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Apple Tablet Rumors Again (Still?)

CmdrTaco posted more than 5 years ago | from the never-ending-story dept.

Technology (Apple) 165

LSU_ADT_Geek writes "With a conventional netbook clearly out of the question, researchers for Piper Jaffray said Thursday there's mounting evidence to suggest Apple next year will introduce its own take on the market in the form of a tablet-based device that will sell for $700 or less."

cancel ×

165 comments

no way (1, Insightful)

ilblissli (1480165) | more than 5 years ago | (#28039925)

no way in hell they will ever sell something that cheap. i predict the next iphone will cost something in that range. then again... maybe the next iphone will be their idea of a "tablet pc"

Re:no way (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28040255)

So once again Slashdot posts a story with no mention of how many comments are in it ... even though the immediately previous story does show the comments as normal. I wish they'd make up their fucking minds. It's not hard, maybe flip a coin or something....

Re:no way (1)

ilblissli (1480165) | more than 5 years ago | (#28040311)

why should this upset you? the only reason i can think of would be that you wanted to be the first post or something. either way lets keep it on topic

Re:no way (-1, Flamebait)

dmarcoot (96402) | more than 5 years ago | (#28040883)

this from a person who flames apple will be selling iphone for $700 and wonâ(TM)t sell anything under $700 (mac mini, look it up). So, yes, lets lease stay on topic and no indulge in personal bias for ego gratification.

Re:no way (0, Offtopic)

ilblissli (1480165) | more than 5 years ago | (#28041005)

lol I'm sorry, I wasn't aware that the mac mini was a notebook that didn't require you to purchase other peripherals to actually use it (read: monitor). While you are at it why don't you bring up the fact that apple also sells the ipod shuffle for 50 dollars? Its equally as useful as a notebook as a mac mini is, but hey back the truck up, at least its under 700 dollars! ;)

Re:no way (4, Insightful)

cayenne8 (626475) | more than 5 years ago | (#28041227)

If $700 is a lot of money to you for a tablet sized/functioning computer...then you are not in the demographic that Apple is marketing to.

Re:no way (0, Offtopic)

tulcod (1056476) | more than 5 years ago | (#28041439)

pix or it didn't happen

What the Apple guy told me (4, Interesting)

SteveFoerster (136027) | more than 5 years ago | (#28041457)

I work for a university, and Apple recently sent a guy to talk to our faculty about the future of technology. During question time I referred to the possibility of a Mac tablet so I could try to gauge his immediate expression. No clue from that, all I had to go on was his response that Apple is obviously aware that people are talking about the possibility of a Mac tablet, and they'll come out with one as soon as they can do a good quality one for less than six hundred bucks.

Of course, he also said our computer labs were obsolete, which was bullshit, so who knows what to believe.

Re:What the Apple guy told me (1, Insightful)

iluvcapra (782887) | more than 5 years ago | (#28041963)

Of course, he also said our computer labs were obsolete, which was bullshit,

Interesting, calls for a cost-benefit analysis. How much do all the computers, wired ethernet, office space and IT compare with buying everyone a windows or linux netbook and putting in some Wifi? The ongoing IT and support staff has to be the biggest expense. Ten years ago, I was on a help desk at USC and you generally had to hold peoples hands, particularly the 40-year-olds who were coming back for their MBAs. But now, people are generally self-supporting, and if you make them have to walk a distance with the netbook in order to get support, you incentivize them helping their damnselves.

Of course, I almost never got support calls on the Mac machines, except to replace keyboards, and was constantly having to reimage the lab PCs. But they were all running either Win98 or NT4 at the time. Times change after all.

Re:What the Apple guy told me (2, Interesting)

SteveFoerster (136027) | more than 5 years ago | (#28042275)

It's pretty easy for us to determine that our computer labs are necessary, primarily because the students really like them. We know this from surveying them and from the ultimate metric: hourly head counts. Besides, our labs also get used as classrooms, for training, and for other IT-related events. There's no way we could replace them with a "Here's your laptop!" approach.

Re:What the Apple guy told me (3, Funny)

Kell Bengal (711123) | more than 5 years ago | (#28042663)

Interestingly, Apple sells laptops, not classrooms.

Re:What the Apple guy told me (1)

profplump (309017) | more than 5 years ago | (#28042923)

It's a little unfair to say that you need to use the computer labs preferentially to other rooms, at least in this context -- if everyone already had a laptop then *every* room would be a computer lab.

Now you might need special equipment that is best provided in the lab, or people may prefer to use the workstations there rather than their own laptops, etc. But it's disingenuous to suggest that simply because people are using the labs now means that the labs could not be largely replaced by some alternative computing solution.

Re:no way (4, Interesting)

mabhatter654 (561290) | more than 5 years ago | (#28042029)

I'm sticking to an extra large iPod Touch. Right now the Touch is a stripped down iPhone and really there's not a lot of reason to buy it. Now that 9-10" 10x6 displays are dirt cheap, now would be the time to build an iPod Touch out of one. It would be bigger, but the Touch electronics and battery are really small.... it would be like the screen of current netbooks. Toss in the standard mini webcam and mic (again practically free now) for taking audio notes and using pictures. They'll be unlocking bluetooth in the gen 2 Touch soon, so for a 10" screen hopefully they'd open up the Apple keyboard for input.

Apple is committed to iPhone and the app store right now. I can't see any device smaller than a Macbook running the desktop OSX. They are also looking to roll their own chips now, so again hitting the low power tablet factor they don't have to share is definitely how they roll.

Cool story bro (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28039983)

Sounds like the apple wheel

Re:Cool story bro (1)

YayaY (837729) | more than 5 years ago | (#28040481)

Sounds like the Apple Newton all over again : Apple Newton [wikipedia.org]

Please stop these non-news rumours (3, Insightful)

tsa (15680) | more than 5 years ago | (#28039989)

Rumours are not news. They belong on Digg. Please please /., try to keep the quality of the post high and avoid speculation like this. It makes the site so much more worth reading.

Re:Please stop these non-news rumours (5, Insightful)

causality (777677) | more than 5 years ago | (#28040301)

Rumours are not news. They belong on Digg. Please please /., try to keep the quality of the post high and avoid speculation like this. It makes the site so much more worth reading.

It was clearly labelled as a rumor: "Apple Tablet Rumors Again (Still?)". If it weren't, I'd have a much easier time seeing your point.

Sure, you could say that the holy absolute purity of the rest of Slashdot is forever tainted by the stain of the word "rumor" in this story but, eh, have you SEEN the rest of Slashdot? I think it'll be alright.

Re:Please stop these non-news rumours (4, Funny)

ChunderDownunder (709234) | more than 5 years ago | (#28040321)

Agreed, calling this a rumour is even stretching it a bit. Paraphrasing the article:

Apple bought a chip manufacturer. The iPhone is too small to surf the web and needs a real keyboard. All the cool kids have portables with 10" screens. Wouldn't it be cool if my Macbook had the iPhone's multi-touch input? My Apple shares are idling due to the global financial crisis; I better start some badass rumour to spur on the fanboys. It's Apple, they haven't introduced some magical product for a while now.

Re:Please stop these non-news rumours (5, Informative)

LSU_ADT_Geek (580524) | more than 5 years ago | (#28040375)

Please begin metamoderating news submissions in firehose if you don't find the quality of submissions to your liking, but it did bubble its way up because someone else thought it wasn't a bad idea to talk about.

Re:Please stop these non-news rumours (1)

anaesthetica (596507) | more than 5 years ago | (#28041291)

Until the Firehose is no longer a UI abortion, I will abstain from moderating potential stories, and will instead gripe about the stories in the comments like we always do anyway.

Re:Please stop these posts about non-news rumours (1)

Gary W. Longsine (124661) | more than 5 years ago | (#28041993)

You are polluting the internet with your whining. Please stop. You're hurting the internet.

Re:Please stop these non-news rumours (1)

BlueKitties (1541613) | more than 5 years ago | (#28040391)

Well to be fair, the topic classification tags say "!news", that's g++k speak for "not news."

Re:Please stop these non-news rumours (1)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | more than 5 years ago | (#28042231)

Rumours are not news. They belong on Digg. Please please /., try to keep the quality of the post high and avoid speculation like this. It makes the site so much more worth reading.

The diversity is what makes Slashdot worth reading. Frankly, that's all Slashdot's got.

Would You Like Some Cheeze with that Whine? (1)

gadlaw (562280) | more than 5 years ago | (#28043007)

Just don't click on something you don't want to see, don't click on it, don't respond to it, stick your fingers in your ears and go 'La La La' if it helps you. Geez

I can digg it. (3, Insightful)

BlueKitties (1541613) | more than 5 years ago | (#28039991)

I could definitely see something like this heading our way; While I'm not a Mac fan myself, they do seem keen on making "nifty" products (e.g. the iPhone, iMusicPlayers, etc.) If they do make something like this, it will probably have unique features (maybe a camera that lets you interact via hand motions, facial expressions?) Still, this seems fairly realistic.

Mod parent up, or at least not down (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28041307)

Troll? Really? Just because he said he wasn't a fan even while complimenting them?

way (1, Insightful)

dmarcoot (96402) | more than 5 years ago | (#28039993)

Well since they already do sell things that cheap, you comment is idiotic.

Re:way (3, Insightful)

ilblissli (1480165) | more than 5 years ago | (#28040039)

come now troll, you are aware that their cheapest notebook is 1k right? and you are aware that tablets are typically MORE expensive than a comparable notebook that doesn't have tablet functionality right?

Re:way (3, Interesting)

mr_mischief (456295) | more than 5 years ago | (#28040325)

Their take on a Netbook as a tablet:

ARM processor, runs stripped-down iPhone OS, has a touchscreen, plays media, runs a couple apps at a time.

Sounds like a next-gen iPod Touch. The current one costs $230 to $399 on Apple's own website. A little bigger, and it's Newton: TNG.

Re:way (1)

ilblissli (1480165) | more than 5 years ago | (#28040447)

exactly, not a true tablet pc (at least how the world views them today) just a next gen iphone/touch

Re:way (1)

catmistake (814204) | more than 5 years ago | (#28041727)

runs stripped-down iPhone OS

yeah, if it weren't for all that bloat in the OS, their phone might acually be successful... what they need is a fancier product that does even less

Re:way (4, Insightful)

mabhatter654 (561290) | more than 5 years ago | (#28042217)

it would be one with apps that are USEFUL and not junk!

Tablet PCs never caught on because there's only 2-3 apps DESIGNED for tablets not made by Microsoft. The majority of apps on tablets in the real world I've seen are just VB programs for data entry with little benefits on a tablet versus a laptop.

Apple has the app store and it has multi-touch apps that all do cool stuff with the hardware... Tablet PC had a 7 year run all by itself and nobody stepped up with the must-have apps. A 10" iPod Touch, with access to all the iPhone/Touch apps existing right now, would take off. Not to mention the new apps that might work on an iPhone but really need more real estate.. like editing photos or web browsing.

Hardware wise, the current Touch probably supports a 10" screen in hardware so it would be really cheap and easy for Apple to release this. Rumor has also been that iPhone OS 3 has support for bigger screens and requires UI resolution independence so apps made for an iPhone or Touch will look correct on bigger screens.

I'd go for it, if... (3, Insightful)

rindeee (530084) | more than 5 years ago | (#28040015)

If they integrated all of the cool functionality (multi-touch screen, etc.) from the iPhone as well as the full OS X base (iChat w/video, real app support, etc.); I'd be all over it. I don't want an iPhone for this kind of stuff, nor do I want to carry around my MacBook (as I do now out of necessity). A tablet would be the perfect compromise for my needs.

Re:I'd go for it, if... (3, Interesting)

TinBromide (921574) | more than 5 years ago | (#28040139)

Sell it to verizon to be subsidized some what like their HP netbook [verizonwireless.com] , give it unlimited wifi, and apple may have killed its iphone. Granted you can't stick an itablet, inote, isheet? into your pocket, but it takes what a lot of people view to be the compelling reasons to buy an iphone (always on internet, nifty apps, nifty user interface). I'm sure someone would hack skype or some other voip solution to work for it, then you could make free calls from anywhere, and it wouldn't quite be as redundant as making voip calls from your iphone.

Re:I'd go for it, if... (1)

SpooForBrains (771537) | more than 5 years ago | (#28040829)

Have other people got some crazy whacky super-awesome cellular technology that I'm not aware of? I currently have HSDPA on "3" in the UK, and VOIP calls point blank do not work. I don't know any cellular technology that can sustain a VOIP conversation, or even come close.

Re:I'd go for it, if... (1)

Sechr Nibw (1278786) | more than 5 years ago | (#28040901)

iTab. You can get iTabs running X for just over a grand...sounds reasonable, right? It's part of the "in" crowd, the "hipsters".

Re:I'd go for it, if... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28040923)

Skype has already been hacked to work on 3G (in fact there's a general hack for any app). So what's your point?

Re:I'd go for it, if... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28040965)

I want a tablet!!! From apple now!! damn it!

Hey, howcum- (0, Offtopic)

Gizzmonic (412910) | more than 5 years ago | (#28040035)

Why you can't read the summary after you click the comments? Is Slashdot trying to discourage people from reading summaries? Not RTFA is bad enough!

Also, why does that firehose keep loading stuff? I will hit "refresh" if I want more stories! Also, my shoes hurt. Waaah!

Re:Hey, howcum- (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28041379)

(-1, Raw and Uncut is the only way to read)

Is that because it's the only way to see your own posts? You can change that stuff if you bother to play with settings.

Like I said before (2, Insightful)

Tibor the Hun (143056) | more than 5 years ago | (#28040057)

Like I said before, it will be sweet, groundbreaking, worth every penny and several hundred dollars more than a conventional netbook.
So it will not be a netbook competitor at all.

Newton 2 (4, Interesting)

Onyma (1018104) | more than 5 years ago | (#28040071)

I knew I kept my Newton for a reason... now I can be snotty and say "Oh yeah, I had one first" when it becomes popular. Now where did I put it...

Seriously as said above I can't see it selling that cheaply but I really did love the Newton despite its quirks. I still believe it died because it was just a little too far ahead of its time. Palm drove the last nail in its coffin with a smaller, lighter, more practical device. I would be interested to see what Apple could come up with for a tablet now with their focus on touch egonomics and a decade+ of hardware advancement.

Re:Newton 2 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28042123)

I knew I kept my baseball bat for a reason... now I can beat the hell out of people who say "Oh yeah, I had one first". Now where did I put it...

3rd party conversion (5, Informative)

OzPeter (195038) | more than 5 years ago | (#28040093)

There is already a company that does conversions of Macbooks to a tablet format, so the idea is not unprecedented and there must be a market for it.

Axiotron Modbook [axiotron.com]

Note that I am not connected with Axiotron nor do I own a Macbook

Re:3rd party conversion (1)

dwater (72834) | more than 5 years ago | (#28040399)

Hrm. I might go for this if it weren't running OS X (or rather Aqua). Can it run Linux?

Re:3rd party conversion (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28040427)

Why wouldn't it? And why would you pay that much for an "Apple Tablet" if you weren't interested in OS X?

Re:3rd party conversion (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28040937)

He's a poser. He's trying to suggest that:

1)He's a hardcore linux user and wouldn't use a better OS.

2)He's got money to spare and doesn't care about price.

3)He's a unique snowflake. Think different, very different.

Truth is, he lives in his parent's basement and uses Windows on a piece of shit compaq.

Re:3rd party conversion (3, Interesting)

fm6 (162816) | more than 5 years ago | (#28040915)

If there's an active platform that can't run Linux, it must be very arcane. And Macs are hardly arcane. Nowadays the hardware is not that different from a PC.

I have a Motion tablet that runs Vista. That OS is every bit as bad as its reputation, but I put up with it because it's the only tablet OS with decent handwriting recognition. If I could similar software for Linux, I'd switch tomorrow.

And yes, I know about PenReader. Despite its claims, it does not handle handwriting. You have to draw out the letters one at a time. Easier to use an on-screen keyboard.

Mounting evidence (3, Insightful)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | more than 5 years ago | (#28040099)

That evidence being, apparently, the increasing number of analysts who all parrot "Apple may be making a netbook"?

Don't get me wrong - I'd love to see what Apple might come up with - but there are plenty of Mac rumor sites already available.

I'll go with "untrue" (4, Insightful)

pla (258480) | more than 5 years ago | (#28040107)

Apple next year will introduce its own take on the market in the form of a tablet-based device that will sell for $700 or less.

Put simple - Tablets suck except for a very few niche uses... And even for those few uses, netbooks do the job cheaper and more conveniently.

So put simply, I'll consider this a completely bogus rumor, since Apple has better sense than to revive a dying-for-a-good-reason technology. They may have a few failures in trying to predict the next cool toy, but haven't made the mistake of recreating retro hardware since the Lisa.

Now, I mentioned netbooks above - It wouldn't surprise me at all to see Apple try to jump into that market (though they will no doubt ignore the "sub $500" as a defining characteristic of that class of device). Perhaps (though by no means certain) even with a flippable screen, giving users the option of using it in notebook-style or tablet-style mode. But an outright straight-up tablet, not going to happen.

Re:I'll go with "untrue" (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28040281)

... since Apple has better sense than to revive a dying-for-a-good-reason technology. They may have a few failures in trying to predict the next cool toy, but haven't made the mistake of recreating retro hardware since the Lisa.

Perhaps, like the iPod, they're going to actually create the next big technology? Or, being positioned where they are in the industry, they may have figured out how to do it right and create a tablet/hybrid which actually catches on ... (yes, entirely speculative, but hey, so is the original article, eh?)

Re:I'll go with "untrue" (0, Troll)

mr_mischief (456295) | more than 5 years ago | (#28040367)

They didn't create the portable music digital music player. They did create a market for a very sleek-looking higher-end one with its own proprietary locked-in store, which now sells un-DRMed music like everyone else was already using.

Re:I'll go with "untrue" (4, Insightful)

tlhIngan (30335) | more than 5 years ago | (#28041101)

They didn't create the portable music digital music player. They did create a market for a very sleek-looking higher-end one with its own proprietary locked-in store, which now sells un-DRMed music like everyone else was already using.

Actually, the iPod got to where it is by basically being the right device at the right time:

* Space - it had a lot of it. (Competitors had more, though)
* Size - it had a lot of space for its size (The Creative Nomad was bigger than a contemporary CD player. The iPod was much smaller - slightly thicker than a pack of playing cards). Other MP3 players in the same size had a pitiful handful of songs at best.
* Speed - Parallel port, serial port, USB1.1 suck for filling space. Great if you're only dealing with 128MB of memory, but lousy when you want to actually fill in gigabytes and have it take a reasonable amount of time. Firewire was the only option at the time.
* Market - MP3 players were niche at the moment. MP3-CD players were the item to get, but they're big (see size), and cumbersome (burning a CD... and having huge books of MP3 CDs to pick one to play). Apple got in early and rode the wave as MP3 players started getting mainstream (no doubt helped by Apple's marketing making everyone want one).

Apple released the iPod at the right time with the right combination of features that people wanted - a small player that holds a decent quantity of music that doesn't take all day to transfer. MP3 players were still pretty niche when the iPod was released (MP3s weren't, thanks to Napster, but people were listening via their computers). Apple got in during this time - either by luck or pure business savvy. A few years later and the iPod may have been the next Newton as the market gets flooded with new entrants.

The iTunes store came *MUCH* later (2003-ish or so), by Apple dragging the kicking and screaming music industry into it.

The problem is, netbooks are already mainstream, and the race to the bottom has stopped more or less because the bottom has been reached. Instead, now we see netbooks clamoring for the low-end laptop market with larger screens and higher prices. At best, Apple would be another competitor in the high-end netbook market, but probably not a very worthy one (it *IS* Apple, and they don't have the iPod advantage). Unless Apple comes up with something "must have" that redefines the market (at least that's Apple's strength... finding the few things that make people go "why didn't I think of that"?).

Re:I'll go with "untrue" (1)

Spatial (1235392) | more than 5 years ago | (#28041279)

Um, Apple didn't create HDD MP3 players.

Re:I'll go with "untrue" (1)

legallyillegal (889865) | more than 5 years ago | (#28041589)

I would also like to say that iPods didn't really "take off" until the iTunes Music Store was launched.

Re:I'll go with "untrue" (5, Insightful)

alen (225700) | more than 5 years ago | (#28040287)

laptops are becoming the next desktop. tablets and netbooks are nice to carry around with you.

carrying a laptop around is like going out with a baby. you need to take a bag of junk with you. a netbook or a tablet with nice battery life you just throw in your bag that you take with you anyway. and for the millions of people that commute on public transit it will be a nice way to pass the time. bigger screen to read books, better hardware for games, and you may be able to do some work and sync your docs.

what a tablet or netbook needs to do is not have a boot up time. my wife's iphone is always on. if i want 10 minutes of net time i don't want to waste 5 minutes of it waiting for a netbook to boot up

Re:I'll go with "untrue" (1)

lorenzo.boccaccia (1263310) | more than 5 years ago | (#28040549)

I'm currently looking for the acer timeline series, each supposed to come with a 8h battery life.

However acer don't do tables. I'd really like a non-convertible tablet with a decent battery, and better on screen keyboard (one that will resize the window around it, not one that superimpose itself).

Re:I'll go with "untrue" (1)

Spatial (1235392) | more than 5 years ago | (#28041315)

Use hibernation. It only takes a few seconds to boot that way.

Re:I'll go with "untrue" (1)

alen (225700) | more than 5 years ago | (#28041387)

it's still flaky even on windows 7 and there is no reason to have an OS like Windows or a distro like Ubuntu on netbooks.

you need something like iphone OS, android or another micro linux kernel for the always on ability. these things don't need the ability to run every app. apple will do it right where it's going to be an ipod/iphone on steroids but it will be too expensive

Re:I'll go with "untrue" (1)

Spatial (1235392) | more than 5 years ago | (#28041885)

I haven't got any problems with it using XP on my NC10. W7 is still in RC status, so I suppose problems are to be expected there.

I'd prefer to keep the full fledged OS, netbooks are suprisingly capable and I like the flexibility Ubuntu or Windows can offer.

Re:I'll go with "untrue" (1)

Endo13 (1000782) | more than 5 years ago | (#28040377)

That is certainly all true of previous tablets, but the simple addition multi-touch really can change all that.

Re:I'll go with "untrue" (4, Interesting)

Neil Jansen (955182) | more than 5 years ago | (#28040393)

The only reason I can see Apple doing any kind of tablet would be to get in on the eBook market. Just like the App Store, it would integrate directly into iTunes and make them even more money. That's the sort of stuff that fits Apple's style.

Re:I'll go with "untrue" (1)

SputnikPanic (927985) | more than 5 years ago | (#28040747)

I think Apple is very much interested in going after the e-book market. Sales of e-books are growing very rapidly, and right now Amazon essentially has a stranglehold on the market, at least in the U.S. As a Kindle owner, I welcome Apple bringing some serious competition into this area. Maybe it'll put some pressure on Amazon to open up to the ePub format.

Re:I'll go with "untrue" (1)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 5 years ago | (#28041023)

Apple makes very little money from iTunes music sales. A recent analysis of their 1 billion downloads at the app store suggests that Apple's take was only 30-40 million. Yes, that's money, but not much (relatively) iTunes sales provides value (and lock in) but doesn't provide the kind of revenue you seem to think it does.

Re:I'll go with "untrue" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28042491)

What about Steve Jobs' famous quote about people not reading anymore?

"Yet, when Mr. Jobs was asked two weeks ago at the Macworld Expo what he thought of the Kindle, he heaped scorn on the book industry. âoeIt doesnâ(TM)t matter how good or bad the product is; the fact is that people donâ(TM)t read anymore,â he said. âoeForty percent of the people in the U.S. read one book or less last year.â"

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/01/27/business/27digi.html?_r=1&ref=business&oref=slogin

Re:I'll go with "untrue" (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28040395)

Since you've obviously never used a tablet, I figured I should offer the perspective of someone who has. Mine's convertible, but lives in tablet mode 85% of the time.

In point of fact, not only is it useful, but the idea that a netbook could substitute is laughable.

Why? I take a lot of meetings. In the 8 months, I've accumulated 1000+ pages of notes. With a tablet, they're searchable, organizable, and can contain embedded scans of the business cards. Much more convenient to write, especially while standing or sitting without a table.

Why else? I read a lot of PDFs, many running hundreds to thousands of pages. Nice to read, flag, and annotate them on a long screen, and to have them all in one place. Netbook? No thanks. Printouts? Lots to carry, and I hate wasting the paper for something I might not need again and only need to read quickly. Plus you loose searchability on your annotations. Sure, reading on a computer isn't ideal, but I have often found the tablet solution to be a good choice.

What else? Marking up word documents w/o re-writing them can be easily done with a pen.

Other useful features ... paging through docs with your fingers, multi-touch interface to google earth and stellarium.

Of course, it doesn't run linux. :(

Finally, it cost $750 (refurb) ...

Re:I'll go with "untrue" (1)

OzPeter (195038) | more than 5 years ago | (#28041361)

I'm genuinely curious to know what hardware and OS you are running.

Re:I'll go with "untrue" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28042969)

I'm genuinely curious to know what hardware and OS you are running.

me too

Re:I'll go with "untrue" (4, Insightful)

kaizendojo (956951) | more than 5 years ago | (#28041205)

Put simple - Tablets suck except for a very few niche uses... And even for those few uses, netbooks do the job cheaper and more conveniently.

Put simple - that's why you're posting on /. instead of working for a company like Apple. They've already proven that tablets - which is what the iPhone essentially is, just in a smaller form factor - don't suck, and millions of consumers agreed. Tablets with a user interface done right, that is. This is not just a move to come up with a cool new toy, this is an acknowledgment of a growing market replete with a built in catalog of available applications that users actually want. And as a bonus, they can expand to users who want a Kindle but expect a but more for their bucks than just a reader. And I'm damn glad, since I put my Dad into the stock early and it's going to be my inheritance some day.

Since I predicted the iPhone... (2, Insightful)

copponex (13876) | more than 5 years ago | (#28041377)

http://apple.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=193127&cid=15847027 [slashdot.org]

Okay. That was probably dumb luck.

But if you look at the iPod Touch, and you look at where people are going with these days, you'll notice that the sales of netbooks are absolutely skyrocketing. [laptopical.com] Apple doesn't have any product that takes advantage of this new market. So, as a company dedicated to profit, they may make one.

My prediction: Macbook Touch. Atom Processor. Bluetooth, Wifi, also available with wireless broadband. $799 with no provider, or for $499 with a contract from AT&T or whomever. Compatible with apps made for the iPhone, running Snow Leopard.

They'll probably fuck it up by including just one USB port and no video out. But hey, that's Apple.

Re:Since I predicted the iPhone... (1)

samkass (174571) | more than 5 years ago | (#28042257)

Considering that the current iPod Touch has video out already (although you need to buy a cable adapter to use it), I doubt they'll remove it in the upgrade.

The iPod Touch *is* a netbook. It just doesn't have a very flexible UI for general computing tasks.

Re:Since I predicted the iPhone... (1)

copponex (13876) | more than 5 years ago | (#28042545)

I was thinking DisplayPort or something useful. It may have a cheesy video out that shows what video is playing, but you cannot use a secondary monitor as a display on any of the iPod models.

I'm only suspicious about the $700 bit. (2, Interesting)

nobodyman (90587) | more than 5 years ago | (#28040133)

I've seen this rumor floating around from enough sources that I won't be surprised if it happens. That said, even though other rumored apple products have turned out to be true, it seems that the only thing that is off is the price -- apple prices these things for about 20% more than what analysts predict.

If Apple comes out w/ a tablet, I can easily see them pricing it at $999.

Re:I'm only suspicious about the $700 bit. (2, Insightful)

Gilmoure (18428) | more than 5 years ago | (#28042641)

What about a Mac Mini-tower? That's what I'm waiting for.

way too expensive (1)

alen (225700) | more than 5 years ago | (#28040173)

the iphone is a hit because it's the same price or cheaper than competing cell phones. few months ago when i bought one for my wife i looked at the BB Storm. the data plan was more expensive and once you figured the cost of the extra storage it was the same price or $200 more than the iphone when adding up the price of the 2 year contract.

$700 for what is a netbook is way too much especially if you'll need to pay for a wireless data plan. you can buy $299 XP, Android or Ubuntu netbooks. WTF kind of magic apple pixie dust is this going to have for $700? or is this going to be another case of apple charging more for the same hardware just because it says apple?

 

Re:way too expensive (1)

ChunderDownunder (709234) | more than 5 years ago | (#28040511)

Supposing the iTablet is an upscaled iPhone with a bigger screen and hardware keyboard, the economics should be the same.

You'll never know the true cost if you buy it on a 24-month plan, locked to a particular carrier. Apple can afford to subsidise the initial purchase cost if it makes its money through apps, music and videos you download from their online services. (cf. Console makers lose money on their hardware but make it up on each game)

Why clearly? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28040187)

Why is a conventional netbook clearly out of the question? Did I miss another story where they justified that assertion?

Re:Why clearly? (1)

Endo13 (1000782) | more than 5 years ago | (#28040651)

Exactly. Even if Apple themselves were saying it is right now (I haven't heard/read anything to that effect) they can still change their minds. Depending on how popular netbooks get, I wouldn't be surprised in the least to see them come out with one in the next 1-2 years.

Re:Why clearly? (3, Informative)

ChunderDownunder (709234) | more than 5 years ago | (#28040707)

Apple slammed netbooks as being junky [lmgtfy.com] .

Re:Why clearly? (1)

spikeb (966663) | more than 5 years ago | (#28041119)

yes, every story before this one.

apple don't do cheap (1)

RiotingPacifist (1228016) | more than 5 years ago | (#28040199)

if you want cheap (or even IMO normal) hardware don't wait for apple to bring it, they wont!

Apple again? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28040207)

PC. *don't get a mac jingle*

whogivesashit (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28040295)

whoFUCKINGcares?
for all their shit, apple and steve jobs should go and get sliced by a fucking lightsaber!

One thing I just don't understand about Apple... (1)

MikeRT (947531) | more than 5 years ago | (#28040351)

They DO have a right to selectively license MacOS X to a vendor who agrees to use high quality, consistent hardware. They could easily get a company like Dell or Acer to license it for one particular line of netbooks.

You know what happens if someone buys a Dell NetBook with OS X on it in this economy? When they get $1000-$3000 to blow on a real OS X laptop, they'll be more than happy to head to the Apple Store. Apple is in a licensing position to tell any vendor to kiss their shiny, solid aluminum ass if they want OS X for all laptops or nothing instead of just a netbook. Right now, I think Dell wouldn't even hesitate to agree to those terms.

Re:One thing I just don't understand about Apple.. (0, Redundant)

n8k99 (888757) | more than 5 years ago | (#28040485)

Apple is not a software company that makes hardware. they are a hardware company that makes software because they can not stand the idea of an inferior OS soiling their little slice of hardware perfection.

Re:One thing I just don't understand about Apple.. (2, Interesting)

ToasterOven (698529) | more than 5 years ago | (#28040557)

Good points, but I think the problem is that they've been there before [wikipedia.org] , and it didn't work out too well for them.

With Apple being Apple, I think if they ever do venture down that road again, it will be because they have come up with a new and different method of licensing the software.

However, it's pretty unlikely IMO, given that Apple likes to maintain a very specific user 'experience', and allowing their OS to be used on potentially sub-standard hardware could undermine that experience and potentially turn some away from the OS.

heres a picture of it. (5, Funny)

onionlee (836083) | more than 5 years ago | (#28040381)

Here's a picture of it [photobucket.com]

Re:heres a picture of it. (1)

actionbastard (1206160) | more than 5 years ago | (#28040551)

If they made it that big, I'd buy it. I can't use an iPhone because the bloody screen is too small for me to see it without optical assistance. If I had to use one everyday, I'd go nuts putting on and taking off my glasses everytime I'd have to make a call.

Fanny (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28040693)

its like this: http://cs5.org/?p=3#more-3 [cs5.org]

Been there, done that. (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28040725)

Apple has been in the tablet market longer than anyone. You can still get a Newton in the sub $150 range from EBay. According to a comparison with the Samsung Q1 UMPC [cnet.co.uk] , they still stand up against modern tablets.

What would be sweet... (3, Interesting)

wandazulu (265281) | more than 5 years ago | (#28040743)

Apple's said they don't want to do a netbook, and when people think tablet, they think of a standard tablet-based laptop.

My personal theory is that it would be a Kindle-sized iPhone, though probably without the phone part (so I guess a Kindle-sized ipod touch). With the features of the next version of the os that's publicly known, there's no reason why you couldn't use the iphone interface to do anything you'd do with a netbook. Any apps that you might expect on a netbook would likely be written and sold in the app store pretty darn quick, like a basic word-processing app. If you couldn't stand to use the on-screen keyboard (which presumably would have bigger buttons for the bigger screen), then use a bluetooth keyboard.

That, as far as I can tell, would solve (to me, anyway), both the netbook *and* tablet issue.

it's gonna cost a lot (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28040971)

If Apple introduces a Tablet it would cost $ 2000+ .

Add an eInk screen and...magic. (2, Interesting)

Sabathius (566108) | more than 5 years ago | (#28040995)

The first to put an eInk screen in addition to the normal screen in a Netbook or tablet form-factor will win all the prizes.

Think about it...all the features of a netbook you love, but the eInk display from a Kindle that allows you to send documents to it. Oh, the humanity!

Whining about Slashdot (2)

Fantom42 (174630) | more than 5 years ago | (#28041161)

Yeah, I'll probably get modded down for this.

Come on, Slashdot. This "news" is so old. When you've been scooped by Leo Laporte and John C. Dvorak on This Week In Tech TWO WEEKS AGO, you know you suck. Stay out of the rumor business. You're not any good at it. Stick to the cool tech stories that made you who you are today.

That said, this topic is kind of interesting for Apple fans. If Apple does put out a product like this, its probably going to have some pretty interesting functionality. Usually when Steve Jobs embarks on a product that he's criticized in the past, it'll have a pretty unique spin on it (not just marketing spin). For example, the iPhone was a pretty large departure in terms of user interface philosophy from previous phones and brought some new ideas to the table. So, stories like this are kind of exciting. Maybe they have some good ideas. Then again, Apple's released some real boners too. In the end, if they release a tablet-like thing, it will almost certainly be interesting, and may or may not be useful/good.

I guess my point is I mostly pretend to ignore stories like this because in the end there really isn't much point in speculating over what any company is going to do unless you have a dog in the fight somehow. If it comes out, and its useful, and worth the price, I'll buy it. If not, I won't. No sense in getting all worked up about it now.

Dell Mini 10 or 12 with Ubuntu looking better.... (1)

mcwop (31034) | more than 5 years ago | (#28041371)

Been waiting for Apple to deal with this segment. As a Mac Fanboy, I have been disappointed. I need something between my iPhone and my 17" laptop, and I do not want to spend $1000+. The Dell minis loaded with Ubuntu look pretty sweet right now.

Re:Dell Mini 10 or 12 with Ubuntu looking better.. (1)

ducomputergeek (595742) | more than 5 years ago | (#28042081)

That's why I've kept my 12.1" Powerbook, but it's EOL. Fan bearings are rumbling, audio jack doesn't work unless you get the connection just right, same with the powercord, and the backlight is extremely dim, and I'm starting to see enough Intel only stuff. Although once they went back to a dedicated video card in the new MacBook Aluminum, I've been tempted to get one this fall when 10.6 is released.

I've found that anything less than 12" is hard to use if you're coding. Especially these 9/10" widescreens that are on the acer aspire ones and other netbooks. Fortunately I'm not doing as much coding and more management and meetings. I suspect, though, that I'm still going to need a full laptop. Hell, I didn't like the air (I mean why pay $500 more for a machine with no optical drive and no ability to replace batteries. I used to travel with 3 laptop batteries).

If they release a 10" tablet or iPod Touch - Mega Screen Edition, I'll consider it. I set up a new production server the other day from my iPhone while on a friend's boat thanks to SSH, VNC, and Safari Mobile. It was less than ideal for the task but worked...plus the fact I was on a boat made up for the inconvenience.

Up to date? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28041429)

You think Slashdot could get up to date on your logo for these type posts? There hasn't been a G5 since 2005.

I don't know... (1)

socrplayr813 (1372733) | more than 5 years ago | (#28041475)

While I don't think it's out of the question that they'd make a tablet, I think people are right that we'll just end up with a next generation iPhone/iTouch.

The tablet market is competitive, but it's not huge. I think they'd have a good shot at the art crowd with a decent digitizer, but nothing they've shown so far (that I'm aware of) seems to be going in that direction. They seem much more focused on finger interaction and multitouch. On top of that, Apple isn't terribly desirable in business, which is the other major draw for tablets.

I don't see a big win for them other than sheer novelty. I will admit, though, that novelty seems to be one of their biggest strengths.

And why do people still pay attention to analysts? (3, Insightful)

divisionbyzero (300681) | more than 5 years ago | (#28041779)

Almost every bit of information they have is second or third hand (a guy heard from a guy who heard from a guy). They are barely one step above a rumor site. Most of them don't have the expertise to separate the wheat from the chaff.

Industry Analysts who look at industry trends and give advice to executives can be useful but analysts for financial institutions (e.g. Gene Munster for Piper Jaffray) that are making specific predictions about product introductions have a (not so) hidden agenda. Get people to buy now on optimistic news and dump later when it proves to be bogus. Remember, they make money in both directions.

In other news (1)

anonymousNR (1254032) | more than 5 years ago | (#28042705)

Trusted sources say that Apple is buying Amazon Kindle and renaming it to iKindle, industry experts say it will be the biggest merge in this century.

Citation not required. iBelieve InsideAppleHole website.

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