Sunday, May 3, 2009

iPad: is this Apple’s answer to netbook?

It all started with the usual spicy statement from Apple CEO Steve Jobs himself back then when he addressed Apple’s point of view on the growing popularity of netbook: “It’s a nascent category and we’ll watch while it evolves. And we’ve got some pretty good ideas if it does evolve.”

And when the global economy recession hit, people in general are more interested in budget friendly laptop – or as we know it nowadays as netbook. But even with the economy situation looks to threaten Apple sales on its Mac line-ups (MacBooks & iMacs), the company's chief operating officer Tim Cook reassured everyone that Apple has no interest in that nascent category:

"When I look at netbooks, I see cramped keyboards, terrible software, junky hardware, very small screens. It's just not a good consumer experience and not something we would put the Mac brand on. It's a segment we would not choose to play in."

Instead of jumping into the crowded bandwagon of netbooks, AppleInsider has learned that Apple is planning to introduce more affordable Macs until the company is ready to introduce its own take on the market in the much rumored Newton-like web tablet, a project which is taking considerably longer to complete than once anticipated.

So with a ‘MacNetbook’ variant is out of the picture (for now), what Apple has in its sleeve to respond to the increasing market demand for more affordable Macs? Not to mention that Microsoft has been bashing on Macs’ price with its latest PC ads. Well, according to a Wall Street Journal article; Steve Jobs is taking medical leave of absent right now but he keep on working on some kind of mid-sized mobile device.

Adding fuel to the churning rumor mill, BusinessWeek also reported that Apple is developing a 'media pad' to be called 'iPad' (name taken from Silicon Alley Insider), a mobile device that would let users watch videos on a screen larger than an iPod Touch or Amazon's Kindle e-book reader, but on a device that's more portable than notebooks and lacks a keyboard.

If we are to take Steve Jobs above statement where he said something about “pretty good ideas” for Apple’s own version of netbook, mix it with all of these rumors, and put them together into the equation; then there’s no reason for Apple not to be able to pull this purportedly ‘iPad’ to reality. There are two reasons why, which not that far away from what we’ve admired today: mobile Mac OS X (iPhone OS) & App Store.

The iPhone OS is both very user friendly and especially made for small-touchscreen only mobile device, and it also designed for smaller footprint hardware with limited resources; all in all makes iPhone OS perfect for netbook or for Apple: the ‘iPad’.

And with the success of App Store, all Apple need to do is allow the ‘iPad’ to access App Store directly just like in iPhone; propelling it to instant success. Craig Hockenberry of Iconfactory, creators of Twitterific says in an email to ZDNet: "It would be a smart thing for them (Apple) to do: there are instantly tens of thousands of apps and users are presented with a familiar interface (something that looks a lot like Dashboard in Mac OS X)."

NetBook 1 It’s not just a wishful thinking for Apple fans all over the world, but also an endearing dream for tech enthusiasts like you and me. I’ll just going to quote the words of Tom Krazit from ZDNet that perfectly describes what if the ‘iPad’ become a reality: "This is the last frontier of the promised convergence between computers and communication devices. That shift has already happened to the smartphone, but it seems very reasonable that, for many people, smartphone screens are too small for serious computing."

In the meantime, let’s wet the floor with more of your drool with the Apple Netbook 3D illustration above, courtesy of Mac Format. ~LOL~

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