Endowing the Apple Tablet with Broad Appeal

By Don Reisinger  |  Posted 2009-12-28 Print this article Print

6. Appeal to enterprise users

The Apple Tablet doesn't necessarily need to be an enterprise device, but it should appeal to the enterprise. At its launch, the Apple Tablet will sell extremely well. Consumers will be picking the device up in droves. But as those early adopters give way to laggards, it's the enterprise that could significantly increase the device's sales. After all, if companies use the device for certain tasks, employees will have a first-hand look at what all the fuss is about with Apple's new device. That might be enough for those who don't own the product to pick one up. Apple shouldn't underestimate the power and influence of the corporate world.

7. Apple's support

It seems rather silly to say that any Apple device will require the company's support to be successful, but when it comes to Apple, it's worth mentioning. Consider the fact that both the Mac Mini and the Apple TV have quickly become the "other" products Apple sells and it becomes clear that the hardware company doesn't sufficiently support every product that it offers. Steve Jobs has called the Apple TV a "hobby" on more than one occasion. Will the Apple Tablet be just another home hobby device that users boot up when they don't want to start up their hefty desktops? If Apple wants the Apple Tablet to be a big success, it had better not treat it that way.

8. iPhone's intuitive multitouch gestures

A multitouch display is great, but it provides little to no value unless it offers an intuitive experience. Apple has done a fantastic job at doing just that with the iPhone. Users can zoom in on different parts of the screen with two taps, and use the pinch feature to quickly zoom in or out of different areas of the display. Those functions are simple, but they add to the experience of using the product. Apple can't lose sight of that.

9. A 3G option

The Apple Tablet will almost undoubtedly feature Wi-Fi connectivity. But what if it also provided access to a 3G network? That would make it a much more valuable device. Without 3G, the Apple Tablet is a Web-enabled iPhone that's only useful when the user is within Wi-Fi range. But with a 3G option, the Apple Tablet could be brought on trips, used practically everywhere and enjoyed far more often than it would without 3G. It might force consumers to pay a little extra per month, but they might be willing to do so if they knew they could access the Web while on the go.

10. A vision

Unfortunately, the Apple Tablet finds itself in an awkward position in the marketplace. It's not big or powerful enough to be a notebook replacement. It's too big to be a netbook alternative. It's decidedly in the middle ground between productivity and portability. Realizing that, the device needs a vision. How does Apple want to market the device? How does it want consumers to view it in the marketplace? If the Apple Tablet is to be successful, Apple will need to answer those questions (and others) before the device hits store shelves.

Don Reisinger is a freelance technology columnist. He started writing about technology for Ziff-Davis' Gearlog.com. Since then, he has written extremely popular columns for CNET.com, Computerworld, InformationWeek, and others. He has appeared numerous times on national television to share his expertise with viewers. You can follow his every move at http://twitter.com/donreisinger.

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