Speculation over the past 6 months has been that Apple is going to release a hybrid portable computer, that is, a netbook that resembles a keyboard-less iPod touch that is about four times it’s size.
Whilst not being confirmed by Apple, this innovative idea aims to bring a very portable touch-screen computer, more affordable than the traditional tablet PCs, and yet as fancy and trendy as an iPhone. One of the things not really being touted as an excellent use of this new Netbook is how it could in fact be the ultimate ‘Kindle killer’.
The Amazon’s Kindle, a monochrome keyboard handheld device is available only in the U.S, made with the sole purpose of reading electronic books purchased via Amazon. Carrying a hefty price of $300, not really being flashy and a screen that isn’t worth writing home about. It’s a basic device, and those devoted e-book readers would be moderately happy using it.
However, put this aside, bring on the Apple Netbook… Imagine a device that looks like the iPhone, but four or five times in size, get rid of the keyboard and you have a lot of real-estate for reading an e-book, in full colour. Also imagine being able to pinch, rotate and flick pages like you browse with Safari on the iPhone. Surely, if Apple decide to make use of iTunes for distributing books, as it has done for the music industry and it’s application store, imagine the sheer market slice Apple would garner.
Of course, the Netbook would also be used to browse the internet, and for emailing, and the large screen means typing on it would be as easy as typing on a full-sized keyboard. You would also be able to download specialised applications and games, made especially for the Apple Netbook. Maybe even type up a document on Google Docs…
Microsoft failed more or less with it’s introduction of Mobile Tablet PC Operating system more than five years ago, there is no reason Apple can re-launch the concept of a tabled handheld device with much more success.