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Will it Ever Be?

July 21, 2009 - Dave Hecei
There have been rumors of a Mac tablet computer for quite a while now. With the insurgence of the PC netbook this year, this rumor has taken a new twist. Will Apple ever make a tablet Mac? Some say they already have.

In fact the iPhone/iPod Touch (we’ll just say iPhone from now on) is a Mac tablet computer. Yes it is small, it doesn’t have a true keyboard, but the iPhone is a computer. In fact the iPhone has many more times the computing power of the original Apple II, and that was definitely a computer.

The iPhone has risen from a phone/PDA device to become a full computer, partly from the ability to access the Internet but mostly from the now year old iPhone App store. In the first year of operation the App Store has doled out over 1.5 billion applications. That’s billion with a B. While Apple doesn’t say, I’m sure that a good portion of this number is for the many little free Apps in the store. There are some amazing Apps for the iPhone that cover a whole gambit of topics and range from 99 cents on up.

With the release of a new iPhone model, mainly a feature bump but this also included an improvement in processor speed and graphics. With this new iPhone model came a new OS version, 3.0, which added some very interesting and much needed new features. Finally the iPhone gets cut-and-paste functionality, along with a much-anticipated turn-by-turn GPS navigation feature.

While the new iPhone and new iPhone OS, available for older models, can be considered a tablet computer and is available today, there are still rumors that Apple will make a larger tablet Mac. While nobody can confirm the existence of such a thing, if Apple bought the right product to the market they could corner a part of the market where they haven’t been able to do much business, the Netbook/eBook reader market.

If Apple were to make say something like the iPod Touch, but bigger, this could be the ultimate media player, ebook reader, tablet/pad Internet device, and netbook. Instead of being a Mac it would more likely be an iPod. The iPhone/iPod Touch uses Mac OS, just a special version with one of the best touch interfaces available. It would need WiFi and AT&T 3G connections for Internet access. The Amazon Kindle would be in trouble. PC netbooks would be in trouble.

Now that Steve Jobs is back to work, we’ll just have to see if Apple has something up their sleeve. Personally, I’m hoping it’s a new iPod Tablet.


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