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Asus Insider Claims Apple Tablet Is Real

Zonk posted more than 6 years ago | from the pleasant-fantasy dept.

Portables 358

CaptainCrunchyApple writes "According to cnet.co.uk the oft-rumoured Apple Tablet PC is actually very real, and on its way soon. CNET claims to have spoken to an anonymous tipster at Asus who claims to be working with Apple to produce the tablet. 'We're guessing it'll be based on Intel Core architecture, a tweaked version of Leopard, and have all the multi-touch, CoverFlow goodness we've seen in the iPhone and iPod touch. All this begs the question: Can Apple turn the Tablet PC into a success when previous attempts have failed? The short answer is 'yes'. Any company that can make a mobile phone with no buttons, no picture messaging, slow Web access and no video capture into the most desirable phone on the planet can easily make tablets popular.'"

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Nifty. (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21253923)

Tablet PC's have been cornered by Windows for a while now, it'll be nice to see some competition in the market.

Re:Nifty. (3, Interesting)

somersault (912633) | more than 6 years ago | (#21253981)

Shame that they've been pretty useless for everyone but graphic artists so far eh? The summary is a little overoptimistic about Apple's ability to sell something - lack of picture messaging is hardly a problem when you have email, and nobody uses picture email anyway. The only real missing tech on the iPhone was a lack of 3G (and of course a sliding keyboard :P I find that a lot better than taking up space on-screen). Anyway, it's all well and good making cool gadgets, but unless they actually have a purpose then they won't really sell. Unless someone needs a tablet then they're not just going to go 'oh I should really get that new iSlate/iTab/iCandy'! If it's marketed as a portable video player however, then its use will be more clear cut and it could do well I spose..

Re:Nifty. (2, Interesting)

ByOhTek (1181381) | more than 6 years ago | (#21254045)

Actually, until they became hard to get in the >= 14" market, tablets were great for the nearsighted (the swivel screen, add an external keyboard/mouse, and it is perfect for that crowd).

But, that isn't a crowd much larger than the graphic artists...

Re:Nifty. (2, Interesting)

masdog (794316) | more than 6 years ago | (#21254121)

One of the plants at the company I work for makes very good use of Tablet PCs amongst the production floor supervisors.

Re:Nifty. (1)

dave420 (699308) | more than 6 years ago | (#21254263)

I'm not trolling, I swear. It was (is?) lacking a native SDK, GPS, the ability to be unlocked. It most definitely is not lacking a price :)

Re:Nifty. (0)

somersault (912633) | more than 6 years ago | (#21254485)

lol.. 'ability' to be unlocked? So other phone operators/networks 'lock' their phones but purposely leave the 'ability' to be unlocked? GPS is a fair point, I want to get a TyTN II and sample this GPS malarkey..

Re:Nifty. (4, Informative)

dave420 (699308) | more than 6 years ago | (#21254583)

Yes - they're called "unlock codes", and are available (freely, under law in some countries). Usually you can buy them, or have a service apply them to your phone.

Re:Nifty. (3, Interesting)

fph il quozientatore (971015) | more than 6 years ago | (#21254491)

Shame that they've been pretty useless for everyone but graphic artists so far eh?
Far from it. Some people in the university here (I am in Pisa, Italy) teach their lectures using a tablet pc (connected to a beamer) as a blackboard. You teach your lecture sitting down at your desk and looking at the students' faces, then you publish a screencast online for the ones that couldn't come to the lesson. Very useful indeed, for both students and lecturers.

If it sells (-1, Flamebait)

cthulu_mt (1124113) | more than 6 years ago | (#21253933)

Who needs "sex" when you can just sell hype. I hope the Apple drones all get locked into a horrible network just like with the iPhone. The ATT/Apple tax is the new Windows tax.

Re:If it sells (4, Insightful)

Yahweh Doesn't Exist (906833) | more than 6 years ago | (#21254129)

what's with all the hate?

why care SO much that you HOPE people end up being unhappy? don't you worry there's something wrong with you?

plus your Apple tax thing is clear BS since you only pay Apple money if you buy Apple products. that's not a 'tax', it's a 'cost' or 'price'. the more you know!

Re:If it sells (4, Funny)

dave420 (699308) | more than 6 years ago | (#21254305)

You only pay sales tax when you buy something, so I guess that's not a tax, either. :)

Re:If it sells (1)

Yahweh Doesn't Exist (906833) | more than 6 years ago | (#21254411)

d'uh, the sales tax doesn't go to the company itself.

Re:If it sells (1)

dave420 (699308) | more than 6 years ago | (#21254635)

The "tax" in "Apple tax" is a joke, alluding to the fact Apple products cost more than comparable products from other companies. Of course sales tax does not go to the company. Christ. I can't believe I'm having to explain this.

Re:If it sells (2, Informative)

mattgreen (701203) | more than 6 years ago | (#21254551)

why care SO much that you HOPE people end up being unhappy? don't you worry there's something wrong with you?
Funny how everyone here hopes that the general public is unhappy with Vista so they will switch to something else, and nobody sees that as abnormal. But, if you have the gall to hate something that is en vogue, then all of the sudden there's something wrong with you.

I'm not a fan of Vista, I'm just saying you can't have it both ways and expect that it makes logical sense.

Or, at least it *was*... (1, Offtopic)

TheWoozle (984500) | more than 6 years ago | (#21253937)

now that the news has broken, Steve will have to punish us for spoiling his surprise.

Mac user? Who cares? (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21253975)

Last Monday, Macworld ran a blog item on the diminishing allure of the Mac to artists and graphic designers in the United States. The next day, the San Francisco Chronicle published a story, in the business section, explaining how Mac users in California are a lot more socially and creatively diverse -- read: more strait-laced and less avant-garde -- than you might believe. This month's Computerworld will contain a report by ersatz demographer Mike Elgan that explicitly poses the question: Is Apple the new Microsoft?

Elgan's research on U.S. Census data drives home a point that the Mac vanguard has been wrestling with for a while: The hedonistic, transgressive, radical ethos (and stereotype) that once characterized the Mac community doesn't represent reality anymore. The decline of urban coastal Mac user groups, the increase in the Mac-using population in the interior U.S. and the overall diversification of the Mac community are facts. What's more, Elgan argues, these trends are a function of the growing acceptance of Macs among the American public.

Acceptance? Really? Has Elgan forgotten about the majority of offices that have policies in effect barring Mac use at work, or the Justice Department's recent decision to relax court-ordered restrictions on Microsoft's business practices in the face of continuing opposition from the White House?

Not at all. There is, he says, a vocal, virulent -- and sometimes violent -- anti-Mac movement, but it doesn't negate years of opinion surveys that show a marked increase in tolerance in most Americans' attitudes toward Macs and Mac users. In 1998, for example, a Gallup poll found that only 33% of Americans thought that Macs could perform standard pencil-pushing tasks like running Microsoft Office. By 2007, that figure had risen to 59%.

Growing acceptance means a decline in social stigma associated with using Macs, and a consequent shift in the politics of declaring oneself a Mac user. The more Mac users come out, the more accepting people are around them, and the more accepting the public becomes, the more people switch to Macs.

Elgan's study shows that the number of self-described Mac users in the U.S. has quadrupled since 1998, and the biggest increases are in the country's more socially conservative areas.

Utah is the poster state. Between 1990 and 2006, for example, it went from having the 38th-highest concentration of Mac users in the country to 14th highest. In that same time period, the percentage of Mac users who lived in large cities declined from 45% to 23%. Even more counterintuitive, from 2000 to 2006, the states with the fewest Apple stores had above-average increases in the number of Mac users. And places, like Utah, where a majority of people still believe Saddam Hussein had anything to do with 9/11 -- the reddest of red, the squarest of rectangle states -- saw even larger increases.

Some of the growth in the number of Mac users in conservative areas could be because of migration. And yes, some on-the-barricades members of the Mac community have gotten older and mellower and moved out to the heartland. But the larger trend is simply that as more latent Mac users switch to Macs, they don't need to change or assimilate to fit into the mainstream because they are already very much a part of it.

"The demographic characteristics of the Mac community are converging with those of the mainstream," Elgan says. If you're from a state like Utah or Nebraska, chances are you're going to share a lot with your neighbors whether you're a Mac user or a PC user: "They're rural," Elgan says, "they're religious, and they're Republican."

So what does this all mean for American culture at large?

"Society is beginning to say that being a Mac user is not such a big deal," Elgan says. "What that means for Mac users is that their platform choice won't have the centrality to their identity it once did. Being a Mac user then becomes one of a variety of an individual's competing identities."

In other words, as the challenges associated with using a Mac diminish, so does the primacy of the identity that that act of self-discovery and self-assertion once forged. It means that the culture once associated with the Mac becomes less distinctive from the mainstream.

Elgan doesn't believe that these trends spell an end to Mac users' "associational" life. The process he's describing is not unlike the one experienced by so many immigrant or minority groups in America that fought against discrimination, moved beyond their enclaves and then felt a little sad that they lost the embracing sense of uniqueness and community that they once enjoyed.

As Mac users meld into the broader population, places like New York's Lower East Side and the Castro district in San Francisco will inevitably lose some of their appeal. As more Mac users come out in more places, the diversity of creatively expressive politics and lifestyles will come out with them, and the tolerant will multiply.

For some of the pioneers from the edgy, embattled, ecstatic "good old days," this may be bittersweet. "But isn't that what everyone wanted 20 years ago?" Elgan asks. "Just to be treated like everyone else?"

Re:Mac user? Who cares? (1)

iMac Were (911261) | more than 6 years ago | (#21254465)

All those words and no kinky sex story?

Re:Or, at least it *was*... (3, Interesting)

dave420 (699308) | more than 6 years ago | (#21254157)

True, true - Apple does like to punish those leaking future product details, especially when it's a company they work with. Yikes, Asus!

Re:Or, at least it *was*... (1)

cyfer2000 (548592) | more than 6 years ago | (#21254755)

But if some one from Dell or HP claim he/she is from Asus and Apple is going to release a tablet...

Re:Or, at least it *was*... (1)

dave420 (699308) | more than 6 years ago | (#21254811)

Then that will be discovered when the iGestapo conclude their iNvestigation. Which is not as funny as it sounds - most likely Apple will try to figure out if this is a legitimate leak, and if it is, where it came from. If it was a partner company that leaked it, their relationship will be put under a lot of strain, and they might possibly part ways.

Really? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21253941)

"Asus Claimes Apple Tablet Is Real"

Can someone comfirme that, since I really doubte it?

Re:Really? (4, Funny)

RagingFuryBlack (956453) | more than 6 years ago | (#21254011)

Netcraft Confirms It.

Re:Really? (1)

ArsenneLupin (766289) | more than 6 years ago | (#21254275)

Hehe, moderators...

Re:Really? (1)

carpe_noctem (457178) | more than 6 years ago | (#21254461)

Sure, just see if ASUS fires anyone today, and give them a call...

I'll believe it... (1, Troll)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 6 years ago | (#21253943)

I'll believe it when I see a flashy-looking tablet PC with an apple with-a-bite-out of it logo on it.

Seriously, when has Apple worked with Asus in the past anyway? Apple uses Intel boards for all of their PCs.

Re:I'll believe it... (1)

petermgreen (876956) | more than 6 years ago | (#21253977)

I thought apple used thier own custom board designs.

Re:I'll believe it... (1)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 6 years ago | (#21254061)

From what I've seen, they are standard, off-the-shelf Intel boards with EFI and some DRM stuff enabled in the firmware to tie OS X to the Apple boards.

Re:I'll believe it... (1)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 6 years ago | (#21254155)

Almost every PC is based off a reference design. Apple uses Intel's CPUs and chipsets. They often use Intel's GPUs. Except for the "BIOS" which is EFI and not really a BIOS they are about as plain vanilla as you can get. They do get innovative in packaging which is about the only place left for innovation these days.

Re:I'll believe it... (1)

Calinous (985536) | more than 6 years ago | (#21254187)

But who builds their laptops? Intel doesn't manufacture laptops.

Re:I'll believe it... (2, Informative)

Tyten (726456) | more than 6 years ago | (#21254013)

Apple goes through Asus for some of their manufacturing. Asus does more than sell mobos.

Re:I'll believe it... (1)

BUTT-H34D (840273) | more than 6 years ago | (#21254535)

Apple goes through Asus
Huh huh. Anus. Heh heh.

Re:I'll believe it... (1)

epiphani (254981) | more than 6 years ago | (#21254079)

I believe it right now.

After about 2 minutes of playing with the iphone/ipod touch in the store, I decided I wasn't interested in it. But I knew right then and there, that they needed to make something about 8" by 6", and I would probably get it.

It is basically a PADD [wikipedia.org] . And I can see it being useful as such, with WIFI mobility. The apps that are building up on the web make this an excellent platform. Provided they price it as a utility, not a computer replacement.

Re:I'll believe it... (1)

Corwn of Amber (802933) | more than 6 years ago | (#21254799)

Provided they price it as a utility, not a computer replacement.
We're talking about Apple, right? ...

LOL LOL BWAAAAHAHAHAAAAAAA Yeah, right. I'm betting it'll cost over $1000.

Tablet PC are really cool devices. Why don't everyone have one? BECAUSE THEY COST AN ARM AND LEG to Normal People. Companies and such can buy them, but people? Forget it. Or they also buy audio cables at $7000 too.

Re:I'll believe it... (1)

ByOhTek (1181381) | more than 6 years ago | (#21254141)

I don't know about ASUS, but a while ago there was an article the mentioned Apple getting some of their boards from Foxconn.

So, it's not just Intel.

Re:I'll believe it... (1)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 6 years ago | (#21254189)

Foxconn is one of the manufacturers that makes the mobos for the iPod, I believe.

Re:I'll believe it... (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21254153)

Seriously, when has Apple worked with Asus in the past anyway?
Asus was the sole OEM for MacBooks for a while. I believe they're still one of the main manufacturers.

Re:I'll believe it... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21254233)

> Seriously, when has Apple worked with Asus in the past anyway? Apple uses Intel boards for all of their PCs.

iBooks and MacBooks are manufacturers by ASUSTeK (and I believe one or the other contract manufacturers.

Claimes (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21253947)

Asus CLAIMES? Oh, please...

Re:Claimes (1)

jhmaughan (865200) | more than 6 years ago | (#21254507)

I think that's British spelling.

Illustrations (1)

biocute (936687) | more than 6 years ago | (#21253951)

Wow, who could believe ASUS can leak so much details on the design!

Re:Illustrations (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21254099)

The illustrations are from an Apple design patent.

Re:Illustrations (1)

Typoboy (61087) | more than 6 years ago | (#21254683)

And the photo is definitely (as a commenter said on TA) a ModBook [macsales.com] )

No Buttons,Picture Messaging or Video Capture (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21253959)

Three of the most over rated and useless things on a mobile phone.

Previous Attempts?!?! (5, Insightful)

iknownuttin (1099999) | more than 6 years ago | (#21253971)

All this begs the question: Can Apple turn the Tablet PC into a success when previous attempts have failed?

The link they give goes to an article about the Newton. I don't mean to be pedantic, but comparing a PDA to a Tablet?

Re:Previous Attempts?!?! (2, Funny)

heyguy (981995) | more than 6 years ago | (#21254089)

Dude, the question begged to be asked. The editor just couldn't resist.

Anyway, coming out with a multi-touch tablet would be huge. It should provide for a lot more utility than it does on the iphone, and (hopefully) be much cheaper than the $10k Microsoft Surface.

And don't forget... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21254293)

...shallow. Shallow AND pedantic.

Re:Previous Attempts?!?! (1)

MichaelWhi (906967) | more than 6 years ago | (#21254619)

Microsoft Tablet PCs just didnt gain a lot of market share because MS is too stupid to make ads for this in TV and on fairs, presentations, etc. I bet every second student who is willing to pay more than 1000 and is not Apple-fanatic would rather buy a tablet PC than a normal notebook - but guess what: the normal "go to a shop and buy what the employees recommend"-user doesn't even knows that such a thing exists. :-(

Re:Previous Attempts?!?! (1)

dave420 (699308) | more than 6 years ago | (#21254843)

Not to mention the Tablet PC is a success already, just not by Apple's hand.

About damn time (1)

entrex (580367) | more than 6 years ago | (#21253973)

Anyone who has used a windows tablet in the past will surely welcome a tablet based off OSX. I think it's about time someone made a decent tablet pc.

Re:About damn time (1)

ThirdPrize (938147) | more than 6 years ago | (#21254083)

Should be interesting as tablet PCs are usually used in industrial places, not an area Apple has touched in the past.

Finally? (1)

ByOhTek (1181381) | more than 6 years ago | (#21253983)

I've been looking for a 14" or larger tablet + DVI output. I don't care if Apple makes it, I've been wanting one for a while. I know they will have the later, if they have the former, they will have my purchase. I may prefer a desktop I build myself, but I can't build my own notebook (that is of a reasonable size), and there aren't many pre-builts better than Apple in terms of hardware.

Of course, I may reinstall the OS (I have some issues with MacOS, I like the look and feel I can get out of KDE better), but I'm willing to pay a premium for a decent quality 14+" notebook with warantee.

OS (1)

simpl3x (238301) | more than 6 years ago | (#21254297)

I owned a Fujitsu several years ago, and would love nothing more than a decently sized tablet, particularly from Apple. As a designer, being able to have a portable, Cintiq like device would be fantastic. That said, I'm not holding my breath, especially for one with decent horsepower.

A 14" tablet would be a bit large, unless the screen goes to the edge like the iPhone. Having considered installing Linux on the tablet, I am curious what functionality you expect to get? I haven't looked in a while, but has anybody made any progress in a tablet distribution? There was none 3 year years ago.

Re:OS (2, Informative)

ByOhTek (1181381) | more than 6 years ago | (#21254471)

I've checked the FreeBSD mailing list (my preferred OS), as well as several Linux forums (including Ubuntu and Gentoo), and apparantly tablet support isn't bad, especially with X11R7.

The functionality?
(1) The MacOS setup is... Challanging for anyone who is highly nearsighted. The moving your head to go between the top menu bar and your window, rather than having the menu bar on the window is a pain. Or trying to move around to find which item is in focus and hence what the menu controls... I'd much rather have KDE or Gnome.
(2) A monitor on a swivel hinge is what I want from the hardware. No more having the keyboard between me and the monitor. I usually have my keyboard on a tray directly under my monitor, or on the desk behind it.
(3) It'd be fairly easy to turn off the touch part of the touch screen in X, if it works to beginwith, so I don't have to worry about accidentally touching it.

Yes, that's right. The main reason I want a tablet is for the swivel monitor. It beats a sore back.

"Claimes" ??? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21253999)

I know it could be the almost-first post, but "Claimes" sounds just strange. Did the editors where changed by the 100 monkeys with typewriters we were promised were able to write Shakespeare's works in the time (Hasta la) Vista took to be "written" (read re-factored from (e))X(tra)P(ena) ?).

Does it have motion sensing? (2, Interesting)

caffiend666 (598633) | more than 6 years ago | (#21254009)

Does it have motion sensing like an iPhone? Could you reboot the thing by shaking it up and down like an etchasketch? How about drawing by moving the thing around? Now, just because somebody has one of these things in a lab somewhere doesn't mean it's a realistic product. Lots of strange things hiding in labs in this world.

Motion sensing!? (1)

iknownuttin (1099999) | more than 6 years ago | (#21254055)

Could you reboot the thing by shaking it up and down like an etchasketch?

I can just see a bunch of road warriors on a turbulent flight watching their computer continually reboot every time they try to do something!

Re:Does it have motion sensing? (1)

mini me (132455) | more than 6 years ago | (#21254451)

Does it have motion sensing like an iPhone?

Considering that the Macbooks already come with a motion sensor, the odds are pretty good.

Great editorialization... (3, Interesting)

MikeRT (947531) | more than 6 years ago | (#21254043)

I got a Razr because it was cheap, and a good phone. A lot of phones are similar in quality. They cannot hold a candle to the iPhone when it comes to the software interface. I am not an Apple fan boy, and I would GLADLY give up my Razr right now if the iPhone were available to Verizon customers. Do you know clunky its software is, compared to Apple's? If you think the iPhone sucks because it has a few missing features, then that's fine, but you clearly haven't paid attention to how bad a lot of the alternatives are.

Re:Great editorialization... (1)

elecngnr (843285) | more than 6 years ago | (#21254133)

Hate to say ditto, but ditto! I am an Apple fanboy and do not make apologies for it. The iPhone came out after I had recently inked my deal with Alltel....or it certainly would have been on my radar. I have a Razr. It looks okay, works fine, but is slow and clunky at times. A colleague of mine has an iPhone and I have played around with it. If Alltel had the iPhone, I would have it.

Re:Great editorialization... (1)

Ephemeriis (315124) | more than 6 years ago | (#21254173)

They cannot hold a candle to the iPhone when it comes to the software interface. I am not an Apple fan boy, and I would GLADLY give up my Razr right now if the iPhone were available to Verizon customers. Do you know clunky its software is, compared to Apple's?

I've always felt this was really Apple's strong suit... Not the trendy white plastic, or the nifty eye candy, or catchy commercials... The reason Apple's products are popular is because the interface is so well done. Features may be missing, it may not do absolutely everything the competition's product does, there may be bugs...but in general, Apple products are easy to interact with.

Personally, I hate iTunes and the iPod. I don't like how everything is stored in a weird database. I want to be able to simply drag & drop files onto the device... I want to have my media player watch a folder and automatically add/remove songs that show up in it... I use iTunes as little as possible, and immediately convert all my purchases to plain MP3s for use in other software, and I'll never own an iPod... But even I have to admit that the interface is very simple, clean, and straightforward.

Re:Great editorialization... (1)

darjen (879890) | more than 6 years ago | (#21254245)

My Razr does what I need it to - make calls efficiently, and sit lightly in my pocket. So please forgive me if I don't jump on the iPhone bandwagon. I'm sure the iPhone has great software. I really am. But at this point it seems a little gratuitous to me. What I really want is for cell plans to come down in price. Not more features on my phone. A $20 unlimited minutes plan would be great. I don't think that's too much to ask.

Re:Great editorialization... (1)

jandrese (485) | more than 6 years ago | (#21254617)

If all you care about is dialing numbers and talking to people, then stick with a cheap phone, the iPhone is not for you. If you think you might like to look up something in Google while you're on the go, then you need to consider the iPhone. If you want to bring up a map of the area and find stuff you could dial 411, but chances are you'll get better results out of the internet (and 411 fees add up quick). If you also carry around an iPod in addition to your phone, then the iPhone starts to make a lot more sense as you will be combining two devices into one to save not only on pocket space, but on recharging peripherals and other assorted sundries.

The complaints about EDGE being slower than EVDO are accurate, but not as critical as some people like to think. The phone can only render a webpage so fast, and EDGE isn't that bad (it's twice as fast as a POTS modem most of the time, which is fine for light browsing, it's not like you're going to be running bittorrent on your phone). The on-screen keyboard may sound like a bad idea, but once you use it for a bit it's almost impossible to go back to old cell phone pads. My wife only started using SMS when she got the iPhone. All of her old phones supported it, but she couldn't stand typing anything on the pad. With the iPhone she uses it all of the time.

You can get just about any talk plan you want with the iPhone, but it's the data plan that gets you. AT&T has always had overpriced data plans, and the iPhone plan is no exception ($20/month for unlimited). I pay the bill because it's a nice feature, but I much prefer my T-Mobile plan that only runs me $10/month for the same unlimited data. I have to laugh at the people who say "I won't use it until it does EVDO!", having apparently never looked at the price of data plans on EVDO networks. I hope you like paying $60/month for your data.

Re:Great editorialization... (1)

High Hat (618572) | more than 6 years ago | (#21254287)

You simply not buy Motorola. Their Software is known to be flaky. It's almost as bad as Siemens used to be (I was a long-time Siemens user until last year).

Last year i got my Sony Ericsson k800i, and I must say its software is really great. Very usable, stable, doesn't get in my way and does the stuff I want it to. You don't need to buy apple to get a good user experience...

Re:Great editorialization... (1)

p0tat03 (985078) | more than 6 years ago | (#21254547)

I agree SE phones are leaps and bounds better than Motorola's offerings, but IMHO they still cannot hold a candle to Apple in terms of user interface quality. The software is solid, stable, and quick (everything Moto isn't), but they are still treading the same tired paradigms.

And by that I mean the olde standard interface: home screen, hit button to go to tiled menu, use a joystick to wag about in the menu, have two contextual buttons for each menu item, etc etc. It encourages a lot of menu-digging as soon as you do something OTHER than making a call. It also wreaks havoc when your contact list gets large (to the order of hundreds of numbers), since anything else involves typing the name of your contact in on that forsaken keypad-turned-keyboard.

Both SE and its competitors (Moto included) have interfaces that are menu-obsessed, which leads to slow workflows and less-than-optimal ergonomics. A picture is worth a thousand words, or in this case, a well placed button with a good icon is infinitely easier to understand than yet another menu item. Not to mention, even when in a menu, I can hit the item I want immediately, whereas you'd have to scroll. Is the SE phone functional? Yes, but one is much more pleasant to use.

Re:Great editorialization... (1)

dave420 (699308) | more than 6 years ago | (#21254673)

Many people don't care about the interface, they care about what they can do with the phone. I'm not bashing it, it's just a device doesn't being and end with the interface. The name itself suggests it's the tip of the iceberg. Having a fantastic interface that has a limited back end is less useful than a poor interface with an extensive back end. That's what we've been saying about Windows for decades, isn't it?

Re:Great editorialization... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21254727)

The interface on the Verizon version of the Razr has been "Verizonized". Verizon insists on a standard interface on all their phones, it's not the one Motorola designed for it. I have no idea if Motorola's is worse or better. I also have a Verizon Razr.

I just don't see it... (2, Insightful)

ZipprHead (106133) | more than 6 years ago | (#21254063)

OK, Microsoft's tablet PC failed because it was awkward, heavy and ugly. The whole swivel keyboard thing was just plain awkward the touch screen wasn't up to snuff.

I'm sure Apple will have solved the touch screen, keyboard and attractiveness issues, but I just don't see how they'll get around the weight.

No one wants to wear their wrists out holding up something to read it.

Re:I just don't see it... (3, Insightful)

UnknowingFool (672806) | more than 6 years ago | (#21254203)

I'm sure Apple will have solved the touch screen, keyboard and attractiveness issues, but I just don't see how they'll get around the weight.

Apple will probably focus on this aspect unlike other manufacturers, as Apple has a tendency to work on form and function. Other manufacturers don't go the extra mile to do both. After all, the first iPod was considerably smaller than the Nomad.

Re:I just don't see it... (4, Insightful)

dave420 (699308) | more than 6 years ago | (#21254205)

It didn't fail in the slightest. The swivel keyboard is optional, and is a way to turn a notebook into a tablet. It's not forced on people. You don't buy a nice slimline tablet and Bill Gates turns up on your doorstep threatening your dog with a shotgun, screaming until you swap out your tablet for a notebook/tablet hybrid. Funnily enough, people want those machines, hence them being available to the public. Some folks like being able to draw using a pen on a tablet they hold, and also like using it as a notebook. Some just like the tablet-only computers that don't have a keyboard, which weigh considerably lighter, and run all office software you can shake a stick at. But please don't let facts get in the way - you were on a roll.

Re:I just don't see it... (4, Interesting)

Vancorps (746090) | more than 6 years ago | (#21254277)

I'm going to guess you haven't actually used a modern tablet-PC with OneNote2007. HP's offering in particular uses a magnetic stylus so you can put your hand on the screen and write very reliably during into OneNote or any other application that requires lots of writing. If you accidentally mark it you just turn the stylus over and use it as an eraser automatically just like with a pencil. OneNote makes it easy to convert all your notes to text. You can even do it after the fact. Combined with Penflicks you have yourself a powerful interface that is surprisingly intuitive. My experience with it resulted in 100% accuracy when converting my crappy handwriting. That was of course after a half hour of training it.

Tablet-PCs aren't a failure by any means, specific implementations of them have, Microsoft sucks at producing hardware as I'm sure you already know. I doubt it's a surprise although I've never seen anything called a Microsoft Tablet-PC unless you're referring to the XP Tablet PC or Vista Tablet PC edition. Both are very high in quality with Vista being a rather large improvement in this regard.

Re:I just don't see it... (2)

sayfawa (1099071) | more than 6 years ago | (#21254391)

I agree, just because not everyone wants one doesn't mean they've failed. I sure as hell want one..

I was playing with a friend's tablet recently and tested out the handwriting, which was amazing, even using XP. I intentionally wrote worse and worse and it continued to translate perfectly. With no training to my handwriting style. It wasn't until even I couldn't read what I wrote that it started to make mistakes.

Apple Tablet WAS real (3, Insightful)

alta (1263) | more than 6 years ago | (#21254107)

Unfortunatly, ASUS will now suffer the Wrath of Jobs. This won't be the first time Jobs nixed a product because some dumbass at the company making it spilled the beans. Someone refresh my memory, when was the last time this happened? Was it the ZFS debacle? I think it happened before that with some hardware once as well...

Thanks to this anonymous poster, we'll never see the rumored Apple Tablet. Thanks

Re:Apple Tablet WAS real (1)

p0tat03 (985078) | more than 6 years ago | (#21254625)

Jobs isn't stupid, he won't can a product because someone talked. Just expect the inevitable Apple Tablet to come without Asus parts inside ;) I believe this is also why all newer Apple machines run NVidia graphics chips, something about an ATI exec being indiscreet with information about their partnership. Wham, Jobs pulls the contract from under them.

Why can't we have news without the comentary (2, Insightful)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 6 years ago | (#21254165)

Any company that can make a mobile phone with no buttons, no picture messaging, slow Web access and no video capture into the most desirable phone on the planet can easily make tablets popular.

Gee that doesn't sound weighted.
The No buttons is actually its selling point, not a disadvantage.
Slow Web Access or less battery life? Ill choose Slow Web Access... Btw the reason for the WiFi support is to speed up web access, for most locations that people will be actually using the phone for web access... At Work, in Cafe, home... They would only use the Cell phone when they are on the road and normally they just need to do some rather low bandwidth things...
Video Capture. I guess that would be a nice feature, but being that I almost never even use the camera on my current phone video seems less likely. Video can take a lot of space really fast. Plus using a cell phone you are often in places with bad lighting anyways.

No the iPhone isn't perfect I looked at one at the apple store and I was mostly unimpressed with it. It felt slow and sluggish. It had a nice design I would wait for Gen 2 or 3 perhaps...

Fine, but Apple's handwriting recognition sucks! (4, Insightful)

TomorrowPlusX (571956) | more than 6 years ago | (#21254185)

As much as I'm a "loyal" Apple user ( I came from linux, and I do love OS X ) I will say flat out that Microsoft's handwriting input is years ahead of Apple's. Microsoft has thoroughly integrated it, with very impressive recognition and overall it *feels* right, like MS really put a lot of love into it.

As it stands today, "Ink", Apple's handwriting interface leaves a lot to be desired. In principle, it's nicely done. A good sort of floating scratch pad which you can write on, which will insert into the active doc. But, the quality of the handwriting recognition is pretty poor. God knows Apple has the resources to do this right. I'm sure there's a lot of left over experience from Newton ( if Jobs didn't fire all of those guys ), but as it stands, if Apple released a tablet with Ink it would be useless for anything but consuming media.

Frankly, I don't want to consume media. I want to use a computer, and a tablet is a nice form factor. I know I'd never write code on a tablet, but I'd like to think I *could*. I used to sketch out prototype algorithms using graffiti on a palm ( which I'd later edit/compile/etc on my desktop ), it was a nice thing to be able to do. What I don't want is a real computer which is so hobbled by bad input that it's only good for music, internet and video.

Seems to me Apple *could* do it... but who knows. Microsoft pulled it off, so, let's let competition bloom!

Re:Fine, but Apple's handwriting recognition sucks (1)

2nd Post! (213333) | more than 6 years ago | (#21254489)

If the problem is handwriting recognition, then obviously the solution is not to rely on it.

I'm sure the technology will be present, but I suspect, given their recent experience with multi-touch, that a full sized multitouch keyboard will be present instead. Instead of fighting the "better tablet" game, Apple should move onto the next arena: better handheld computer game, which they have already demonstrated a strong opening move with the iPhone.

Re:Fine, but Apple's handwriting recognition sucks (1)

_|()|\| (159991) | more than 6 years ago | (#21254573)

What I don't want is a real computer which is so hobbled by bad input that it's only good for music, internet and video.

I think the type of device we're most likely to see come out of rumors like this is a bigger iPod touch. Although it may support some kind of handwriting recognition, I would expect an on-screen keyboard to be the primary mode of input. I've had mixed feelings about the redesign of Apple's wireless keyboard, but it would go very nicely with a tablet.

I would be quite interested in a product like this. The touch-screen interface on the iPhone and iPod touch is a credible alternative to a stylus, and that's with a 3.5" screen. It is a bit Fisher Price at first, but it's intuitive.

Re:Fine, but Apple's handwriting recognition sucks (2, Informative)

Reverberant (303566) | more than 6 years ago | (#21254717)

I will say flat out that Microsoft's handwriting input is years ahead of Apple's. Microsoft has thoroughly integrated it, with very impressive recognition and overall it *feels* right, like MS really put a lot of love into it.

We'll have to agree to disagree. I'm a Mac user, but I own a Compaq TC1000 with XP/SP2 which has been pulling travel duty with me for the past 3 years. After years of reading accolades from Scoble et al about the Tablet PC's handwriting recognition I've tried time and time again to use it as a primary input method. My assessment: it sucks. It works okay (but still not satisfactorily) if you write standard prose but I'm an engineer that uses a lot of industry-specific terms, and the auto-prediction inevitably screws up what I'm trying to write. The other big downside is password input: I try to use passwords with mixed-case letters and punctuation characters and trying to enter those using the handwriting input just doesn't work.

As a result, I use the TC1000 in keyboard mode 95+% percent of the time. That said, the tablet input does work well for field use when I can use the stylus to tap buttons to start data acquisition programs, but as a notepad it just doesn't work at that well for me. But to each their own.

The biggest problem I've had with MS's Tablet PC is that it's basically Windows XP with some tablet features stuck on (I haven't used the Vista Tablet edition, so hopefully it's changed). I've always maintained that if Apple was going to do a tablet, in order to do it right they read to radically rework the interface rather than stick Ink on Mac OS X. The touch interface on the iPhone and iPod Touch seems to indicate their agreement.

Lotsa "ifs" and "maybes" (2, Informative)

denzacar (181829) | more than 6 years ago | (#21254227)

According to cnet.co.uk the oft-rumoured Apple Tablet PC is actually very real, and on its way soon. CNET claims to have spoken to an anonymous tipster at Asus who claims to be working with Apple to produce the tablet.
On the off chance that it IS true...

I can't afford one running windows. Actually... I am yet to see one used IRL.
Don't see how exactly will an Apple's overpriced version bring the tech to the masses.

And... ummm.. Where exactly is the appeal in the TabletPC?
I mean... hand-held PDA devices - OK. I can use it and hold it with one hand, and put it in my pocket.

But a 14", or 15" or 17" big, clumsy, fragile thing I have to haul around and which I must always hold with one hand when I interact with it (no keyboard to put on my lap, while the screen stays upright), AND the control/input interface IS the viewing interface (so one dies with another in case of a malfunction) - why?

There's only one IF or MAYBE (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21254589)

According to cnet.co.uk the oft-rumoured Apple Tablet PC is actually very real, and on its way soon. CNET claims to have spoken to an anonymous tipster at Asus who claims to be working with Apple to produce the tablet.
I'm not saying it's real, but you've done a piss poor job of analysis on this sentence.

According to - What are we doubting CNet now? "According to CNet, Google announced an open mobile platform yesterday."

oft-rumoured - Just because it's been rumoured for a long time doesn't mean it's any less likely. It may in fact be more likely, as more insiders give more information about it. The iPhone was oft-rumoured, too.

claims to have spoken - See "according to." We aren't doubting CNet's report, are we?

anonymous - He may be anonymous to you, but not to CNet.

claims - This is the only legitimate "IF." The guy we're doubting is the source.


And the rest of your post is based on baseless conjecture and strawman arguments.

Re:Lotsa "ifs" and "maybes" (1)

Nullav (1053766) | more than 6 years ago | (#21254743)

But tablet PCs do have keyboards and all that good shit. The only difference between a 'tablet PC' and a 'notebook' is that the screen accepts input and it usually rotates to close backwards so that you can use it as the primary interface if you want to.

Early adopters beware! (1)

BlueF (550601) | more than 6 years ago | (#21254255)

Wait 63 days before purchasing any new hardware from Apple, unless you don't mind paying 33% extra to have a new Apple gadget 2 months before others!!!

All that aside, an Apple tablet could be a very cool device. Never had a desire for a notebook of my own (wife already has a MacBook and we have MacMini's in the living room and bedroom for surfing and other media center duties. Then again, I never had a desire for an iPod either and am digging having movies, tv, pictures, and internet on my (i)phone.

I'd probably buy an Apple table if they came to fruiition, but not for at least 18 months after release!!

If this is true... (5, Funny)

Gleng (537516) | more than 6 years ago | (#21254267)

If this is true, and Asus have just completely blown Apple's surprise, then Asus are about to have a really, really bad day.

Woe betide the man who steals Steve Jobs' thunder.

...the most desirable phone on the planet .... ? (2, Insightful)

YeeHaW_Jelte (451855) | more than 6 years ago | (#21254273)

Not in my corner of the world, nor in any of the other places I've been to recently, bar the US.

Why have a tablet........ (4, Funny)

cyberkahn (398201) | more than 6 years ago | (#21254281)

when you can have a Microsoft table [youtube.com] . :-)

Oh great... (0, Troll)

Experiment 626 (698257) | more than 6 years ago | (#21254311)

All this begs the question: Can Apple turn the Tablet PC into a success when previous attempts have failed?

Cue the "beg the question" trolls who insist the phrase can only be used in the logical fallacy sense and not in the raising the question one.

Previous thoughts from Jobs about tablets (4, Interesting)

snowwrestler (896305) | more than 6 years ago | (#21254319)

Steve had not been forewarned about the tablet question, but it became obvious he had given the topic serious consideration. He listed a number of reasons why Apple was not interested. And they provide some of the best insights into why Apple does or does not do a product.

The tablet situation

First, he said, tablet computers were not a big enough market for Apple to spend its limited resources chasing. And even if the market grew, it would not reach a size to be of interest. The form factor was all wrong. Apple was more interested in defining markets than trying to catch other companies that were busy trying to create a market for questionable products. Still, some of the NIH scientists pressed the issue. Steve's follow-up answer was the most impressive I had heard him give.

First, he said, the wireless bandwidth for huge images, plus the security needed to successfully do what NIH wanted, was just not on the horizon. (Apple staff had been notably fuzzy earlier in the briefing about wireless standards after 802.11b.) Plus, tablets' screen resolution was nowhere near that required for NIH's high-quality medical images. Finally, any product designed to work in the medical field would attract significant liability. The hint was that Apple wasn't interested in anything with that kind of potential liability. That pretty well shut down the issue.

So, no tablet. But NIH at the time had more than 2,000 BlackBerry users. The NIH CIO wanted Apple to push RIM for better compatibility. Tough: Steve basically said it was another niche product, and that while there would be convergence of computing and phones, the BlackBerry was not that product. He did not see that compatibility as an area where Apple should spend any effort. So what will the converged product - what is being called the "iPhone" (even though that's a Cisco trademark) - look like? He said the really converged, ubiquitous devices would have to fit in your shirt pocket, and be better than either a phone or a computer by itself.
From:
http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2007/jan/04/newmedia.media [guardian.co.uk]

Since this article ran, Apple has demonstrated two technologies that might change that answer a bit. 802.11n networking approaches the speed needed to work with high-resolution images wirelessly. And Apple is now sourcing LCD screens with very high resolution--the iPod nano screen has about 200 pixels per inch, which is quite close to the resolution of printed photos.

However I'll believe it when I see it. The big question with tablets has always been data entry, and thus they are closely linked with handwriting recognition in the marketplace. Handwriting recognition has been an almost total market failure, so tablets have been an almost total failure. Perhaps Apple will try a full-size onscreen keyboard. Or perhaps they will leverage the new super-thin iMac keyboard technology and do a pull-out or flip-down physical keyboard. Or perhaps most likely is a slight modification of the MacBook product to include MultiTouch...either a touchscreen display or (as hinted in patents) a second, MultiTouch screen replacing the touchpad.

The big question is software. They just released a new OS that will need support. They are already committed to providing and supporting an SDK for the iPhone. And they are undoubtedly working quickly to update applications like the new iMovie, and produce new ones for the iPhone. Apple typically does not release new categories of product without new software to support/drive sales. I have no doubt people at Apple are experimenting with tablets. But I do not believe we will see one released anytime soon.

Great!!!! (1)

UseCase (939095) | more than 6 years ago | (#21254377)

Some friends and I have been wagering ,free Starbucks for a week, on when this was going to happen. I've been holding off buying another laptop or an IPhone in the hopes that it was soon. New Xcode, objective-c, core animation, and now this. Things are looking up.........

Tablet PC a failure? (0, Flamebait)

Ash-Fox (726320) | more than 6 years ago | (#21254433)

Can Apple turn the Tablet PC into a success when previous attempts have failed?
Tablet PC is a failure? The majority of my artist friends have a Tablet PC and in future wish to keep buying them as they're great for art related things.

I doubt OS X will be a popular platform for these particular set of people since it doesn't have anything like openCanvas [wikipedia.org] (majority of my artist friends use the older version because it's networked).

The short answer is 'yes'. Any company that can make a mobile phone with no buttons, no picture messaging, slow Web access and no video capture into the most desirable phone on the planet can easily make tablets popular.
Technically Apple can just stamp their logo on toilet seats and it will sell well.

Re:Tablet PC a failure? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21254633)

"Technically Apple can just stamp their logo on toilet seats and it will sell well."

Interesting. Why do you imagine that is?

1) Is is because Apple is a well known brand? Microsoft is better known, so does the Zune outsell the iPod?

2) Is it because they have a reputation for making outstanding products when actually all they make is shit? So how did they get that reputation?

3) Is it because Macintosh fanboys secretly outnumber Windows users, even though all statistics clearly indicate that Apple only has between 1 and 5% OS market penetration?

4) Or is it because everyone knows that Apple would only put their brand on a toilet seat if it's the best damn toilet seat that money can buy?

Re:Tablet PC a failure? (1)

Ash-Fox (726320) | more than 6 years ago | (#21254821)

Interesting. Why do you imagine that is?
I imagine a lot of the reason is a combination of things.

Apple fanatics get a lot of media attention, which in turns hypes up the media. People seeing the media getting crazy over it influences them to believe the product is worth buying. Apple's advertising of something alluring a new (despite that being far from the case - but people believe it and end up repeating it).

I wouldn't say it's exactly that recipe, but I think that does play a good part in it.

That said, we all know, Apple doesn't make the best products and if other companies released the things Apple did.. Such as Nokia releasing the iPhone, it would never of been what some consider to be a 'hit'.

would rather have the ASUS one (1)

m0llusk (789903) | more than 6 years ago | (#21254481)

ASUS has always shipped primo hardware and now they have been hitting low price points, too. Could they become a major competitor against Apple, especially if some relatively straightforward hacks for putting oh-ess-ecks on their machines get published?

Humorous (1)

JK_the_Slacker (1175625) | more than 6 years ago | (#21254513)

"Any company that can make a mobile phone with no buttons, no picture messaging, slow Web access and no video capture into the most desirable phone on the planet can easily make tablets popular."

I laughed hard at this. While Apple certainly makes good products, their hype engine is one of the most effective on the planet. I would kind of like to see Apple pull this one off, just to annoy Steve Ballmer.

FrIst stop (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21254601)

conflict5 that its readers and

But... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21254613)

But does it run Linux?

nice bitter characterization of apple (2, Insightful)

2ms (232331) | more than 6 years ago | (#21254615)

What are the reasons (according to the news item submitter) the iPhone would be a miserable failure if not for Apple's usual getting away with murder tricking the consumer into buying inferior products? The fact that it doesn't have buttons, picture messaging and video? Is that supposed to be a joke?

The phone has way-faster-than-3G wi-fi instead of the difference in speed between Edge and 3G. As a bonus, it doesn't have practically half it's current battery life the way it would if were 3G. Fact: right now 3G phones universally have poor battery life.

Re:nice bitter characterization of apple (1)

faedle (114018) | more than 6 years ago | (#21254845)

Funny. My EVDO BlackBerry seems to have adequate battery life. 2-3 days between a charge with some usage seems fine.

Ugh... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21254659)

First - on the topic in question. I don't think an Apple tablet will be much more successful than any PC tablet except with people who are already ga-ga for macs. The reality is Apple really has broken into the mainstream only with the iPod. Most people I know of that aren't either multitouch enthusiasts - and most people aren't - or are mac enthusiasts think the iPhone is cool, but isn't cool enough to justify it all. On the other hand, the iPod appeals to all sectors because it was something new, most people had never really used an MP3 player, whereas the iPhone was entering a market that had already been developed and users had expectations, there were no expectations in the relatively new MP3 player market because most people didn't have any. The same is true of tablets. I expect it will be a success, but only a success to mac users, multitouch enthusiasts, and a few other groups.

Second - as a grammar nazi. It doesn't -BEG THE QUESTION-. It -RAISES THE QUESTION-. Begging the question would imply it tried to use the hypothesis to justify the conclusion. Learn English. Please.

Blow me, Steve. And, now, Asus. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21254813)

"CoverFlow goodness we've seen in the iPhone and iPod touch"

Goodness? GOODNESS? What kind of twat actually uses the word "goodness"? What's next? Maybe drop a "truthiness" in there, too?

<sarcasm>Oh, man, Asus and Apple are, like, so hip!!!</sarcasm>

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