My dream: an Apple tablet

My dream: an Apple tablet

Summary: I had a dream last night about the iPod (I know, I know) and how it morphed into a tablet Mac.

SHARE:
TOPICS: Apple
15

Apple tablet conceptI had a dream last night about the iPod (I know, I know) and how it morphed into a tablet Mac.

As I've previously mentioned here, the iPhone could be a clever decoy planted by Apple to misdirect attention from the real Macworld show stoppers - whatever they may be.

Steve Jobs has told us that iTV is coming, so that's a given, but what about the iPod? Cupertino has been famously silent about their little media player and the timing's right for an upgrade. There's no shortage of patent applications indicating that Apple is developing a full-screen iPod with a touch screen interface. Which got me to thinking...

Apple could easily release a full-screen iPod with a touch screen interface (that also supports hovering to avoid scratches). Where it would really become interesting is if the new iPod ran a simplified version of Mac OS X.

Instead of the iPod OS, the new sixth generation iPod (which I'm calling "iPad") would run Mac OS X lite. Gone is basic drill-down iPod interface we've all grown accustomed to, iPad would ship with a lite version of iTunes with the ability to edit ID3 tags and metadata, display visualizers, even access the iTunes store. In addition to iTunes lite, the iPad would also include iPhoto lite for browsing photos and offloading digital cameras.

In my dream, the iPad was such a success Apple expanded on the concept and released a slightly larger version with an expansion slot at WWDC in the summer of 2007. The new, larger version of the iPad was more of an ultralight computer as opposed to just a media player which doubled as an interface to the iTV and accepted stylus-based input. Apple tablet patent

After iPad 2 sold extremely well, Apple released the larger 10-inch diagonal iPad 3 at Macworld SF 2008 running OS X tablet edition with killer handwriting and voice recognition.

The 10-inch iPad easily converted into a desktop setup if you pop out the kickstand and add a Bluetooth keyboard and mouse. iPad 3 also included a dock that would charge the unit and synchronize relevant content (email, RSS, music and video subscriptions, DVR content) in the background.

Keep in mind that Apple was granted a patent in March 2004 for an "electronic device" that they compared to several tablet PCs. Then in February 2006 they patented several touch-input user interface methods (i.e. using multiple fingers, gestures and motions) including a drawing of a person using a tablet-like device (pictured).

So there you have it. Apple's sixth generation iPod could morph into a dockable tablet that could convert into a desktop setup. Granted it's a little out there, but a man can dream, can't he?

(Concept photo courtesy Gary Franklin Haus' Pixel Mojo

[poll id=17]

Topic: Apple

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

Talkback

15 comments
Log in or register to join the discussion
  • What does Apple add

    that doesn't already exist in that space? I've used tablet pc's on and off for a while, and what you describe has been done, over and over again. Sometimes very well, sometimes not.
    And outside of some fairly narrow markets, it always turns into an over priced, under powered, awkward solution.
    mdemuth
  • Apple will likely revolutionize this category

    I share your dream of an Apple tablet. This is a category of devices (UMPC) that will take an Apple to revolutionize - much like they did with the MP3 player category.

    I can just see an Apple 5-7" diagonal "UM-MAC" (not UMPC) based on Intel IA/x86, touch screen, with WiMax/HSDPA/WiFi, slimmed down OSX - $499.
    This will turn the smartphone category on it's ear.
    Prognosticator
    • I couldn't agree more . . .

      and the specs would be just right for me. I believe that even though Tablets are stale
      and not doing very well, a product with some inspiration could change all of that.
      Currently, what I see are a bunch of warmed over laptops with a kludge for a screen
      twist. The iPod was born into a market of mediocrity and look where it is today.
      Apple has shown us for years that the product doesn't have to sell 'billions' to be a
      success, but enough to an INSPIRED market -- and I think that market is out there
      looking to be inspired. And I, along with the 87% who voted YES (so far), obviously
      have enough faith in Apple in their ability to pull it off.
      999ad@...
  • Your dream should have ended

    The moment you said, after the tablet sells well. Tablets aren't selling well anywhere.
    They're a vertical market corporate product, an area where Apple has almost zero
    presence.
    frgough
  • Rod of the mighty!

    Apple needs to step up to the installed user base.

    Start clocking fools. Thinking different is better.

    Apple has lost its shock value.

    Hearts and Minds.

    Innovation breeds adoption.

    Now I have to go break a chair.
    jm4az
  • Not that interested

    I believe tablets work OK in some environments. My wife's doctor gives one
    to her patients for a questionnaire/survey while waiting to see the doc and,
    in that environment, it works well. It's also good in hospitals for recording
    data, like vital signs, which can be transferred to the patient's record
    wirelessly.

    But we're talking specific tasks with talk oriented programs here - not
    everyday computer use. The open front might present a problem in soft
    sided briefcases and a BT keyboard would be a pain to drag around in the
    briefcase - might as well integrate them into the tablet. Ooops - we're
    back to a notebook.

    The excitement of an OS X Lite in the iPod/iPhone lies in the abilities to
    have closer integration with the Mac, such as ticking pics and/or folders in
    iPhoto to download during the sync. Same with the Address Book.

    the potential is even more exciting when you consider the potential for the
    current Mac 3rd party developers who have small apps that could be made
    "lite" and downloaded. I'm talking about the mass of SMALL shareware and
    freeware apps, not PhotoShop. I use WorldTimes and that is a good
    example, as it Bookpedia. Your favorite Widgets might also be on the list.

    That potential delivers more excitement (and sales) than a tablet for me. It
    also causes a great upheaval in the mobile market where the tablet is just
    another tablet, but with OS X.
    Ken_z
  • iMobile Tablet

    I would love to have an Apple iMOBILE tablet - net, compute, communicate, maps, music, info, messaging, photos, films, entertainment -- all bundled for the "mobile" and on the go experience
    Techpert
  • Re...

    Apple will name it "iTablet" and then Apple fanboys can run around claiming that tablet is Apple's "innovation".
    qquidd@...
    • z-z-z-z-z-z . . .

      wake me when you have something of value to say . . .z-z-z-z-z
      999ad@...
  • iPad... that's cute!

    I have thought for a long time that the iPod has much more potential than we have
    seen up to now. I even went so far to predict an Apple Tablet PC on my own blog
    at http://newbeltane.blogspot.com/2006_05_01_archive.html based on a larger
    version of the iPod.

    If we do see this come out in the New Year and they do call it an iPad, will you
    claim royalties?!

    Seriously though, I would love an iPhone but its somewhat of a departure for
    Apple. A tablet Mac makes a lot more sense, at least for the forseeable future.
    Setting up a phone company is a different kettle of fish I would think for Apple
    than updating an existing product line. However, if they do bring out the iPhone
    any time soon I will be right at the front of the queue!
    celtxian
  • Oh, yea!

    I'd go for it!
    Put the SSD Sandisk 32 gb in it for instant on, better survivability, etc.
    dalspartan
  • corporate

    Corp IT has been very reluctant to incorporate Tablet-style PC's because of
    ignorance. They don't know how other employees work, so they stick with what
    makes them comfortable.
    Our IT refuses to even consider them, meanwhile most of the salesmen do what the
    rest of the salesmen do, write it on paper, then transfer it to the laptop that night.
    Either go with dummy terminals at the house, or get us Tablets, 'cause it doesn't
    work otherwise.
    PS I like the "instant on" functionality of my PDA.
    dalspartan
  • i love apple products

    i love to have one when that's come, but that will be too expensive in my country.iran
    farhang67
  • Schools - Students using tablets

    Tablets for students: Arguments? How about ENGAGING classes: student-extensible teacher-provided outlines and examples, annotate-able electronic texts, interactive learning, securely distributed in-class work and grading for more USEFUL teacher/student review and parental feedback? How about resulting reduction in price and more useful products (the biggest problem with tablet adoption)? How about simply adding a Bluetooth keyboard, touch or speech AS NEEDED if that is your preference? My own productivity soars with just tablet-based annotation!
    DigiMediaMan
  • RE: My dream: an Apple tablet

    I look at this today and smile!
    toobad