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You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Mac Notebooks > Tablet Mac...When?

Tablet Mac...When?
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gulmatan
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Jun 10, 2006, 05:40 PM
 
Why hasn't Apple come up with a Tablet version? If they have this in future plans, when would they roll it out?
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harrisjamieh
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Jun 10, 2006, 05:47 PM
 
Tomorrow.
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gulmatan  (op)
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Jun 10, 2006, 05:51 PM
 
Yeah yeah ! I remember the product histories of the eMate(?), the Newton. Are these reasons why Apple is holding out on the Tablet ideal?
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harrisjamieh
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Jun 10, 2006, 06:06 PM
 
No one knows. You can as all the questions you like, but the answers will be nothing but guesses. When and if a tablet mac is introduced, then its introduced. end of.

Besides, this is far from a powerbook topic....
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danengel
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Jun 10, 2006, 06:50 PM
 
Can you type on a tablet computer? If not, I find them pretty useless.
     
Helmling
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Jun 10, 2006, 06:58 PM
 
Given that tablets are only a small slice of the PC market, it would seem foolish of Mac to try to create such a specialized type of Mac.
     
TETENAL
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Jun 10, 2006, 08:20 PM
 
Originally Posted by Helmling
Given that tablets are only a small slice of the PC market, it would seem foolish of Mac to try to create such a specialized type of Mac.
Macs can procreate themselves now? Without the help of Apple engineering?
     
piot
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Jun 10, 2006, 08:29 PM
 
Originally Posted by gulmatan
Why hasn't Apple come up with a Tablet version?
Why should they?
Piot
     
snoopy199
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Jun 10, 2006, 08:49 PM
 
Originally Posted by gulmatan
why Apple is holding out on the Tablet ideal?
Same reason why they didn't release a PDA (after newton). No market, take a look at the tablet and pda markets. Except for vertical market solutions nobody is buying tablets. The PDA market is shrinking, years ago there were a bunch of companies selling pdas now - only few.

Apple had to see the amount of money needed to R&D a tablet vs. the price that they could charge, vs the estimated the sales.
     
HazelGirl
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Jun 10, 2006, 10:21 PM
 
yeah i doubt apple would introduce a tablet only because it probably wouldn't generate a significant profit.....its all about money and they are not going to come out with something that will appeal to a very very small group of buyers......namely, a few individuals in the business market.
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SEkker
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Jun 10, 2006, 10:22 PM
 
I would like an Apple Tablet PC. If Apple could make one up to their own standards, then it would be something notably better than what you can buy now. By analogy, if Apple could make a Tablet machine as better than those from Toshiba as the iPod was over what Sony and others offered for mp3 players, there would BE a market.

In some educational markets, the beta testers of certain tablet PCs refused to give them back when the test time was up. There is clearly a lot of potential market -- and Apple's patents that they filed a few years ago indicates they are aware of the market and the potential.

The best part of the intel transition is the possibility that Ives would be given time to dabble designing this kind of device. After all, the form factors of the iMac, laptops and mac mini are not changing. Even the iPods are setup for evolution rather than revolution -- making the nanos to 8 GB, then 16 GB, etc. Making the video ipod with a virtual scroll wheel instead of the physical, etc. None of these require the creativity of an Ives.

If we're going to see something from Apple, it will be after the Intel transition. But next year seems like a good year to anticipate innovative products from Apple - maybe even a tablet model.
     
snoopy199
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Jun 10, 2006, 10:38 PM
 
Originally Posted by SEkker
There is clearly a lot of potential market
If that was the case why hasn't the sales of tablets taken off. Quite the inverse, companies have dropped the tablet pc because sales have been abysmal. Right now, there are some niche vetical markets that a tablet pc really does provide a nice solution but those markets are so small that they cannot generate any appreciable critical mass.
     
SEkker
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Jun 10, 2006, 10:49 PM
 
Originally Posted by darth-vader000
If that was the case why hasn't the sales of tablets taken off. Quite the inverse, companies have dropped the tablet pc because sales have been abysmal. Right now, there are some niche vetical markets that a tablet pc really does provide a nice solution but those markets are so small that they cannot generate any appreciable critical mass.
Just like mp3 players a few years ago. Zen and Creative and Sony all made mp3 players -- but they got the whole approach wrong. It was hard to get the mp3 files onto the devices, and they were mostly flash devices that held 20 songs.

Apple did not invent the 1.8" hard drive -- there was a version out called the microdrive.

Apple just took the mp3 player concept, combined it with new hard drive technology, and added great software and a terrific hardware interface. Voila! Now we have the iPod.

I know people who use their tablet PCs. They love them -- when they work. There are enough regular 'bumps' in their usage that preclude them from being a mass market device. Keep in mind, they are all running 'special' Microsoft windows software -- software the PC companies did not specifically design to work with their hardware. I am sure Apple -- and many other vendors -- all have small R&D branches working on this problem. I'm just looking forward to one that Ives and Jobs feel has addressed these current hurdles to go beyond any niche market.
     
drewcifer
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Jun 10, 2006, 11:37 PM
 
meh. tablets are mostly for business use, which is chiefly windows territory (for now, and probably many more years)

who wants a tablet anyway? not me.
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Helmling
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Jun 10, 2006, 11:47 PM
 
Originally Posted by TETENAL
Macs can procreate themselves now? Without the help of Apple engineering?
Oh, God, give it a rest.

Here, ya little purist: I meant "Mac" as in the Macintosh division of Apple computers, because everyone knows that Apple is the company and Mac is their product. Just like everyone knows that only the most obnoxious of geeks goes around making an issue out of the distinction.

Happy?
     
Velocity211
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Jun 11, 2006, 01:06 AM
 
Imagine the hinge for the mac tablet, I don't know how apple will attempt to make it look clean. It'll just look like a regular tablet then.
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harrisjamieh
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Jun 11, 2006, 09:41 AM
 
Hinge? If its a normal tablet, then it wont have a hinge, as the screen IS the tablet - no hinge for the screen....

BUT, if Apple were to bring out any sort of tablet (which I prersonally highly doubt), then I think the only way they would do it would be to bring out a laptop with tablet functions, ie a normal laptop but with a swivel screen, like the Toshiba ones on the market today.

Without this idea, Apple, who already have a limited market, would be totally restricting the market of the product, as very few people would want a Mac without a keyboard
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slugslugslug
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Jun 11, 2006, 12:32 PM
 
Originally Posted by harrisjamieh
a laptop with tablet functions, ie a normal laptop but with a swivel screen, like the Toshiba ones on the market today.
That kind of form factor is usually marketed as Tablet PC, so I think it's actually what most people mean when they say "tablet": not pure tablet, but a machine with both functionalities.

This has been discussed ad nauseum around here, but I'll say it again. I think such a hybrid would be wonderful, but there are few people for whom it'd be indispensible. I would gladly pay a$100-150 premium for a tablet-convertible MacBook over a similarly-equipped regular one. But lots of people probably wouldn't. So it seems the only way this would make sense is if the extra stuff needed to make a MacBook a MacTablet were cheap enough for Apple to just make it standard. And touchscreen components are just not made in the kind of volume that LCDs, hard drives, and optical drives are. No doubt it will all get cheaper, but people will be getting used to cheaper laptops by then, so it may be a chicken-and-egg problem: You have to wait for demand to go up so prices can drop and vice versa.

OTOH, Apple did go throwing iSights into everything, and webcam optics/chips may not be produced in the same volume as standard PC components. But they probably are more common than touchscreens (and cheaper just by dint of being less complex).
     
jasong
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Jun 11, 2006, 01:38 PM
 
Well, as the owner of a Titanium PowerBook and Motion Computing M1300 Tablet PC, I feel well qualified to speak in this thread. While Tablets may not have been an overwhelming market success, they are very useful additions to mobile computing. I got my tablet specifically for school, as I remember what I write, but not what I type. The Motion is a slate, that is, it does not have an integrated keyboard, and I have never missed having the keyboard in class. I use my tablet with Microsoft OneNote to take notes in class, and it has been very useful. Two years into classes I always have all of my notes with me, I can search my notes be they text or handwriting, I can email my notes to my classmates, I can download and markup handouts on the spot, and everyone wants to know what it is I am doing, so I was able to quickly meet all of my classmates ;-) . The Tablet is excellent for handling freeform information, such as any student has to deal with on a daily basis. I rarely convert my handwriting to text since it would have to deal with a combination of my bad handwriting and medical terminology, and with the ability to search handwriting there really is no point.

That being said, an Apple convertible laptop (one with a built-in keyboard and a swivel screen), would convince me to switch both my Tablet PC and PowerBook for a Tablet Mac. Why? Spotlight and Smart Folders to better search and organize my notes primarily. That and the fact that I am mainly a Mac guy, I bought a PC for a specific purpose that the Mac can't currently meet. I honestly think if people had tablet abilities in their laptops, they would find them to be useful additions. Most of the derision of them comes from people who have not used them.
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Sophus
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Jun 11, 2006, 03:49 PM
 
Originally Posted by gulmatan
Why hasn't Apple come up with a Tablet version? If they have this in future plans, when would they roll it out?

Tablet Mac... Why?
     
slugslugslug
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Jun 11, 2006, 04:48 PM
 
jasong just pointed out a good reason for wanting/using one. I would rather type than write to take notes, but I'd rather use a stylus than a mouse to add sketches to said notes. There are other reasons Mac users might want a tablet. The fact that the reasons don't apply to you doesn't make them stupid. All things being equal, having a few extra features that you don't use wouldn't hurt anybody.

Of course, all things aren't equal, since touchscreens aren't free, so like I was saying: Tablet Macs won't happen unless:
  • Apple suddenly thinks there's huge demand for the added features.
  • Apple comes up with some way of using such features that's so cool, all of their MacBook customers will want it anyway.
  • or touchscreen prices come down so much that the difference in cost to build tablets over MacBooks is negligible and market research shows that there's at least a little bit of demand for them.
As much as I would like a MacTablet (or something), I don't see any of the above happening soon.
     
shabbasuraj
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Jun 12, 2006, 12:19 AM
 
MacTABLET=PIPEDREAM
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