I couldn’t disagree more!
A quick read of this article (“Why Consumers Won’t Buy Tablets”) by Rafe Needleman over at CNET News leaves me gobsmacked that someone in technology could make so categorical a statement as this. The comments to this post seem to be pretty heated; I think he needled a nerve.
For me, the mobile phone has always suffered too little real estate to accommodate serious reading; the laptop (and even netbook) are just too heavy, both physically and computationally, to do anything but sit on a desk or table. I typically don’t wait 60 seconds for my physical newspaper or magazine to boot up.
As I posted previously, the Kindle is too simplistic a device, and too closed a platform, to serve up real-time web content anytime soon. And to a certain extent, I agree with Rafe – the Apple tablet is going to be too expensive at ~$700 a pop, and too closed, to be a real contender.
But there are several reasonably priced competitors (including the forthcoming Plastic Logic eBook) who are defining the new market, and I think will redefine how we think about functionality in a small, lightweight package.
I really believe there is room for a “tween screen”, in between the mobile phone and the laptop, that allows for good information digestion, if not “real work” (that is why I have a laptop). Even before, but especially over the last century, the mantra that “information is power” has rung true, from the stock market to the racetrack. We need a device that allows us to ingest our information wherever we are, and synchronizes between our laptop as well as our mobile phone.
I have been talking with several entrepreneurs lately who are seeing this market as well, and they relish a new platform on which to develop rich applications.
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