It is amazing so many people want a Tablet isn’t it? Or do they just want a new Apple shiny device delivered by Steve Jobs? I’m guessing it’s the latter. The Wall St. Journal is running a story by Yukari Iwatani Kane talking about how Jobs is intimately involved with every detail of the rumored new Tablet. The article actually contains more speculation about how Jobs is getting back to work after his surgery than it does about the now mythic device.
But it does contain one little snippet that proves once again just how little folks know about Tablet PCs, it’s checkered history, and what may or may not be coming next. Check out this quote:
Despite attempts by manufacturers likeCorp., Co. and Fujitsu Ltd., the market didn’t take off as the devices were too expensive and didn’t offer additional features.
No one can argue with the price point reference. But I spit coffee through my noise and soiled my screen when I read the “didn’t offer additional features” part. What additional features were the original Tablet PCs missing? Dishwashing? Let’s not forget, in many ways Tablet PCs started this whole march to mobility with a fully featured OS shall we. But I guess we should cut Mr. Kane some slack. What a Tablet PC could or could not do was a question many asked back then, as many who were shopping asked if it was a fully featured computer when they were researching their interest. The pages of Tablet PC Buzz are filled with those questions.
While there is indeed a rumor bouncing around that some are now suspecting two Tablet designs, (one featuring the iPhone OS, one the full Mac OS), I think most folks aren’t suspecting the Apple Tablet to be a superset of the OS they way current and former Tablet PCs were. And whether it is, or whether it isn’t, I’m sure Apple’s marketing will define whatever it comes out with in a way that lets everyone know what it will do.