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What's all this hype about the Apple Tablet?

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Rumors are flying about Apple's mysterious upcoming product launch (supposedly happening on January 26). Tech industry analysts and insiders are predicting that during this event, Apple will announce some sort of tablet device.


This tablet (or iSlate, as some are calling it) represents a whole new category of devices, somewhere between a handheld smartphone and a laptop computer. E-Readers such as Amazon's Kindle have been gaining in popularity lately and I suspect this is Apple's entry into that market.

However, this tablet won't just let you read books and newspaper content - I expect it to be a full-fledged, personal media device capable of handling movies, TV, music, games, Web sites and custom applications.

Many people are dismissing this as just a large iPhone, but I do believe that these tablet devices (if built right) represent a new way to access media that mainstream consumers will learn to love.

Think about it - the content delivery pipelines are already in place: iTunes, Netflix instant streaming, Hulu, et cetera. Every day, more and more people are cancelling their cable TV and accessing media via laptops or set-top boxes like Boxee. This represents an opportunity for a device to emerge - something that feels comfortable in our hands and is portable.

I can guarantee you that portable DVD players are an endangered species and will be quickly killed off by these types of tablet devices. (Similar to what happened to the PDA after smartphones emerged.)

Business owners and marketing people: Take note that your customers will be accessing your website and/or custom applications on these machines (as they will all be wi-fi compatible) so be prepared to make sure your content is scalable, functional and good-looking on a tablet.

What are your thoughts on the rumored device?

Nathan T. Wright is the founder of Lava Row, a social media education, consulting and strategy firm based in Des Moines' East Village.

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Comments

That will be a fantastic device. I am not an Apple person, I don't own anything other than an Ipod that is no-longer functional, but that is a story for another day. That said, if Apple continues to set the market I am going to have to make a change because all of their products work so well together, and they are typically the innovator.

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