134137-apple_tablet_concept1“Apple wants a tablet in every home, a use for everyone.”

I read this quote from ARS Technica out loud to Heidi as she settled into bed the other night. She laughed at me as she does and said no more about it. And thus starts my prolonged campaign to get myself a tablet. A pad.

I am hoping they will call it the “iPad” and that we will soon all settle on “pad.”

“Pass me that pad would you mother?”

“Just hand over that pad, I want to check something.”


Weren’t they called pads in Star Trek? I think this was the case, so pads is what they need to be called. Though they did rather miss the point in Star Trek. I remember they had pads all over the place. When in a crunch, researching his way out of some dire predicament, Picard’s table would be littered with the things. Different pads for different topics. Sometimes the writers of Star Trek were not as prescient as they liked to believe. Imagine having an iPod for every musician you like, or one for each movie.

I hope they don’t call it the “iSlate.” That really is a mouthful, and I cannot see myself dropping the “i” and referring happily to my “slate.” I don’t want to carry something around that sounds like it has been dug out of a quarry.

What I often wonder is why, when this evolution in media seems so logical, ineluctable almost, why is there only one firm in the world capable of delivery? Why has it taken so long? Why are people resistant? And when I say resistant, I suppose what I really mean is, unexcited. Why don’t more people want their goddam pads right now? And when I say more people, I mean Heidi.

I do see a plus to Apple’s exclusive technological dominance (or should I say competence). A democratization of technology we would have been hard pressed to imagine a generation ago. Granted, Apple’s profit margin is ample. Some might say, inexcusably so; but even if their products cost double the competition, that is still a relatively low barrier to entry compared to what we had in the past.

Think of it this way – today no one in the world owns an “iPad,” “iSlate” or whatever it will be called. And no matter how rich you may be, you cannot buy one. Even if you had 10 billion dollars, there is nowhere you can go, no person/company who can make you one. Even governments, those responsible for space travel and cutting edge cold war technologies have nothing to offer you. The very richest person in the world cannot buy a significantly better computer than me. And until Wednesday they cannot have an iPad either. When they are released, we both get them at the same time.

They could of course outdo the little guy by sticking diamonds all over the thing, but all that says is, “I am a knob.” There are many more imaginative ways for poor people to make that kind of proclamation.

On Wednesday, when Apple finally unveils the tablet, it is not only the super rich who can buy them. It will be anybody anywhere with $800(ish) to spend. And though I will most likely not be amongst those lucky early adopters, give me another 6-12 months and I’ll surely wheedle one past Heidi.

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