As a rumor, the Apple tablet can be anything to anyone. We’ve all latched on to the idea that it’s a symbol of hope for the struggling print media industry. We’ve also taken the lack of substantiation as free reign to imagine a device capable of the impossible. We can even dream that we’re a part of a history-making event that we’ll one day tell our children about.
Could the Apple tablet change the world as we know it? Absolutely. But nothing will happen overnight, and history tells us that even in the midst of success, naysayers will emerge to attack every perceived flaw.
The anticipation and the lofty expectations surrounding the product launch put the Apple tablet atop a pedestal. Once the curtain lifts, it could take years before it returns to the same level of glory.
The above excerpt comes from an analysis piece I wrote yesterday (before the big iPad reveal) on the idea of the tablet, and how the idea could never live up to the reality. Read that last paragraph in the intro about the pedestal and the curtain, and I think you'll understand what I was trying to say.
This isn't about being right, because it was a safe prediction to make given the ridiculous amount of buzz and hype about the tablet. Still, there's so much truth in this post that I hope you take a few moments to read the whole thing and think about the deeper things that are happening here.
It's not a magic box. It never could be. And yet we all made it so by talking about front-facing cameras, flash, multitasking, and every other dream feature we thought it needed. Now the naysayers are rightfully picking a part the flaws and talking about what's missing. Fair enough. I would argue, however, that Jobs sincerely believes that nothing is missing. It's just his way. He likes to push the envelope. So for every perceived "lack" there is a reason.
The reality is that the iPad cannot be as robust as a MacBook, it is that middle device he promised. There's really no need for HDMI Out, a USB Port, an SD slot, or even flash in my opinion (HTML5 is the future). It will be the entertainment and lifestyle device that Apple envisions, and just as is the case with the iPhone, no competitor will ever come close to emulating the user experience, until Apple bests themselves of course.
In that vein, do keep in mind that touch technology is not created equal. Apple has set the standard on mobile devices. They'll do it again with the iPad.
Still the curtain has lifted and it will take years before the device achieves anywhere near the glory it did in its once unblemished state.