With the rumosphere buzzing once again about Apple's much rumored tablet, and some analysts chatting like excited school girls, it's time for MacPredictions to gear up the SVU (special visuals unit) and crank out another mockup.
The tablet is a bit of a riddle. Why would Apple release one? They sat out on the whole pen-based computing thing, with Jobs pouring scorn on Gate's pet project (the Tablet PC). On that occasion, Apple's instincts proved correct. So what has changed now?
Earlier this year, most speculation focused on the idea of a touch-screen device as Apple's answer to the growing netbook category. The problem with this picture is that netbooks are cheap to manufacture, whereas Tablet PCs are quite the opposite. Something didn't add up.
Add to this the strange idea that Apple may be prepping Snow Leopard as a touch-based OS (based upon rather far-fected speculation about supposed touch-friendly features such as Dock Exposé). This blog has never subscribed to the idea of a touched based version of Mac OS X. It would just be too confusing for developers (both within Apple, and 3rd parties). Apple has just one touch-based platform - the iPhone OS, and that's plenty enough.
Fast forward a few months, and reflect upon the awesome success of iPod touch combined with games on the app store, and things become a little clearer. All that Apple needs to do is introduced resolution-independence to the iPhone OS (which will surely have to come at some point anyway), and they can then launch a true PSP/DS killer in the form of an iPod touch HD - a big brother to the regular iPod touch.
It would be compatible with all existing iPhone games, plus a whole slew of new HD games. It could also play HD movies - and completely undermine Microsoft's upcoming Zune HD in the process.
Suddenly the idea of a tablet from Apple starts to make more sense.