This cartoon and the commentary from its illustrator were pulled from Sonja Thompson’s editorial on Tech Republic. I just love the thoughts that are illustrated here by fellow Ohioan and Tech Republic member dcolbert. Don’t get me wrong here, I’m an early adopter of ALL things geeky / gadgety and I’m continually running the “I am not the target audience of the Apple iPad” mantra through my head! Keep in mind too, that this cartoon was released prior to the iPad launch.
Date: January 25th, 2010
At the time of this writing, the Apple Tablet has yet to be released. There continues to be quite a bit of buzz over the actual name of the new device (see Selena Frye’s lighthearted post “Apple Tablet: The name game“), but sometimes a picture is worth a thousand words.
Here’s a comical peek at the iSlate, compliments of TechRepublic member dcolbert.
And DColbert’s thoughts on his illustration:
3.3. Jumping the Shark:
dcolbert@… – 01/26/10 So, let’s explore that. I could write 1500 words that come to the same conclusion as I’ve scribbled here. Heck, ask anyone here, I could probably write 5000 worlds that come to the same conclusion as I’ve sketched here – but in this case, instead of words, an image popped into my head, and I felt it was an effective way to convey a point I would otherwise write about.
So to clarify, in case the message eludes anyone – I’m suggesting that the over-sensationalized hype about the Apple Tablet may be the point where Apple Corporation “Jumps the Shark” – in that I don’t think this device has a clear target, purpose, or place. It is bigger than an iPhone, smaller than a notebook, but lacking a lof of the convenience built into Netbooks (and it looks to be a lot more expensive). I’m not certain it will be as good of an e-reader as a Kindle, or as good of a iPod as, well… an iPod. It is going to cost more than a game console, so it better deliver some pretty impressive portable gaming to compete there.
Apple has gotten out too far in front of what technology could deliver in the past. A relatively famous example is the Newton – which was a flop itself but delivered Palm, the PDA reveolution, and arguably, the eventual arrival of the SmartPhone.
That is really the discussion I want to see this picture spawn. Is Apple jumping the shark with their Tablet PC? Is it so overhyped that it is bound to be a let down? Could this be the point where Jobs and the rest of the lads in Cuppertino have exhausted all of their good ideas and start relying on gimmicks and good will to try and push second rate products off on the public? Jason Hiener mentions in his article at:
that Steve Jobs feels that he has released several visionary products that have changed entire industries. The Macintosh, the iPod, the iPhone – and that he predicts that this product will have the same impact. I’m not sure Jobs can work his magic on the print media industry with the same skill and success that he has enjoyed with the music industry. There are huge differences between the challenges in releasing digital music devices and releasing digital print devices.
I was ahead of the curve on the MP3 revolution. I had one of the first Kenwood in-dash MP3 players (it played MP3s off of CDs and was around $2000 in 2001, and had an unheard of Aux-In). I also had one of the earliest Creative Zen Jukebox 30mb players. I had been wanting solutions like these for several years when they were released commercially, and remember when people were rigging up 12v laptops hooked up to their speaker systems in the trunks of their cars when that was the only solution available.
I generally have my finger on the pulse of what “underground technology trends” have momentum, direction and demand – and ePublishing isn’t as hot as the industry thinks it is. The Kindle and like products are a *niche*, themselves. An oversaturated niche, at that – and one which most consumers aren’t that excited about. So I don’t see how that is going to be the killer app that drives the Apple Tablet success.
So, what place is there in the gadget ecosystem for a HUGE phone, a tiny, keyboard-less netbook that costs far more than other netbooks? A portable gaming system that costs more than dedicated consoles?
The cartoon is just a suggestion. I don’t know – but I think the cartoon is a strong possibility. I think what we’ll get is a MacBook Air with no keyboard and an enhanced iPhone OS… and the Air hasn’t exactly revolutionized Apple’s product line or had the significant impact that Jobs suggested it would at release. It has actually been looked at by the industry, by tech journalists, and by consumers as an expensive “concept” PC for gadget freaks with lots of disposable income – as a product that compares unfavorably to similar, less expensive, and better equipped alternatives from competitors.
Maybe you’re right, Steven, maybe Apple actually jumped the Shark with the Air, and the Tablet is more like the endless sit-com spin offs that seem to happen once a series has jumped the shark. This isn’t the Fonz Shark Jumping episode, that already happened. This is Joni Loves Chachi.
Time will tell.