Flashback to 2009 and the pre-iPad climate…
Given the rumor mill chatter, it sounds like the mythical Apple tablet is all but a done deal. People seem to be talking with certainty about how, either later this year or early next year, Apple will unveil a multitouch tablet with a 10-inch screen, 3G wireless broadband, and iPhone OS possibly subsidized by a Verizon Wireless contract. It would basically be a big iPod Touch.
I’m no Apple hater, and I welcome an Apple device to the (don’t call it a) netbook market, but I’ve got to think this device would be a flop. This concept is such a train wreck from start to finish that I don’t know where to begin.
It’s rather quite amazing, if not unsettling, how off many of the technology journalists were in recognizing what the consumer market wanted. Still, the author ends:
If Apple does release a device that resembles the rumored tablet, it will need some killer twist that nobody saw coming. It wouldn’t be the first time Apple pulled something like that off.
He got that right.
Christensen, it turns out, has two concerns about Apple:
1. That it’s too much like Sony under Akia Morita when Sony (SNE) was introducing one hit product after another — portable radios, TVs, tape players, CD players, video recorders, etc. Each was disruptive to the market, but not to Sony itself because the margins they offered were very attractive internally. “I worry that Apple is in the same situation,” he says.
2.That Apple’s integrated product lines are vulnerable to newcomers — like Google (GOOG) — taking a modular approach. “The transition from proprietary architecture to open, modular architecture just happens over and over again,” he says. ”It happened in the personal computer, and although it didn’t kill Apple’s computer business, it relegated them to a minor player.”