I’m 90% sure the “Apple iTablet rumor” is an elaborate hoax by Apple to get Dell to waste money building a competing device - Macenstein

I’m 90% sure the “Apple iTablet rumor” is an elaborate hoax by Apple to get Dell to waste money building a competing device

Aside from a $1400 GPS-enabled, touch screen, waterproof, 4 megapixel ROOMBA with a built-in iPod dock, I can’t think of a single Apple-branded device I would less want to add to my digital arsenal than an Apple tablet. Imagine a device that takes all the annoying UI limitations of the iPhone and combines them with all the size and weight of a netbook. And now imagine it at twice the price.

Yes, while in Sci-Fi movies people of the future often walk around holding such a device, performing unknown but apparently important tasks, in reality a 10-inch touch screen tablet would be useful to pretty much no one. How many iPhone users do you know who would ditch their iPhone in favor of carrying around an iTablet with them shopping or to the movies? How many MacBook users would sell their more powerful, keyboard-equipped laptops (which would not be all that much larger than the tablet) in favor of such a device? Finally, how many Apple fans who already own both an iPhone and MacBook would want to add yet ANOTHER device into the mix that offers nothing they do not already own? (OK, bad question, Apple fans WOULD want it, but how many would BUY it?) In short, there is no way an iTablet could fill the glaring void in Apple’s lineup between the MacBook and iPhone because, quite frankly, there is none.

Pretty much the only reason I can think of why any true Apple fan would want Apple to release an iTablet would be so we can finally put the iTablet rumor to rest, and start focusing on new ones. Like that $1400 GPS-enabled, touch screen, waterproof, 4 megapixel ROOMBA with a built-in iPod dock I’ve been hearing so much about.

So Why the Buzz?

So, if an iTablet offers no value to speak of (and don’t get me started on the “huge” revenue a “Kindle Killer” would generate), why are we hearing so many rumors of an October iTablet release? Simple. Apple is purposely spreading them. Why? Well, Apple is obviously hoping to bankrupt Dell and any other PC maker foolish enough to take the bait. We’ve seen in the past how quickly Dell can get a manufacturing plant up and running to crank out an Apple knock off (Unibody Dell Adamo, anyone?). If Apple can convince Dell that it really plans to release a touch screen tablet in time for this year’s holiday shopping season, it could cost Dell millions in R&D and go down in history as the greatest technological prank since Microsoft told people it was going to compete against Apple in the portable media player market.

16 Responses to “I’m 90% sure the “Apple iTablet rumor” is an elaborate hoax by Apple to get Dell to waste money building a competing device”
  1. Tice says:

    I’m so with you! I always wondered (and I can say I’m not alone with this one) why anobody would buy an tablet PC.

    – Because of the size you can’t use it travelling (have to have it on the lap but look down)
    – Not as a second device like a mobile phone (there already is an iPhone)
    – Not as desktop replacement because you need an extra keyboard and a stand

    I never got the rumors on why this would be a winner, I wouldn’t buy one – ever.

  2. Killer's Dad says:

    If it don’t fit in my pocket, then it’s gotta sit on my lap or on my desk.

    I wouldn’t be looking forward to looking at my crotch all day.

  3. XYber Druid says:

    no one huh
    Graphic artists, cartoonists, web designers, flash animators, avid fantastic contraption players, photographers, collage students

    and that’s off the top of my head

  4. Chris Leither says:

    Well… I guess I’d buy the Tablet… for the sake of the tablet ^^.

    But your marketing ideas to ruin the competition really impress me ^^
    It’s so weird that it could actually work…

  5. CM says:

    I think someone on another forum mentioned a recent apple patent about having a dockable screen for a PC which contained all the cpu/disk etc. This would be removable and used like a tablet and then docked to function as a home pc with keyboard/mouse etc. Sounds lmuch more plausable when taken in that context….

  6. Frank says:

    I’m predicting it right now: Apple has thought of everything you mentioned. If the product is real, you will, when it is released, write a review that points out a number of flaws in the device but is positive overall. You’ll grow to like it more and more as time passes. I guarantee it.

  7. Gussy says:

    It could become a giant remote for the Apple TV! iTablet for Apple TV, they were born for each other. Think of all the home automation products out there at the monent. They are born for each other.

  8. Daniel says:

    I mean, I like the idea of an Apple Tablet, kind of. A few years ago my friend had some Windows based notebook that had a reversable screen, so when the notebook is open, you can rotate the screen around, fold it back, and use a stylus to draw or write and stuff. I always felt that that would be cool because I’m sure Apple would pull it off better, so a new line of MacBooks that did something like that might be cool. But I kind of agree, a strict, keyboardless tablet sounds like an awful idea. Just a less-convenient iPod Touch that might require an expensive 3G Plan.

  9. To the author of this column…

    You really have no idea what you are talking about when it comes to digital tablet’s… Every artist I know, and score’s more out there that have the Wacom Tablet or Cintiq 21UX Tablet Screen will gladly drop serious cash for an iTablet. It will make artistic expression more free flowing and spontaneous. I have plenty of examples of using the tablets that are stuck to a desk on my domainsite.

    I really enjoy and frequent Macenstein… but serious, have an open mind when discussing anything… you’ll really be surprised… (exception: the ZUNE that is just totally crap-ola)


  10. Scott says:

    I’d buy one. My laptop is connected to my monitor and then hidden in a cabinet (where it is connected to 1001 usb/networking devices). I constantly am wanting to surf the internet, check email…but away from my desk. Unplugging my laptop and digging it out is a pain in the arse. I don’t need a physical keyboard and all the other trappings – just a big iPhone would get me through 80% of the tasks I do when I am away from my desk and roaming around the house.

    I’d love a nice 10 inch tablet with no keyboard for no other reason than to be able to sit on my couch watching NFL while having my fantasy scores showing on the tablet.

  11. thisisjohnny says:

    i say this repeatedly:
    there’s nothing that NET-books do (internet, email, multimedia) that the iphone doesn’t do. and here’s the kicker — the iphone fits in your pocket (NO FRIGGIN WAY!) and doesn’t need to be hooked into a wi-fi signal!

    netbooks were never designed for word-processing and office applications on the go. i’d like to see YOU try running office 2007 at usable speeds on a $300 netbook…

    i don’t know if an iTablet is going to come out or not, but (a) i think tablet pcs are *stupid* to begin with, and (b) i agree with you doc — i don’t see any gaps at all between the iphone and the 13 inch macbook pro. nada. ziltch. zippo. sister mary katherine (get it?… that’s a nun’s name. nun = none?…. ahh forget it.)

    it’s a stupid waste of R&D money

  12. I welcome this as the second step towards an entirely new way to interact with computers. Bigger, better, smarter gestures will make video editing a completely different and more robust experience. A tablet will make the experience of using my home automation much more useful. Please don’t this as a criticism of you, but you’re not seeing the much larger picture. Mice, pen tablets, etc., are on the way out. Gestures and enhanced hand/finger control are the next step in the GUI progression. Apple has already demonstrated that they can dynamically change the keyboard experience with their entire line – remember the big springy keyboards of just 3 years ago? Now we’re accustomed to typing on near-flat keyboards, and I have no desire to go back. The next step is typing on a flat glass screen. Granted, the experience of an actual keypress of some form will be missed, but perhaps minds smarter than mine have come up with a flex screen with a button press experience – without a physical keyboard (OLED maybe?).

    Aside from just the user interface experience, I cannot wait to yank the stereo out of my car and have a mount for my new apple tablet, with 3G, voice control, easy gestures, and a mobile friendly experience. That’s something I paid over 3000 for a few years ago with a pioneer Z1u, and it’s mostly a disappointment. I desperately want this. Desperately.
    My 2 cents…

  13. dlowe402 says:


  14. dlowe402 says:

    As for an iTablet…EH. I have my MBP and an iPhone. I’m good.

  15. darrell says:

    the iPod fixed the mp3 market
    the iPhone fixed the mobile phone market

    the tablet PC came and faded – why would apple want to fix that?

    if apple really wanted to kick ass in the netbook space, they could possibly lower the price of the MacBook Air. or make a white – MacBook like – MacBook Air and call it the MacBook Touch. but it still doesn’t make sense. they never low-balled the price of the iPod to compete with other mp3 players.

    the last thing anyone needs is a giant iPod Touch – and i don’t mean that aesthetically. (the G5 iMac was basically a giant iPod) i mean that iPhone OS X, as great as it is, certainly isn’t as useful as OS X.

  16. Joanee says:

    I’d like a detachable keyboard for the iPhone.

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