Now that Crave UK has gone on record saying that it believes an Apple tablet is not only in the works, but sitting atop the list of Steve Jobs' future announcements, will it be capable of turning the tablet industry around?
Some may say that the future of tablets are bright because they are quite practical when you come right down to it. And while I agree that some of them can be useful, they haven't caught on because no one has any idea of how to get them to work. But if a company that has sold us on a new way of using a cell phone is getting in the business, it's difficult for me to count this tablet out.
Simply put, tablet PC sales are abysmal. By and large, the only time you will actually see a tablet is at the doctor's office. And even there, it doesn't seem like the doctor likes it.
The real problem with a tablet PC is not that it doesn't work, it's simply that it doesn't respond as well as it should, and no operating system has been created for the platform yet that truly harnesses its ability to respond in the right way. Sure, Microsoft has tried a few times at making Tablet Edition work, but the company has basically only added multi-touch functionality and handwriting recognition. Other than that, it's just the same old operating system that wasn't built for a tablet.
But with Apple's (possible) decision to enter the tablet market, the opportunity for widespread adoption is there for the taking. And while some believe in the unending supply of expertise Apple possesses, I'm forced to wonder if the company is actually capable of changing Leopard enough to make the tablet element work.
Adding tablet functionality to an operating system is a costly endeavor. And while it wouldn't surprise me if Apple did release such a device, I'm skeptical that it will happen anytime soon. Even worse, I'm not so sure it will work as well as the iPhone or any other tailor-made software package from the company. Simply put, tablet operating systems are tough to implement and awkward at best.
Can it be done? Sure. But for my money, I think I'll just sit back and wait to see what Apple comes up with. And if it seems like it works, I'll be the first to say that a company has finally revolutionized this fledgling industry. But if it works as poorly as Microsoft's tablet software, I'll be the first to say that tablet computing is dead in the water.