Apple "Tablet": What Affect Will It Have On Media Consumption?

I’ve been hearing a lot about the new Apple “tablet” — the iTablet? — a product that may or may not be coming to a retailer near you. I’m not even sure if it exists, and Apple isn’t tipping its hand — yet. There are rumors of an announcement at the end of the month. My guess is an overexcited Apple developer told someone about the idea, and like a game of telephone, the news was passed on until it created a media frenzy.

The “tablet” is supposed to be a touch-screen computer, something in between a smartphone and a laptop. The screen size is also a guessing game — 7 inches? 10 inches? Some folks won’t like it because of its unwieldy size and (possible) lack of a keyboard. But I look at it as a portable library and a way to surf the Internet.

Will it put bookstores out of business? Cause libraries to be shuttered? There’s no need to buy books when you can just get them on the Tablet — with a large enough screen, the size of a book or magazine can be nearly replicated 100%.

How about magazines and newspapers — should they just fold now?

How about this revelation: I WOULD BUY IT. I want one. I’ve declared this product, perhaps a figment of someone’s imagination, a must-have.

Me, who doesn’t buy anything. I usually shake my fist at new technology. It takes me years to buy anything because I don’t want it to be the “next big thing” that’s obsolete within a year.

I don’t have a laptop computer, or a netbook. No Kindle or Nook. No smartphone (no BlackBerry, iPhone, Sidekick). I don’t have an iPod Touch, but I do have an iPod Video that’s a few years old, mainly used for music. I’m still typing away on a Compaq desktop computer from mid-2003. But if such as thing as the Apple Tablet were to be sold at a reasonable price, I’d run out to buy one. The key phrase here is reasonable price.

It could be the best thing since sliced bread — or another all-buzz, no action electronic product. Only time will tell. And by then, the next big thing will be out.

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