Jan 10

’Twas the night before tablet…

Almost showtime

Only a few hours till T-Day. I’ll be damned if I’m going to be left out when they count all the blogs that hyped the tablet today. Just a few miscellaneous observations:

Steve. Everyone is so focused on the tablet, nobody’s even mentioned Steve’s health lately. But the Steve-watch will be back in the news, for sure. Expect many reports to start with “A healthier-looking Steve Jobs took the stage today to announce…” At least I hope they do.

Ressurection. For those who think Apple might recycle the Newton or iBook names — forget it. Impossible to imagine Apple naming a thoroughly new device after a thoroughly dead device. Remember also, there are still lots of iBooks out there. How confusing would that be? I’m crossing my fingers for something more imaginative, but the Vegas oddsmakers are heavy on iSlate. iPad is making a late surge around the home stretch.

To i or not to i. Keep an eye on that pesky little letter — for the future starts here. Should the tablet escape without an i, it will be a good indication of where things are going. If the i sucks the tablet into its orbit, assume we’ll be living with it for the rest of our natural lives.

Collateral damage. Black-and-white e-readers, anyone? I’m sure you’ll see some great deals real soon.

The warm-up act. I believe we’ll see more than the tablet tomorrow. We’ll need a major iTunes Store update to present all the new media that will be available there. It’s time for the annual iLife update too. After Steve shows us how magazines will reinvent themselves on the tablet, imagine if he shows us a fantastic new way to share our lives. Use the new features in iLife to create your own “magazine” with words, pictures and videos. It may even call for a new iLife app. iMag? iPub? iNews?

Unfathomably moronic. Rob Enderle says the venue for the announcement indicates that Apple wants to “distance itself from this offering,” as if it’s “a product the company isn’t that sure of.” I had no idea human beings were even capable of such dribble.

Macworld who? Just a year ago we were sobbing over Apple’s rejection of Macworld. We’re better now. Way better. Didn’t exactly seem to hurt the buzz factor, did it?

That’s it. No more tablet talk till we see the whites of its eyes. Enjoy the show.

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  • ChuckO

    I think this will be a tough one for Apple. There’s so little else of interest going on that this tablet thing has taken on a life if it’s own. This is the opposite of the iPhone announcement to me. People just wanted a combo phone/iPod and got a whole re-imagining of the smart phone. This time everyone is expecting the earth to move and it will be hard not to disappoint. If half of what people are predicting get’s released (iPhone OS 4.0, updated iLife, reinvention of the magazine, books, newspapers, TV subscription) then I suspect they can succeed on volume.

    Not saying the new thing won’t be a big hit just talking about the chances for post-announcement let down. Apple’s like the modern equivalent of The Beatles to me. We expect them to constantly blow us away with unimagined creativity.

  • Ken.. Very excited to find out what Apple has in store for us tomorrow. I think you will be happy to hear that I’ve taken the plunge and purchased my first MacBook. Working on a PC from 9-5 is now more painful than ever..

    I was surprised to not read anything about their ‘other’ announcement for tomorrow.. Is this just hype or do you think there might be something else going on over at AppleLand..?

  • I don’t recall any Apple announcements ever taking place at the Apple campus.

    My killer app: something like Microsoft OneNote. If “slates” were already available or good tablets were less than about $800 I would have already gotten one just to use with OneNote.

  • ChuckO

    I’ve got a new name: “The Apple Launch Pad! It’s where everything starts.” I think I just heard Ken tell me to keep the day job.

  • I like Launch Pad!

  • ChuckO

    Thanks, Susan! We Celts have to stick together.

  • By Rob Enderle’s argument, Apple attempts to distance itself from new iPods because they are introduced at the same venue. So the iPod is “a product the company isn’t that sure of.”


  • ken segall

    I don’t share the fear. Apple has done enough in the past that I have confidence we’ll see something terrifically cool. Some may be disappointed, some may be overjoyed, and the pros/cons will continue to be debated — as Apple sells more tablets than they can make. Then more media companies will sign on, the 2.0 version will arrive, and what we see tomorrow will suddenly look old. It’ll all work out :)

    Congrats! It’s about time! I knew you had it in you. (And I’m not sure what “other” announcement you’re talking about…)

    @Nate Grigg:
    There have been some announcements at the Apple campus auditorium. iPod Hi-Fi is the last one I can remember. Usually not the “biggies” there, due to limited seating. But your point is well taken, and Enderle’s point is just pointless. I’d be surprised if something like OneNote wasn’t part of the tablet, and if it isn’t — it won’t be too far behind. I expect the avalanche of apps for this thing will break every record.

    In the midst of more important things happening everywhere, I feel guilty admitting this… but Enderle’s comments are a high point of my day. His “insight” is mind-numbing, perplexing, tragic and unintentionally hilarious. That he actually gets paid for these insights is astounding!

  • Seams its a Ipad :)
    U almost got it ChuckO :)

  • Oh, I was referring to the Verizon/At&t iPhone talk.. whether they will be releasing a new version for Verizon and a new OS for the iPhone..

  • ChuckO

    Classic Apple. You can see how they’re leading us away from the past. Pretty soon you’ll have kids that will say “File system? What’s that”. And older folks will not have to confront the horror of the file system. Want an appliance for email, web browsing for your older Mom or Dad? Here’s a beauty and so much complexity is abstracted away. All you have to do is set up an iTunes account.

  • ChuckO

    I don’t get why MobileMe doesn’t figure more prominently in any of these new devices. I’m starting to think that’s on purpose. I’m getting the feeling that’s in limbo like appleTV waiting for whatever zen forces cause the lightbulb to go off in the Apple design labs where they know they have THE ANSWER but they aren’t there yet.

  • Rodney