What’s the Apple Tablet? It will be well designed

The New Scientist has an interesting take on the launch of Apple’s by now very renowned tablet PC – it’s pieced together a number of patents that suggest just what kind of a machine it is.

Then we can add to the speculative mix all that stuff on Flurry yesterday about  the kind of applications that are likely to be used.

But realistically, as the launch is just little more than a day away, we may as well wait and see what particular cat Steve Jobs is going to pull out of which particular bag.

Whatever the nature of the beast, one thing’s going to be certain. A tablet from Apple will look bloody good. Over the last decade we’ve seen Apple produce a number of products, from the iMac to the iPhone that look bloody good. They look so bloody good that they’ve caused people from outside the Apple camp to gnash their teeth with frustration and envy.

When the iMac came out, a whole bevy of case makers decided to copy Apple’s design principles and so we had stacks of transparent orange, puce and green cases, all intended to ape Apple. But they couldn’t ape Apple. Apple obviously spent some money on a real designer to produce something that looked real bloody good.

The same thing happened with the iPod and the iPhone. After the iPod came out, another gang of wannabees in Taiwan tried to produce things that looked like the iPod. And the same thing happened with the iPhone, with semiconductor companies making tilt chips suddenly making the manufacturers a fortune.

Do we think that the same thing is going to happen when Apple’s Tablet finally appears on stage? You bet! The PC makers will get a whole new lease of copying life as they try to emulate Apple’s design without making it look all too obvious that that’s what they’re doing.

Will the Apple Tablet be successful? For the man or woman who wants to be seen as the coolest geek or geekette on the block, you bet your life. It will give them considerable bragging rights. But if the price is, as the rumors suggest, between $600 and $1,000, this is not going to be a machine for the common woman or the common man.

It would be nice if the Windows vendors would create groovy designs so that we could be proud of toting around a Dell or an HP or an Acer or a whatever. But until hardware vendors spend some cash on good, well crafted designs, we’re all going to be second class citizens compared to the nose-in-the-air Apple aficianados.

Mike Magee founded the Register and the Inquirer. He is the editor at large of TG Daily, edits UK tech magazine TechEye.net and contributes a column to CPU Magazine