One gadget we know is being debuted in just a few short hours is the new Apple Tablet. Apple’s Hype Machine has had interest in this not so new concept brewing to its current peak for months. It’s really incredible the art of Apple’s team in seeding the rumors, stirring the pot, and – for lack of a better term – manipulating the masses to have all eyes turned on Apple for what this Magic Tablet will be.
I’m not trying to be a downer here… I have incredible expectations for what Apple will unveil. It won’t be the techie specs that make it though, it’s going to be all that Apple has coordinated behind it. To be sure, there were a host of slick Windows OS Tablet/Slates shown off at CES. And then products like Amazon’s Kindle have put books on digital for quite some time. What I expect Apple to show off is an elegant piece of hardware with the functional, real-world use software tools that makes their Tablet consumer ready right out of the box. Great tech specs are nice, but more important is what you can do with it. Where others show off specs, tomorrow Apple is going to sell their new Tablet – not unlike the iPhone – on all the great things you can easily and intuitively do with it.
As an iPhone on steroids, out of the box the Apple Tablet should already have the same function and support as an iPhone. But more than that – it’s said to be the right product with the right display technology to take the ‘old media’ experience to digital. Translation: getting magazines, newspapers, and, of course, books in an agreeable and appealing display format. While it’s all been done before, Apple tends to be ground-breaking by providing a solution with a software accessibility that has everyone wanting to use it.
Reportedly, a huge segment Apple is after with the Tablet is education. McGraw-Hill has already spilled the beans that they’re excited about their deal to make their textbooks available via the Apple device. If the usability is up to all the hype that Apple’s brought upon their tablet – just this one segment alone is a game changer. At all levels, from grade school to university, printed books consume considerable financial and physical resources. Worse, when books are updated – prior editions become obsoleted forcing schools and students to buy the latest editions new. The proof is in the pudding, but this could be Apple’s ticket if they deliver a model for education that shows a long term cost benefit whereby the tablet with eBooks replaces those traditional printed texts. And of course, the Tablet is far more than just a glorified Kindle in doing this too.
The possibilities are whatever one can imagine. I expect a lot of what has been imagined will be delivered in the new Apple tablet. It’s not going to be about the raw specs, it’s going to be about all the things people have imagined doing with a tablet and Apple having the software and deals in place that make it real.