5 Reasons Why The Apple Tablet Might FAIL

15 Ott/09

apple-logoWith all the rumors around the device and the vast number of different sources of those rumors, it seems like Apple really is going to release the fabled tablet early next year. But will it be all that great? There is precedence of super-hyped Apple products failing spectacularly. In this context, the best example would the Newton Message Pad.

There were many reasons behind it failing and they were there because the concept was way ahead of the available and affordable consumer technology at that time.

So now that we are on the brink of another tablet from the company, I would like to tone down all our expectations a little and give you a dose of practicality in this post.

  • The OS Problem – The tablet will be a very unique device. It is exactly halfway between the iPhone and the MacBooks. So there are two choices for Apple – scale up the iPhone OS or scale down OS X. Logically, scaling down the full sized OS X would pose a lot of problems in terms of expectations and engineering. Scaling up the iPhone OS makes much more sense. But then, what do you tell the app devs? Here’s a new iPhone OS resolution and specs, make apps for it? The third choice is making a whole new OS. But that would mean forcing users to learn something new and making things more complicated (three OS’ to maintain). We are lazy people.
  • The Portability Problem – Would you really like to carry around a 10.6inch glass tablet? I thought not. It will fracture all too easily. This structural problem can only be overcome by making A) a tough lid for it or B) a touchscreen built out of shatterproof, bulletproof, extra tough glass that can take a straight punch to the face and stay intact. The second option would make the device far too expensive and the first would make it the lid an almost redundant piece. Detachable or not, it would not be very helpful about the portability and usability.
  • Weight And Battery Life – All that screen space and whatever the processing power is, requires power. And everyone knows that more battery power means more weight. So what would you rather have? A 3-cell battery that does not last long or a 9-cell battery that makes it impossible to carry the device for too long? And let’s not talk about the screen brightness. Forget working under direct sunlight; let’s see this device remain workable in a brightly lit room without dying in an hour.
  • Processing Power and Performance – With battery life already an issue, one must  wonder – how much processing power would this tablet have? Something around 600MHz like the iPhone 3GS just won’t cut it for this large a device. You need to have something fairly muscle-bound, like an Intel ULV or Atom at the very least. Now think of a netbook and think of the frustratingly sluggish performance. Apple would probably need to artificially block multi-tasking on the tablet as well. Bummer.
  • Usability – Will someone please tell me how the hell am I supposed to use this tablet? I am almost certain that I can’t hold in one hand because it will be too heavy. Besides, I would really like to use both hands on a 10.6inch touchscreen. Also, Apple would be loath to include a kickstand on the device, which would totally destroy the aesthetics of the curved and polished back that it apparently has. So the only remaining way is to keep it on a flat surface parallel to the ground and bend over to use it. As a blogger I already spend too much time sitting badly and getting backaches. I could live without more. So unless Apple makes this thing levitate in mid air, this does not look very useful to me.


Of course, knowing Apple and dear Stevie, each of these reasons has already caused a total reset. So hopefully, we will see another masterpiece from Apple early next year. And if it fails, you read about it at gHacks!

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