Thoughts on the Apple Tablet That Doesn't Exist Yet

  1. Its interface will not be just like the desktop Mac OS, but it won’t be just a bigger iPhone. Multi-touch, yes, but the iPhone’s interface is based around one app at a time with no multitasking. With a bigger screen this doesn’t make as much sense, yet the Mac OS’s menubars and such wouldn’t work as well with touch.
  2. Apple has a marketing hook up its sleeve no one has thought of yet. Like it or not, Apple won’t release a tablet just because journalists right now think it would be cool. It needs a reason to exist, whether that’s enhanced productivity or on-the-go media like never before, but they won’t just put it out there unless it fills some gap, maybe a need you didn’t know you had, between what the iPhone and the MacBook can do.
  3. They will likely stress the ability to hook up their skinny Bluetooth keyboard to it.
  4. The iTunes Store will start carrying books. They’ll either be in the Kindle format, a new format that Apple invented but claims is part of a new standard, or they’ll just be PDF. If it has copy protection, Jobs will demure when asked why music doesn’t but it does, like when people ask him the same thing about video. Kindle Digital Ink enthusiasts will point out that a brightly backlit LCD hurts your eyes if you stare at it for too long, and its battery life won’t last two weeks. They’ll be right, but Steve Jobs will make a pithy comment about how good his screen is. Unless it has some magic dual screen that goes into book mode.
  5. People will start to wonder if maybe the laptop as we know it is on its way out. Maybe all we need is a multi-touch tablet and a Bluetooth keyboard. Computing power in said tablet will still be years away from making this possible. Some will mention the lack of the CD drive as a plus, and some of these will be called out by John Gruber as having said the opposite when the Air came out.
  6. They might just call it the “MacBook”. Remember last month when they moved all their laptops (except the legacy plastic one) to the “Pro” level? Well, this one will let you read it like a book: MacBook.