Jeffrey posted his prediction that the tablet computer hoopla will turn out to be just that–hoopla–last week.
As I mentioned in a comment to his post, tablets have been around for a long time in various forms. So why don’t we see more persons using them?
I do not think it’s because the market is waiting for a break-through product. I think it’s because most persons just don’t care. That something is technologically possible does not make it desirable.
Much of the hype around tablets seems to have nothing to do with the tech and a lot to do with new ways of separating users from dollars. From a column in the Guardian:
That expectation was all but confirmed by a story carefully leaked to the Wall Street Journal last Monday, detailing a possible price, and suggesting that “people briefed by Apple also say that the company believes it could redefine the way consumers interact with a variety of content”.
It’s the latter phrase that has media companies – producers of books, newspapers, films, TV, music, and especially, for some reason, newspapers – gasping like parched travellers in a desert. They look at the success of the iPhone (which, before its announcement, had mobile phone makers laughing: Apple? A computer company? Make a phone?) and gasp: let the iTablet lead us out of this wilderness of non-paying customers!
In other words, the theory is that users will pay extra money to watch television or movies on a tablet, when they are not willing to pay extra money to watch that same stuff on other devices.
I am skeptical. And here’s why: Most of us who are plugged in already pay substantial sums of money for “entertainment.” It’s called a “cable bill.” I suspect that most persons who are paying hefty cable or telephone bills for entertainment feeds feel as if they are already paying for their entertainment and will be less than eager to pay twice–or three times–for more of the same.
More interesting is the story on Apple rumors, which happened to flow right along with Jeffrey’s conclusions. From the website:
The first concrete report on the tablet from a mainstream news organization came this week from the Wall Street Journal . The article cites “people briefed with the company,” but states without qualification that device will ship this March. So where did this information come from? John Martellaro, a former senior marketing manager at Apple, says it shows all the signs of a controlled leak from Apple.
Follow this link for the full episode (a transcript is scheduled to be posted later today).