5 Reasons Why The Apple Tablet Might FAIL - gHacks Tech News

5 Reasons Why The Apple Tablet Might FAIL

apple-logoWith all the rumors around the device and the vast number of different sources of those rumors, it seems like Apple really is going to release the fabled tablet early next year. But will it be all that great? There is precedence of super-hyped Apple products failing spectacularly. In this context, the best example would the Newton Message Pad.

There were many reasons behind it failing and they were there because the concept was way ahead of the available and affordable consumer technology at that time.

So now that we are on the brink of another tablet from the company, I would like to tone down all our expectations a little and give you a dose of practicality in this post.

  • The OS Problem – The tablet will be a very unique device. It is exactly halfway between the iPhone and the MacBooks. So there are two choices for Apple – scale up the iPhone OS or scale down OS X. Logically, scaling down the full sized OS X would pose a lot of problems in terms of expectations and engineering. Scaling up the iPhone OS makes much more sense. But then, what do you tell the app devs? Here’s a new iPhone OS resolution and specs, make apps for it? The third choice is making a whole new OS. But that would mean forcing users to learn something new and making things more complicated (three OS’ to maintain). We are lazy people.
  • The Portability Problem – Would you really like to carry around a 10.6inch glass tablet? I thought not. It will fracture all too easily. This structural problem can only be overcome by making A) a tough lid for it or B) a touchscreen built out of shatterproof, bulletproof, extra tough glass that can take a straight punch to the face and stay intact. The second option would make the device far too expensive and the first would make it the lid an almost redundant piece. Detachable or not, it would not be very helpful about the portability and usability.
  • Weight And Battery Life – All that screen space and whatever the processing power is, requires power. And everyone knows that more battery power means more weight. So what would you rather have? A 3-cell battery that does not last long or a 9-cell battery that makes it impossible to carry the device for too long? And let’s not talk about the screen brightness. Forget working under direct sunlight; let’s see this device remain workable in a brightly lit room without dying in an hour.
  • Processing Power and Performance – With battery life already an issue, one must  wonder – how much processing power would this tablet have? Something around 600MHz like the iPhone 3GS just won’t cut it for this large a device. You need to have something fairly muscle-bound, like an Intel ULV or Atom at the very least. Now think of a netbook and think of the frustratingly sluggish performance. Apple would probably need to artificially block multi-tasking on the tablet as well. Bummer.
  • Usability – Will someone please tell me how the hell am I supposed to use this tablet? I am almost certain that I can’t hold in one hand because it will be too heavy. Besides, I would really like to use both hands on a 10.6inch touchscreen. Also, Apple would be loath to include a kickstand on the device, which would totally destroy the aesthetics of the curved and polished back that it apparently has. So the only remaining way is to keep it on a flat surface parallel to the ground and bend over to use it. As a blogger I already spend too much time sitting badly and getting backaches. I could live without more. So unless Apple makes this thing levitate in mid air, this does not look very useful to me.

apple-tablet-patent-400

Of course, knowing Apple and dear Stevie, each of these reasons has already caused a total reset. So hopefully, we will see another masterpiece from Apple early next year. And if it fails, you read about it at gHacks!

Advertisement

We need your help

Advertising revenue is falling fast across the Internet, and independently-run sites like Ghacks are hit hardest by it. The advertising model in its current form is coming to an end, and we have to find other ways to continue operating this site.

We are committed to keeping our content free and independent, which means no paywalls, no sponsored posts, no annoying ad formats or subscription fees.

If you like our content, and would like to help, please consider making a contribution:


Previous Post: «
Next Post: »

Comments

  1. Flo said on October 16, 2009 at 2:40 pm
    Reply

    I couldn’t agree more with your last paragraph. Given all the reports they are building it, and that it is going to come out, I’m sure all of the above mentioned (and probably a lot more) went through Stevie’s head a number of times, and I’m also sure the sollutions are well under way. Probably one of the reasons for the delay (initial reports from 2 very Apple-friendly financial analysts noted the tablet coming up on time for this year’s Christmas season).
    The OS is imho not such a bad problem. When the iPhone came out, and the app store, devs started developing apps for it. Period. Whoever came too late to the party missed out a lot. That’s why I rather see this trend repeating itself. Many of the devs who missed out on the iphone apps initial goldrush, will no doubt want to be a part of this one.
    Further, the usability issue is rather relative. The tablet is not intended for bloggers, but rather for readers. And the way anyone sits or stands in front of a PC (whether its a desktop, laptop or otherwise) depends on the person, not on the producer.

  2. RattyUK said on October 16, 2009 at 5:56 pm
    Reply

    5 Reasons this article fails.

    1) “The tablet will be a very unique device.”
    There are no degrees of uniqueness something is either unique or not.

    2) There is no “scaling of the OS” required.
    Do the following if you have access to Snow Leopard:
    Create a test user, Select Parental Controls, turn on SImple Finder, Log into Account.
    Click on the Application folder in the dock. It opens a mac finder window, with fixed icons (like the “apps” on the iphone) and a single click (synonymous with “touching”) and the app launches.
    Click on the documents folder in the dock and it shows you your documents, single click on a doc and it opens. This is a Mac – but it works like an ipod touch.
    SO I think Apple have already done the work that you suggest should be a “third way”. It is in the OS all the time.

    3)”Would you really like to carry around a 10.6inch glass tablet? I thought not. It will fracture all too easily.” and “Weight And Battery Life”
    So you know the spec of what Apple are releasing eh? Cool. Can you show us the proof please?
    Why not wait until there is a product before you start to criticize? I mean less hits for you now but at least you would actually have something to talk about.

    4) “With battery life already an issue, one must wonder – how much processing power would this tablet have?”
    Funny that, I mean it’s not like Apple haven’t bought PA-Semi – one of the largest ARM designers in the world. So maybe they’ll just go Intel instead of doing this in house. As with the OSX stuff it looks like you haven’t done your homework.

    5) “Will someone please tell me how the hell am I supposed to use this tablet? I am almost certain that I can’t hold in one hand because it will be too heavy.”
    Again you know nothing about what you are critisizing I suggest we bookmark this article and see how it stacks up when Apple actually release a product.

    1. Shailpik said on October 16, 2009 at 8:09 pm
      Reply

      Actually, I put in the last paragraph to say exactly that, that all these points are likely to have been thought about. But yes, I do agree that I overlooked the PA Semi take over. Thanks for the detailed comment. :)

    2. fag said on November 4, 2009 at 6:57 am
      Reply

      wow dogg, ur a super fanboy….

  3. Ishan@ILoveFreeSoftware said on October 16, 2009 at 8:03 pm
    Reply

    6) Price – Apple has always been pricey as compared to PC counterparts.

    1. Shailpik said on October 16, 2009 at 8:13 pm
      Reply

      The tablet is likely to be subsidized by carriers like the iPhone. After all, you will need a data connection on the go or else it won’t be all that fun. Besides, Apple knows all too well that they have to cut prices in order to remain competitive in this market.

  4. robinson said on October 16, 2009 at 11:57 pm
    Reply

    Nice piece! Good insights and raises the very issues that an iTablet faces. Let’s hope that Apple has figured out ways of solving them!

    I do see a stand for it and a bluetooth keyboard as welcome accessories. I also see a need for a case or top to protect the screen.

    On another note, why does the text entry box for comments here scroll left and right? Shouldn’t it be one size and word wrap comfortably? Perhaps it’s because I have larger font size, but the box should remain the same size and text wrap!

    1. Shailpik said on October 18, 2009 at 4:29 pm
      Reply

      Hi Robinson,

      Thanks for your comment and the heads up about the comment box text entry issue. We will test it out ourselves and try to fix it if something’s broken. :)

  5. Taco said on October 17, 2009 at 5:24 am
    Reply

    Hmm, Apples best feature has always been hype. How they became the darlings of the industry is beyond me. Darwins theory will see this company fail sooner or later. Just like the iPhone, I’ll play with it but I’d never commit.

    1. RattyUK said on October 17, 2009 at 10:18 pm
      Reply

      “How they became the darlings of the industry is beyond me.”
      Well, because they take stuff and make it easy to use. It’s nice that you hold the belief that it is all hype but honestly it really has nothing to do with hype. Go believe that if you so insist but it doesn’t explain how well Microsoft is doing by throwing money at all their little projects. If it were just hype then anyone could do it.

      “Darwins theory will see this company fail sooner or later.”
      I think Dawin’s theory is about the survival of the fittest – in which case only the strongest and best survive – so what part of Darwin’s theory would support your wish?

      “Just like the iPhone, I’ll play with it but I’d never commit.”
      Yes, but millions of others do commit so Apple aren’t losing out to your sale really are they?

      1. Taco said on October 18, 2009 at 6:18 am
        Reply

        “Well, because they take stuff and make it easy to use. It’s nice that you hold the belief that it is all hype but honestly it really has nothing to do with hype. Go believe that if you so insist but it doesn’t explain how well Microsoft is doing by throwing money at all their little projects. If it were just hype then anyone could do it.”
        Yes, there stuff is easy to use and look good in TV shows and movies. Is Windows really that tough? Microsoft is an easy punching bag and I’ll join in any day but they can afford to make mistakes. Half of Asia’s online transactions are slaves to ActiveX and now they’re weaseling their way into to Linux with Mono and the kernel. But Apples new toy gets all the HYPE, set it on the front page of Amazon next to the Kindle and watch it collect dust.

        “I think Dawin’s theory is about the survival of the fittest – in which case only the strongest and best survive – so what part of Darwin’s theory would support your wish?”
        Note that it is not my “wish” and Google comments above if you’re still confused. Darwin’s theory also says a little something about adaptation. How many Apple adapters are there anyway (cheap pun but I couldn’t resist). I wouldn’t mind to see someone slap M$ around but I’d put more money on Cannonical than Apple.

        “Yes, but millions of others do commit so Apple aren’t losing out to your sale really are they?”
        …and millions more like me that see past the HYPE.

      2. RattyUK said on October 19, 2009 at 7:52 am
        Reply

        “Yes, there stuff is easy to use and look good in TV shows and movies. Is Windows really that tough?”
        Nope, but it is a tacky copy.

        “…But Apples new toy gets all the HYPE, set it on the front page of Amazon next to the Kindle and watch it collect dust.”
        ‘Sfunny that. As I pointed out further up this thing doesn’t exist and yet “it gets all the hype”. Hmmm I can’t defend it because it doesn’t exist.

        “Note that it is not my “wish” and Google comments above if you’re still confused. Darwin’s theory also says a little something about adaptation. How many Apple adapters are there anyway (cheap pun but I couldn’t resist). I wouldn’t mind to see someone slap M$ around but I’d put more money on Cannonical than Apple.”
        I realize that English may not be your first language but try and stop the puns and put something I can understand in so I can respond. I have no idea what you meant there.

        “…and millions more like me that see past the HYPE.”
        There is no hype.

        Look I understand that some people hate Apple. I understand that you may be one of them. What I don’t understand is that you can belittle Apple for some of the genuine progress that they have made in ease of use.

        Microsoft have been trying to make the “tablet” thing work for years. They have had many iterations of the OS dedicated to trying to make this stuff usable and the point is that it has been a disaster on all fronts. Horrible pseudo-laptops that fold back on themselves and work like that stuff the designers saw on Star Trek. The problem is that it is a cludge. Nobody has managed to make this stuff work.

        Microsoft had the lead in Smartphone OS or so they kept telling us, with Windows Mobile and then the iPhone appeared and showed everyone how you can make this stuff actually work. The hype I think you are referring to was the fact that people were genuinely interested in something that you could pick up and use. No mystery.

        I can understand that you might be a geek who gets off on using technology for technology’s sake. Well good for you, but you know what? Most people aren’t interested in that. Which is why reducing Apple’s work down to a list of features means people don’t get it.

        Take, for instance, Verizon’s attempt to take down the iPhone with their “idon’t” product (yes I know it is actually called Droid – but if you watch the ad it might just as well be called idon’t) but they are completely missing the point. It is not about the spec, it is about how it is used. So saying that you have a 5 megapixel camera that takes pictures in the dark is irrelevant.

        They have also blown it completely by making the advert look and sound like an iPhone advert. The people watching the advert who Verizon hope to sell to will just think it is an Apple ad. So some of this so-called hype is self-fulfilling.

  6. RM Camp said on March 9, 2012 at 9:35 pm
    Reply

    So, um, after nearly two-and-a-half years, what do you have to say for yourself, guy? Not only was the iPad a success, but it also paved the way for the glut of non-Apple tablets.

  7. Vineet said on September 8, 2012 at 2:53 am
    Reply

    Reading these articles roday on September 8th 2012 is hilarious and this one reason why speculation is bad

Leave a Reply

Check the box to consent to your data being stored in line with the guidelines set out in our privacy policy

Please note that your comment may not appear immediately after you post it.