As a small-time Apple fanatic, I’m definitely excited by the rumors swirling about an Apple tablet. Gizmodo recently posted The Exhaustive Guide to Apple Tablet Rumors. It’s a fun read.
Of course, tons of people are asserting definitive claims, most of them contradicting other people’s definitive claims. I suspect that most people don’t know jack, and if some people do know something, we have no way to determine who they are.
Nonetheless, all the crazy speculation makes me happy. People are soooo excited about a device that they don’t know anything about and that might never come to market. I love that! Apple has indeed built a great reputation for itself.
As for the rumored device, unless you’re suggesting that it’s going to sear your steak and wash your laundry, you’re probably underestimating it. Most people seem to be imagining the device to be little more than an extension of current technology, meaning a large version of the iPhone.
That’s exactly the mistake that people made with the iPhone during the rumor-mongering phase. They thought it would be some kind of blend of the iPod of the day plus a cell phone. For example — and these are highly amusing — see Four iPhone Mockups That Completely Missed the Mark and The Speculative Prehistory of the iPhone. My favorite wrong comment is from the author of that second article, who said:
And the swiss-army knife philosophy of today’s phones seems anything but Jobsian. Would the iPhone play music, capture still photos and video, do e-mail and browsing, and be a mobile gaming platform (oh, and let you make phone calls)? Or could Apple get away with introducing an elegant device that did voice, music, and possibly video extremely well–and didn’t even try to do anything else?
I suspect that people are so excited about this tablet because, based on Apple’s history, they have reason to believe that it will be so much more than they can imagine right now. That’s what the innovative producer does. He does not give us what we want; he produces some new thing that we didn’t even know we wanted until we saw it. He does not satisfy demand; he creates demand.
That’s what makes capitalism so damn great.