From a troubleshooting standpoint, I think this device will be a pretty fascinating addition to Apple's lineup. The first question in my mind, given that line of thinking, is what OS will it run? Many have reported on both sides, either Mac OS X or the iPhone OS. My original thought was that the iPhone OS would make the most sense to keep the light, mobile feel that a tablet device needs to maintain. An interesting rumor out there says there could be a third major OS from Apple--the Tablet OS. This is what I would like to see the most. Users will recognize many of the iPhone OS functions and Apple will have the ability to incorporate more advanced OS features like multitasking and file storage that the iPhone lacks.
After the question of the OS, the other rumors are largely inconsequential. Whether it has USB or a dock connector (my bet is still for both), a front-facing camera (or no camera as some reports claim), or an SDXC card slot--something I have not seen on many reports, but I am still sticking to it as a great option. These features largely satisfy (or disappoint) market appeal and help define who buys the device. What is more interesting is how it will be used.
There has been much reported about Apple's courting of the newsprint industry and today's rumor mill is buzzing with news that Apple is pressuring the television networks to drop the prices of episodes of popular TV shows. Of course, there is still the rumor that Apple is looking to offer streaming media thanks to its recent purchase of online music company Lala. Ultimately, the tablet user is one that has a main computer and most likely an iPhone. They use the tablet as their portable media device, replacing their e-reader, PSP, and/or magazine. They get their publications, their television, their music, and their books on the go, on the tablet.
So what are the issues we will see once a billion people have this thing? I think Apple will find that most of their troubleshooting will be found in the accounting department. iTunes is already a major part of Apple's business and based on hundreds of threads on Apple Support Discussions and other message boards, a major source of troubleshooting needs. Errors in downloading, streaming, and purchasing content will most likely dominate the boards about the tablet's troubles (not unlike the iPhone). We will also see iPhone-esque wi-fi and 3G connectivity issues, most likely split between Apple's hardware or software and whatever carrier (Verizon, maybe?) is providing the 3G network. I do not expect to see much in the way of typical OS issues (like the ones we see with new releases of Mac OS X). Instead, individual Apps on the tablet will ultimately define its success as a usable computing platform.
Just a few hours until we know for sure. What are you most excited about in tomorrow's event? Let us know in the comments!
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