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November 04, 2009


Frank Spillers

Michael, I think you are right to be skeptical of the potential of tablet usage scenarios...If you think about how the mobile user experience has been transformed by touch/gesture interfaces (iPhone being the trailblazer), that's where the potential is unknown at this point. You are describing the state as it is today- and that's fair. This situation might change if touch/gesture and portability are combined- on a tablet form factor- you might have more people actually contributing who don't today share via a tiny iphone or smartphone.

We've seen several categories transformed right under our nose in the past five years or so...i think it the user experience is done right- this could be the next one. I don't think Apple will put out a dead end product especially not in the device area...Microsoft also looks like they have a serious productivity (business oriented?) device in the works too.

Michael Zuschlag

While I share some of your enthusiasm for tablet computers, they still strike me as a niche market, serving only the few who need to perform extensive computer interactions without the benefit of a table or lap. For brief mobile interactions (e.g., posting to a social site while standing in line for movie), the form factor is a killer: I’d expect most users can’t be bothered to pull a full-size tablet out of their backpack or briefcase. If they’re in line waiting for a movie. And why would they even have their backpack or briefcase with them? Instead, users pull from their pockets palm-size devices like an iPhone or Blackberry. Devices of this class have abandoned the pen interface in favor or real or virtual thumb-operated keyboards, although that may have been premature IMO.

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