Recently, my colleague Rafe Needleman wrote a column titled "Why consumers won't buy tablets." The article was a direct reference to the long-standing rumor that Apple may be releasing a slate-style, jumbo iPod Touch this fall. Rafe doesn't really believe Apple would be misguided enough to release a tablet and that if it does put one out in the rumored $700 to $800 price range, "it will die." He also believes that, "This whole category is a nonstarter."
I tend to agree with Rafe on a lot of his points. I think tablets and tweener devices--like Ultra Mobile PCs (UMPCs)--that are too big to put in your pocket, cumbersome to operate, and overpriced, are problematic and have no place in the marketplace.
The reason why Netbooks have been successful is that they're cheap, and their form factor makes sense, especially for those looking to take a basic, lightweight computer out with them on the road--or just out to the patio. It's a pretty simple equation and you'd think that Apple would just follow the Netbook trend and come out with something that didn't break the mold but was sexier, a little zippier, and cost an extra $100-$200 in so-called Apple tax. What I'm talking about is a 10-inch $600-$700 Apple Netbook with a keyboard.… Read more