New product announcements usually don't get my attention, but tomorrow's pending tablet announcement by Apple has me clearing my schedule to watch Steve Jobs unveil his new tablet. The hype has grown so big that people who don't usually care about technology announcements have been asking me what I think will be released. Many, many sites have been discussing the new Tablet, and the latest roundup of rumors is here at MacRumors.
I have no idea what the new Tablet will contain. There have been a lot of rumors but few definites, though this exec at McGraw-Hill may be looking for a new job if he really did reveal insider information. Instead, let me list a few things I would like the Tablet to contain if I were in charge of its development.
- Strike a deal with Amazon. Let there be three tiers of content delivery. The standard Kindle would deliver books, and that's it. At under $300 it does an excellent job at doing what it is designed to do. The Kindle DX would deliver text book and journal/magazine/newspaper content at the $500 price point. Its primary market would be academic. The new Apple Tablet would merge video/television into the mix, while giving the option to view magazines and newspapers, all in 720p color. At $900 the Tablet is really for those who want to add movies and television to the mix. Amazon's video on demand can provide this content.
- Amazon owns Audible. Audible is the best provider of audio books. Sorry Overdrive, but it's true. Audible's audio books could sync with Amazon's ebooks and allow the user to switch seamlessly between reading and listening. A lot of people I know like to do this, and making it seemless would attract a new style of reader.
- Strike a deal with Netflix to allow Netflix subscribers to easily view content on the new Tablet. Yes, Amazon's on demand video content is good, but Apple needs greater depth and video downloads via iTunes are slow and expensive. The Netflix subscription model of streaming is a much better developed service.
- Subsidize the cellular connectivity just like Amazon does for the Kindle. Leo Laporte has been arguing this for a long time and I have to agree. Base cellular service needs to be included in the package, even if it's just for content download and streaming and does not include browsing or email.
- Offer a web browser and the same quality email interface found on the iPhone. A web browser and email require ever-present connectivity. This may need to be an extra-cost service but a Tablet without the option for web browsing or email will fail. The two cheaper Kindles can get away with not providing email, but the Tablet can't. One option here is to allow tethering to the iPhone so users don't have to pay for two monthly data plans.
- Don't build Flash into the browser. Force developers to keep moving towards HTML5.
- A forward facing webcam would allow the type of collaboration iPhone users have been wanting for a long time.
- Put a flip-out stand on the back and don't make me buy an overpriced accessory just so I can stand the Tablet up on my desk.
And that's about it for my wish-list. My wants are more content related than the tech of the Tablet itself. A lot of what I want would be answered with a strong relationship with Amazon, but it could be done via other sources (though I question how well anyone else can do it). The tech side is important, but not so much as the content. Oh, a 10" OLED screen would be nice, and a power-conserving but powerful CPU is needed, but what will really matters is the content that I can enjoy on the new Tablet.
Looking forward to tomorrow's announcement!