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Apple is looking more and more likely to be releasing a tablet computer either later this year or early next. I won't bore you with all the references online, there are too many. So, purely from my head, here is my wish list for what the device will actually be like.

1. Affordable. Yes I know this is Apple and they don't always seem to understand the word, but this recession is looking serious. We. Don't. Need. Expensive. Trinkets.

2. A killer application. I don't know what form this would take but the problem with previous tablet launches has, for me, been that there's no compelling reason to buy them. Give me one and I'll think about it.

3. A neat but not ostentatious design. No, look, Apple's great at designing very pretty kit indeed but with something like this I don't want to get mugged.

4. A pleasant experience with an e-book or even e-comic-book reader. I've had a look at the competition and they're all kind of OK. Apple needs to make it easy and pleasant to read using this machine - the same trick it pulled off to make the iPod so much more fun than the competition, even if it used incompatible formats at first. This - without the incompatibilities - needs to happen with the device I'm calling an iPad.

5. An optional and preferably wireless keyboard add-on. What, you think I'm buying this *and* a laptop?

6. Options to share multiple headphones. So the kids are in the back of the car, I put a DVD on, they've both got to be able to hear it.

7. Connection to my iTunes library over the Internet. Actually it seems a little crazy to me that all Apple devices don't do this. When I'm on my own WiFi network it's no problem at all to play music or a video from my desktop computer on my laptop, so why isn't it the same when I'm out but still on broadband? Don't give me security reasons - you know it can be done, and eventually will be.

That, for me, would make it pretty compelling. Anyone any other thoughts?

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Last Post by schroeder
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I think Apple will use this device in part to leverage IPHONE. Maybe this device will serve as a monitor and Video conference system using Iphone 3GS camera. Yes, this and Iphone can completely replace a laptop for a lot of people. This will break the language barrier where you can speak english to it and it will speak back in Chinese. I think the device will also act as a KILLER APP for note taking, scratch pad and documentation. People will truly prefer this pad over a pen and paper. Apple will hop on the GREEN movement and proclaim this device will save trees, our children, and will spurn society to respond to the call that 'now is the time to move away from paper books, magazines, and even office papers and create a new industry based on electronic documentation of all types'. The economy is on the verge of a new industry, and thanks to Amazon for taking a bite out of the Apple and awakening the fruitful company to innovate our future... or maybe it will just be a netbook.

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The device will likely be offered with and subsidized by a verizon service contract. A blue tethering option with the iphone for existing at&t customers or even an option to insert an at&t sim would be a good tradeoff for the ones who already are locked into a 2 year plan with at&t. If this is truly a tablet, I don't see how they can get away with not offering a stylus an allowing tablet like entry of handwriting for note taking? Even a high res auto focus camera that can swivel/rotate would be nice (a la the sony vaio). As a student I would love to be able to take pictures of the board while I take notes, and some students I see bring in dslr camera with wide angle lenses just to be able to do that and still pay attention without having to frantically copy down notes. A good mic that picks up lectures would be a plus. Ebooks would be a no brainer. Keyboard would probably have to be virtual as I don't see apple putting a hardware keyboard on their tablet unless it's a swivel deal like so many of the pc tables are, which is definitely not characteristic of apple. If it comes with a rival to one note, and is able to run iWork, and decent graphics to be able to play high res movies and maybe even some games (please give me a fully functioning Mac OS X not some neutered iPhone sdk on my tablet please :-), then I can truly see it being the one of the best selling computers of all time.

As for item #7 in this blog, Apple has talked about allowing streaming of music and video from its servers for some time now. That's one of the reasons they're building a server farm in NC (that and to take on RIM, Microsoft and google in the cloud computing market). I don't see at&t being able to keep up with that kind of functionality though, they're already stressed as it is.

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