Apple Media Tablet

Despite denials from Steve Jobs and interim CEO Tim Cook, Apple appears to be working on a Netbook-like, so called Media Tablet. This appears to be a 10inch touchscreen tablet without a keyboard. The Seeking Alpha reviewers are raving and already talking $300 price for Apple stock. Now this blog has already written extensively on the NetBook Tipping Point problem faced by Apple (and Microsoft as well) … and we beg to differ on the media tablet’s success depending on what is missing.

Our prognosis is that if Apple misses on two of the four feature decisions, then the fruit they will be delivering will be a Lemon.

The conjecture is that the Apple Media Tablet will have
a)no keyboard – possibly an imbedded on screen keyboard. Serious deficiency in either case. Given the popularity of texting but the speed possible with full keyboard – this would be major deficit and would not blunt the growing popularity of Netbooks.
b)no mobile phone connection – this simply may not be true and Apple would offer an extra cost mobile phone+media tablet. If it is true and there is no or limited web connectivity, this product is an Edsel. If there is web connectivity, then Skype et al provide a web based phone alternative. In either case Apple has some very tough choices to make – cannibalize laptop or cannibalize iPhone sales. Also recent and extensive negotiations with Verizon would seem to discount this option – i.e. Apple chooses some iPhone cannibalization.
c)limited number and/or apple proprietary ports – this would help Apple tackle cannibal problem above but would interfere with device being able to interact with its own iPod, iPhone and Macbook devices unless they are infra-red or BluRay enabled. This choice of limited device support/availability is unlikely but…
d)dollar bill size screen – this is a high resolution screen allowing movies and iTunes media/shows to appear very crisply on the device. But again this will not deter Netbooks. This might be a temporary iPod-like strategy until Apple can build up a bigger supply of large touchscreens. Then the bigger screen could become a 8-month ahead logical add-on to Media Tablet II.
As one can see Apple is skirting a very close line between its current Brand – “we bring you superlative innovation at a fair leading edge price” versus how do we protect our iPhone and laptops from the incoming tide of Netbooks and other Taiwanese/Chinese electronic innovations. Our prognosis is that if Apple misses on two of the above four feature decisions, then fruit they will be delivering will be a Lemon.