Apple has been toying with bloggers and enthusiasts for weeks, like tormenting a cat with a ball of string.
For weeks the company has been churning up rumours in the underworld, controlling leaks to work in their favour, as well as on the side building an iPhone to about three times the original size. There has been so much hype and misdirection, hoaxes and blatant fakes, trickles of rumour and sporadic exclusives.
Poor Sam Diaz. Last week he got so excited after receiving his Apple announcement invitation, we had to chain him up for three days for his own safety. He was vibrating more than an ADHD-child who had been force-fed Red Bull, cola and any other caffeine and anxiety inducing fizzy drink.
But back in real life, we have only a few minutes before some form of announcement goes live. The likelihood of Jason Calacanis actually having an Apple tablet is high, but if he was given one in the first place albeit under non-disclosure, he must have some positive link with the company first off. I would say his opinion is somewhat biased. Nevertheless, what he claims is:
- A built-in HDTV tuner and PVR. It’s “amazing” for newspapers, and video-conferencing is “super stable but nothing new”.
- Two cameras - one in front, one in back.
- Thumbpads on each side for mouse gestures and fingerprint security for the family.
- Gaming that, he says, is “sick” [good]. “Basically nintendo wii-level innovation. Custom farmville app is insane.”
- The tablet connects to other tablets over wifi for gaming.
- Battery life of 2-3 hours playing games - and a solar pad for recharging that “really doesn’t work quickly”.
Yawn.Where's the super killing death ray? Does it have missiles that shoot out from the side and heat-seek enemy combatants? Will it transform into a life-sized hot water bottle with adjustable heat control to comfort you even in the dead of a Siberian winter? No, and admittedly that would be going to far.
Maybe given a push, the user sharing plus facial recognition features. On passing the device from one person to another, the device will detect that user's face and pull up their desktop and applications without having to physically log in. Granted, I'll give them that one, but it's more of a gimmick than a killer feature.
But my point is that there's nothing particularly new. It really is an overweight, larger iPhone with possible 3G connectivity, with e-reading capabilities and maybe an expansion to the App Store to incorporate tablet-specific applications.
Apple has grown to be a very secretive, yet carefully strategic company in its public relations and its fan base. With their following and the collective compassion, love and desire for current and future products, even if an iPhone 3GS was re-released with a limited edition Apple branded flash drive, we wouldn't stop hearing about it for weeks.
West coast, enjoy your day of sunshine and blue sky - which you will probably see from the awful glossy screen - and let this device fade into the technological history books as the biggest anti-climax of the decade.