Why You Should Relax About The New Apple “Tablet”

The internet, blogosphere and every gadget freak is in full fury for January 27th. Steve Jobs is rumored to announce the latest Apple device that’s supposed to change the world. Its a tablet, it’s a slate, it’s an eReader, it’s going to change the way you look at life.

While it’s probably going to be something pretty cool, let’s all take a moment to relax a minute and I’ll tell you why.

Introductory bugs

There’s no beta test like the one where the device goes public. Within a few days / weeks, we’ll all love our new device except for when it doesn’t work right or worse, delete all our data. With every manufacturer, there’s introductory bugs in a major new product revision / design. The best way to handle this is to wait it out. Let Apple figure out where the bugs are and give them time to fix them. Then buy the new device, if it’s still worthwhile.

Missing features

Apple knows how they want you to use their devices but sometimes the market shows them other ways. Later revisions of the devices, updates to the OS, or Apple coming up with a brilliant new idea for the device is normal. You may miss out on something huge if you get in that long line and camp out overnight to have the device on release day.

Remember three years ago when the iPhone came out? Do you remember that for the first year there was no 3G service, no App Store, and no GPS? See, it wasn’t until the iPhone 3G (Third revision) that the iPhone really took off. The original iPod was FireWire only, held 5GB and didn’t work on PCs.

Most people who ran out and bought iPhones when they were released were stuck when a year later the 3G came out and AT&T hit them with an upgrade fee. It’s not just Apple. What about those Kindle 2 purchasers who got screwed when Amazon released the Kindle DX (also, the third revision) three months later?

More Expensive

Its no secret. You pay a big premium to have the newest gadget. You pay again a few months later when it’s not new anymore and you need to upgrade. Was the Palm Pre or Droid worth it now that it’s been a few months and it’s not the latest? What about the Nexus One? Will it be worth it three to six months from now?

Remember the iPhone rebates? Thats right, those who bought first paid $200 more than those who waited. For the same exact product. Those people are lucky Apple did the right thing and gave rebates but what if they didn’t?

Not fully supported

This new device is supposed to be some sort of eReader. What if it’s like the AppleTV and won’t support a plethora of video formats like DVDs. What if it supports iTunes downloaded books and magazines, in some special DRM’ed format, and not PDFs? What if it doesn’t support Amazon’s Kindle format? Will Amazon and it’s huge library of material be compatible?

Since it should be internet capable, will Flash Player be supported? Will it be more Mac like and allow you to install and run whatever you want on it? Or, will it be more iPhone like and lock you into App Store only applications? Will you have to “jailbreak” it to get it to do what YOU want it to do?

The only way to tell what it can and can’t do, what will and won’t be supported and if not, whether or not a community of programmers will jailbreak it, is to wait and see.

Will the device live up to the hype?

For every iPod, iPhone, and iMac, there’s an Apple TV, MacBook Air, Cube and Newton. Not everything out of Cupertino is a winner. The new Apple device could be locked to iTunes and have no support for common usage like the Apple TV. It could be ridiculously expensive for what you get like the MacBook Air. Or it could just be way ahead of its time like the Newton.

Only time will tell and that’s why you should take a few months to pause and then pounce on Apple’s new device. Besides, by waiting you’ll most likely get a better model, a better price, or both.

Will Apple announce what we’re waiting for?

It’s not like we’ve all expected a new Apple Tablet, Leopard, or some other grand device and then Steve Jobs gets up and unveils an iPod with a camera. Or the Apple TV. So remember, there’s always a chance that rumors are just rumors.

Tagged with 

3 thoughts on “Why You Should Relax About The New Apple “Tablet”

  1. I dont agree with several points here and heres why-

    1. Introductory bugs – ok granted, those are software bugs easily and quickly fixed.
    2. Missing features – i dont agree with the 2G vs 3G or AppStore arguments. I still use 2G which I switched back into after trying 3G for a few days because, 3G consumes battery- I found myself turning off 3G, so I went back to 2G. AppStore wasnt ready yet- and it was software, no issues there. What I am saying is any missing features are missing due to a trade-off and not everyone might want them.
    3.More Expensive – Apple got burned with that reduction in price thing. They wont be doing it again. Any device will fall in price as newer versions come out, but that is the game. Earlier you adopt, you will pay higher for the same device. It is adoption cost. For me I was sick of my then current phone- and it made great value to move myself to the iPhone- and I just loved it. It is not going to be “more expensive” compared to what you can leapfrog ahead into..
    4.Not fully supported – just like many of your arguments- anything that can be fixed with software upgrades is a non-issue.
    5.Will the device live up to the hype? – If history is any indicator – YES! But it is not exactly hype you are buying into.. You will get a chance to see, play with the device before buying it. So this is a non-issue.
    6.Will Apple announce what we’re waiting for? – True, it may be different. But, Apple themselves havent come out and denied it like Steve Jobs said WSJ had it all wrong in Dec 2008. So it is a good bet it is on.

  2. Try as you might, you still want one. :o)

    I understand your points and they make perfect sense, but…..

    -It will have every feature the iPhone and Touch have now, but more (rumored video conferencing).

    -Already have 100,000+ Apps ready to upscale to the new format. And with a larger screen new Apps will be much more powerful.

    -Rumored iWork Touch and iLife as well.

    -Rumored that iWeb is being ported to iSlate as a personal book publishing program.

    -Full access to the internet and all it offers.

    -New forms of media rich magazines, books, and newspapers sold through the iTunes.

    -A new level of gaming as well.

    -Fully integrates with my existing home Macs and network.

    -New hybrid OSX built from the ground up to work seamlessly with the Tablet experience (READ: not bloated Windows 7 ported to underpowered Tablets).

    -Rumored eINK function for book reading.

    In the end I see a very compelling device. And don’t forget, Apple’s Marketing Department is in full force feeding rumors to all sorts of media outlets preparing the public and developers for the iSlate. It’s pure genius, and all free.

  3. @ SP – I do agree that many of it’s initial bugs, shortcomings and later features are software related but it adds to the main idea of the article – Wait a bit before buying. As for hype, I do feel that the throngs who camp out the night before to be first in line, or pay extreme prices on eBay aren’t taking their time to play with it and see how it works and if it’s for them or not.

    @ Sean – Once it’s released if it’s as awesome as the rumors, I’ll be way more excited about it. Especially if it has the features you highlight. Apple does have a good track record of seeing a technology need, and creating a solution in a game-changing way, like the iMac, iPod, iPhone, and iTunes Music Store. But, they’ve also released a few duds.

    I don’t see this device as being totally free though. They’ve had a huge success with micropayments (iTunes music and Apps), that a newspaper / magazine subscription model is likely as is Full-size Apps in the iTunes store.