Could the Mac Tablet be far behind the iPhone?

Could the Mac Tablet be far behind the iPhone?

Summary: Lev Grossman's story in Time describes how the iPhone germinated in a project to develop a tablet PC:The iPhone developed the way a lot of cool things do: with a false start. A few years ago Jobs noticed how many development dollars were being spent—particularly in the greater Seattle metropolitan area—on what are called tablet PCs: flat, portable computers that work with a touchscreen instead of a mouse and keyboard.

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TOPICS: Tech Industry
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Lev Grossman's story in Time describes how the iPhone germinated in a project to develop a tablet PC:

The iPhone developed the way a lot of cool things do: with a false start. A few years ago Jobs noticed how many development dollars were being spent—particularly in the greater Seattle metropolitan area—on what are called tablet PCs: flat, portable computers that work with a touchscreen instead of a mouse and keyboard. Jobs, being Jobs, figured he could do better, so he had Apple engineers noodle around with a tablet PC. When they showed him the touchscreen they came up with, he got excited. So excited he forgot all about tablet computers.

Now that the touch screen technology has been perfected, patented and proven to work on a 3.5-inch, 160-pixel-per-inch screen, it's logical that one of Steve Jobs' next acts with be a series of laptop-sized Mac tablets that take advantage of all the R&D on the iPhone and the Mac OS.

After Jobs' keynote, I spoke briefly with Alan Kay, who more than 30 years ago came up with the idea of the Dynabook, which had the specs of a laptop/tablet computer. He also worked at Apple in the 1980s in the Advanced Development Group.

I asked Kay if he liked the iPhone. He responded by pulling out a black covered 6x8-inch paper notebook and said that he would like it to be that size. 

It looks like Kay's vision of the Dynabook will finally come to fruition. Given the preference of graphics-oriented users for the Macintosh platform, a  Mac tablet would be sure bet to bring the tablet concept mainstream, which Microsoft has been trying to do for years without much success.

Kay is also famous for saying, "The best way to predict the future is to invent it."

Topic: Tech Industry

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5 comments
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  • Murderers like to block out their past

    After the sell-out, spin-back-and-suffocate Newton murder in 1997 - Jobs DID promise a MacOS Apple handheld "in the future". Either his guilty conscience or a secret agreement kept him from doing this for over 10 years. How would an Apple tablet today differ from the Newtons of yesteryear? They would be bigger . . .
    Roger Ramjet
  • Solar

    Yes, and hasn't the move to black been in preparation for a light-rechargeable battery?

    No moving parts.

    2 GB RAM

    40 GB Flash memory, in place of a disk drive (not in a flash drive, but in 5 x 8mg memory sticks, of which 4 are removeable, replaceable)

    A remote that is also a VOIP phone.

    A sling you can use to carry it with you. Your whole digital life with you at all times (who needs a separate iPod or Phone).

    At home, a blue-ray sync/backup drive,
    rimbaud@...
  • If only there were a market for it...

    Honestly, the only people I've ever seen crying out for a tablet computer are tech writers. How many tech writers are there? Is that a large enough niche to support a product?
    tic swayback
  • The Mc Tablet is here

    How come nobody has mentioned about the only Mac Tablet, that was part of the rumour before Macworld Expo 08. Its the Modbook by Axiotron. They have merged a Macbook & a Wacom Cintique touch screen in one package. It may not be a featherweight like the MBA but it sure is an amazing product. http://axiotron.com/index.php?id=modbook
    kunald4@...
  • The Mac Tablet is here

    How come nobody has mentioned about the only Mac Tablet, that was part of the rumour before Macworld Expo 08. Its the Modbook by Axiotron. They have merged a Macbook & a Wacom Cintique touch screen in one package. It may not be a featherweight like the MBA but it sure is an amazing product. http://axiotron.com/index.php?id=modbook
    kunald4@...