, video , movies .... and the visual effect of iTunes:-)
2005-05-31 17:21:25
Video - to buy or not to buy?
I feel it's a matter of when video will happen, not if. What will be interesting is if there is a purchase option or rent option? Piracy, of course, may have a lot to do with the final outcome. I feel that with music there is something intrinsicly wrong with "renting" it. Movies are different though. We, as a society, have been renting movies for a long time (since I can remember, and I'm 26). I for one would like to see a main feature purchase for $10 or less. I don't like paying $20 for a movie and all it's extras, which were perks when DVDs were trying to replace VHS, but are more often than not unwatched. I wouldn't mind a Netflix type service where I can get movies and return it when I want, only digitally. When you start to look at it there are a lot of possibilities. Maybe the real delay is the movie execs and distributors figuring out which one will keep the most $$ in their pocket.