Re: [NTLK] Safari Pad - Apple's Tablet Computer

From: Andre Lipinski <>
Date: Tue Apr 21 2009 - 14:21:50 EDT


On 21-Apr-09, at 4:32 AM, Ryan Vetter wrote:

> Steve Jobs and his stubbornness when it comes to pen computing...
> that is, there is no way a slate/tablet computer will be as useful
> without a digitizer and stylus. If Steve's stubbornness wins out,
> then pen computing is unlikely, and we will be likely stuck with a
> hybrid tablet (a keyboard/screen combo). Or, while very unlikely,
> we could also be stuck with a giant iPhone with only finger input
> (sigh).

I've been watching Apple closely since Steve's return, and fondly
since long before that and I've learned a few things that will help
you predict what Apple will do:

1 - Apple ALWAYS will do what it takes to control its own future:
it's why it is secretive; why iTunes & the App store are Apple
properties; why it bought eMagic; produced Final Cut, Shake & etc;
why it has bought-up a number of smaller companies to bring highly
specialised & valuable teams in-house--a kind of "indentured
expertise"; why it has an internal team maintaining gcc even though
the community is maintaining it externally; why it prefers to "roll-
its-own" everything so it relies on no one individual. This is first
and foremost.

2 - Apple will not stick it's neck out for a new product unless it
has GREAT certainty that it's got a mainstream winner: that's why it
was slow with things like AppleTV, the MacbookAir, the iPod, iPhone
and even iTunes. (iTunes was a special case because Apple really
missed the boat on CD-Ripping then had to respond that while being
true to itself: by creating a very carefully crafted response in the
form of an Apple transmogrified and greatly improved/polished version
of Casady & Greene's SoundJam.) Steve is no magician and he's not
deluded--he's smart enough to surround himself with experts and
excellent market information--and interpret it sensibly and respond
only appropriately.

3 - Apple has NO nostalgia whatsoever for it's past: that's why
there's no 30th anniversary Mac or celebration; no Apple II emulator
for Intel Macs; why (in small part) the Apple IIgs emulator for
PowerMacs was never released despite the "Apple II forever"
campaigning back in the late 80's; why there's been no "Newton"

4 - Apple will make only truly GREAT products by its estimation and
their user's. This is part of number 2 above, but with a twist. Apple
could have continued to make cheap & cheerful snap-together beige
boxes, put the iPod in done-before lexan plastic cases, and added a
mind-numbing mechanical keyboard to the iPhone. It's why it won't
make something cut-down or limited or even plain looking. Because
those things go against the nature of a VERY highly creative body of
people. Instead of those things it produces products that are a
delight to look at, a seductive pleasure to touch, and a real treat
to look at and use. In other words, things that are new and have
never been done before. (If you know highly creative people, then you
know that same-old-same-old is a recipe for revolt.)

Understanding these three things you can predict Apple's next great

1 - It won't be brain-damaged as Steve has said so many times before.
It'll be full-featured--possibly with full Mac OS X running on some
sufficiently fast CPU--it will not be a cut-down Mac or bloated iPod.

2 - It will not compromise for the state of current technology--Apple
will invent whatever technology is necessary--if that means a
digitiser that allows finger-tip input as well as high-resolution
stylus input (and only if that's what it thinks the product needs to
be great)--then we'll see it, and Apple will wait for it if
necessary. Expect multi-touch to be more advanced than reported to
date when Apple launches their tablet.

3 - It will do what the customer's want and will do it with a cachet
that only Apple can create. Apple will study their customer's needs
and responses to prototypes very carefully. They will likely be more
conservative than brave when launching a new product, willing to get
small things wrong while being able to put them right quickly. (The
App store needing a bit of adjustment after launched, and it was done
real fast.) If the tablet doesn't have HWR off the bat, expect it to
have it ASAP if customers demand it.

4 - It won't be deliberately Newton like in any way unless that
happens to be the best way for the technology and the market at this


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Received on Tue Apr 21 14:22:01 2009

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