Apple iS late?

I guess it’s for sure. In a matter of weeks we will see the Apple Tablet. What isn’t for sure is the name, but the iSlate? Um…I think not. Really…Apple iS late. Nope not gonna happen. Apple is never late for anything…or at least they have always managed to position it that way.

Apple has been responsible for a lot of game-changing. The launch of so many of their products have gone on to alter the way we use technology though they haven’t really been first to the party. The Macintosh set a standard in the PC biz…well after the PC existed. The iPod made MP3 listening sexy and altered the music industry…while there were already plenty of MP3 players on the market. And, most recently, the iPhone forever changed the smartphone industry and remains the gold standard…after the Treo and Blackberry blazed the trail. But I’m not quite so sure the launch of the tablet will be as big a game changer.

I love Apple “stuff”. I prefer my Mac over my PC every time. I also think it’s great to see the anticipation build when a new product is imminent. My Apple fanboy friends are downright giddy when things are cookin’ at Apple. To see their expressions, to listen to them wax poetic, to get caught up in it all…it’s fun.

The earmarks are there, I guess. The small netbook thing is kinda “meh” with most consumers being cool with either a small screen that a smartphone provides or the larger screen that the laptop provides. And portable is where it’s at and we all know iPod Touch has been a huge success. In fact, this could easily be the next “stuff already exists to do everything this does…but it’s much cooler” product in Apple’s stable. But this time around, for some reason, I’m not as moved. Why is that?

Is it that this time, one of the biggest claims made by the industry is that the tablet could save the publishing industry? Will it do that?

I doubt the problem facing the newspaper and magazine business, figuring out how to make money from online content, is going to be magically fixed.

Perhaps the iTunes and iPhone app concept of delivering content to the tablet, allowing some sort of “micro payment” model, will emerge. But the producers/publishers of this content would be nuts not to offer that same content to the desktop or even mobile platforms.

The same thing goes for other obvious audio and video offerings online that will find themselves available
to the tablet. I can get it all the videos and music I want on my
laptop or phone.

Maybe the tablet will make it cooler to
watch and use…especially when other people see me doing it. And perhaps that’s the more likely outcome. The tablet will make viewing this stuff more sexy (and Apple knows sexy) and that might be cool enough.

Maybe that’s why I’m not as caught up in the excitement. I’m use to the good looking, easy to use, innovative Apple product, so it’s a bit anti-climatic. Maybe I need something more than a really big iPod touch. In addition, I may be harboring some deeper media concerns. I’d hate to think those in the print and broadcast media are waiting around for Apple to save their keisters.

We’ll find out what impact such a device will have in the months to come. In the meantime I’ll be impressed with how Apple can inspire all the hoopla…as well as innovation and raise awareness of technology, without ever seeming to be late.

Image courtesy of Disney

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