Thursday, January 7, 2010

2010 : The year of the Tablet/E-Book Reader

I was (and am) waiting for the Apple Tablet to be released. It is expected to be announced January 25th or 26th. Expectations for it are sky high. Here are some of the things I have read about it on Tech blogs

1. The price will be $800
2. It will have a new, and very surprising method by which you interact with it. Do you sing to it?
3. It will have the regular color screen, apps, multi-touch interface
4. It will include an E-Book reader
5. Steve Jobs is happy with it. That is saying a lot!

But even before the launch of the Apple tablet there are many other devices that either are already here, or are expected to be announced soon:

1. HP/Microsoft's Slate Tablet released at Consumer Electronic Show
2. Plastic Logic's Que ebook reader (video below). It's pitch is that it is flexible, shatter proof and completely designed for Business. It features full control by touch, ability to view documents, synchronize calendar with outlook, pin favorite things, receive books by wireless etc.

Plastic Logic shows off Que eBook reader from Dean Takahashi on Vimeo.

3.HP's Android tablet here

And so on and so forth. But what do you really want from a tablet/ebook reader Device? The way I look at it, I always question - what device does the Tablet replace? This is true of most new gadgets. Even the iPod replaced a device - the CD Player. It also replaced you carrying around a 1000 CDs. The apple tablet must replace a few simple things for me - a pen, a notebook, and books that I read. It must include a eReader, but be a lot more.

This is what I want:

1. A single device - not a separate ebook reader and tablet PC

2. Calendar/email integration

3. Ability to download and run apps

4. A replacement for the notebook - with a stylus pen, and ability to add comments to documents, create notes and synch with a service like Evernote

5. Price less than $500. Because I am a student

6. Wireless capability for downloading books

What are the questions apple faces:

1. How to get wireless service on the device? Would users be willing to pay for another connection?

2. How to get content - books, videos etc? It can rely on iTunes for everything else other than books. But what about books? Partnerships? Perhaps a partnership with Amazon, which might be very contentious, given the Kindle?

I am waiting eagerly for January 26th...

1 comment:

  1. I think it's been more than 2 years since I read the rumor of a 'new apple tablet' for the first time. boy was I excited, just to be disappointed by keynote after keynote where it wasn't presented.

    I guess this time chances are really high that it's going to happen, especially considering that everyone else is trying to get into the market.

    I want a device that allows me to surf the web, read articles/books/emails and watch pictures/videos. All that using the capabilities of multi-touch and thereby enhancing the experience. I think portability and multi-touch are the real game-changer.

    As for the e-book content - it's true that the usual book-providers already announced their own partnerships or have their own devices (amazon: kindle, b&n: nook, borders: spring design's reader, etc.). However, I think Apple will go to the source itself - the publishers and get the content from them. Leaves open newspapers... that one is going to be interesting.

    iTunes - I agree that Apple will need another design than the one used for music, video & audio-books, since those can be promoted/sampled with 30s snippets of the actual audio/video content.

    However, it's just a matter of adding another tab with a different design that fits better. They also did it for mobile applications.
    To be honest - I wouldn't be surprised if Apple decides to rename itunes altogether, since it's no longer just a music-organizer/shop.

    (sorry for the long comment)