Is an Apple 'tablet' just a bigger iPhone?

As the monthly Apple tablet rumors fly, there may be a bigger iPhone in your future.

It's too tempting not to pose that question as the monthly Apple tablet rumors fly.

The Apple media pad could look like this--just bigger with ad copy that says 4x faster.
The Apple 'media pad' could look like this--just bigger with ad copy that says '4x faster.'

Conjecture about future Apple products is always an interesting exercise because it requires a lot of imagination to make up for the copious lack of hard data. This is especially the case for the rumored Apple tablet, despite analyst claims about product specifications, such as the oft-repeated 10.1-inch screen.

But there is one theme that keeps popping up that is highly plausible: it will be a device to view media and book content (rumor: 30/70 revenue split between Apple/publisher) in a "better" way. Hmm...let me think for a minute: the same way many people now use their iPhone? (Certainly, the media part.) So--though not a phone per se--basically an iPhone (or iPod) with a bigger screen, faster graphics, and better interface (and/or subscription model) to view content.

Does that about cover it? That doesn't sound like a tablet to me, with all the negative connotations that the word "tablet" has in the PC industry: fat, heavy, kludgey, boring.

Which is why "media pad" sounds a lot better. That, to me at least, connotes thin, light, modern, exciting. But I'll leave the branding to Apple. So far, they have a pretty good track record.

About the author

Brooke Crothers writes about mobile computer systems, including laptops, tablets, smartphones: how they define the computing experience and the hardware that makes them tick. He has served as an editor at large at CNET News and a contributing reporter to The New York Times' Bits and Technology sections. His interest in things small began when living in Tokyo in a very small apartment for a very long time.


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