back to article iSlate? I spy more control from Cupertino

Apple is probably going to launch some sort of tablet PC next month, probably on January the 26th, but is this a revolution in computing or a revolution in control? The iSlate will take the iPhone concept into a decent-sized package, but more importantly for Apple it takes the security and control model into the realm of …


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  1. Hollerith 1

    A lesson from history

    A quick glance at new France versus the English colonies to the south in the kate 1600s and early 1700s shows the difference between a controlled environment, where every innovation has to have royal approval, and a wide-open world of invention, scrambling for money, and creativity.

    I don't want to be in a colony, I don't wan tto use things approved by a Royal Governor, I don't want to be limited by what the Crown thinks is good for me.

    That's why I have no Apple devices.

    1. Mike Flugennock

      Jesus Phone =/= Mac

      I've had pretty much total control over what happens on every Mac I've owned since 1985.

      However, I wouldn't throw my money away on a Jesus Phone -- no matter how "hip" it's supposed to be -- for the reasons described in the article.

      1. Anonymous Coward

        It's coming to the desktop

        Completely agree. I too have owned Macs for several years now, but refuse the Lord Jobs sacred hand-held device.

        Apple have always prided themselves on keeping a tight leash on how the systems are maintained, the desktops being quite lax compared to the J-Phone. As another Reg article has pointed out, Apple have made an almighty killing with the app-store. Apple rents out the iPhone as a conduit to the strictly controlled software available to it.

        Given that this new toy will be a sort of cross between a Jesus Phone and a limited laptop, how long now until Apple decides that having a desktop that can be adapted by the careless users is no longer acceptable and basically the silly users will be better off with less choice, just like the iPhone.

        That day will come and I fear it.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Gates Horns

          It's coming to the desktop

          That day will come and I fear it? In the words of that beardy bloke in the Dilbert cartoon - here's a nickel kid, buy yourself a real computer.

  2. Nomen Publicus

    Other tablets will be available

    Is it or :-)

    Apple is in the business of making nice easy things for the computer agnostic majority. If you want an open platform, buy any one of the dozens of other tablets that will appear on the market in the 6 months after Apple announces a tablet computer.

    1. Windrose

      Them what goes first ...

      Of course. It's not like there could exist any such thing as a 'tablet' BEFORE Apple invented it.

      1. Sean Timarco Baggaley

        Not one...

        ... that's been well-designed and is likely to be used by people other than hardcore nerds, no.

        Apple don't do technology. They do appliances. My mother has no clue how to use her laptop, even after years of patient explanations, but she can program a washing machine just fine. Both involve interacting with a CPU, but only the latter's interface is genuinely easy to use.

        Apple don't make computers for the likes of you. They make stuff for the likes of your *mothers*. Stuff *anyone* can use—and will *want* to use, because, unlike the technology-centric proof-of-concepts out there today, Apple don't see the software as completely separate from hardware.

        1. Mike Flugennock
          Jobs Halo

          Well...yes, and no...

          "Apple don't make computers for the likes of you. They make stuff for the likes of your *mothers*. Stuff *anyone* can use—and will *want* to use, because, unlike the technology-centric proof-of-concepts out there today, Apple don't see the software as completely separate from hardware."

          Well... yes, and no.

          I bought my first Mac -- also, my first computer -- in late 1985, and joined a local user group shortly after, and it was packed full of people -- many of whom were old Apple II users -- who bought their Macs precisely because they were tinkerers, despite the then-"closed" hardware architecture (who remembers the HyperDrive, internal HD, the Radius FPD monitors, and the first generations of clip-on CPU accelerators?) and the lack of software in the early days -- which, of course, brought out legions of software tinkerers with a buttload of seriously nifty and useful shareware apps. Long before system extensions -- and, later, OSX -- made GUI customization, custom icon design/installation and "wallpaper" installation a no-brainer task, I was hanging out at user-group meetings learning how to use the (in)famous Mac Resource Editor to tinker with icon designs, install my own wallpaper instead of being stuck with just patterns, and customize the design and functionality of windows and dialogs.

          While it's true that Macs and MacOS are designed for people who aren't tinkerers or geeks -- "the rest of us", the old ads used to say -- it still, paradoxically, had a strong attraction for tinkerers and geeks, and many of us who weren't -- such as myself, trained as a graphic designer -- ended up becoming tinkerers and geeks because, ironically, MacOS made it so much easier to tinker and experiment and self-educate. I honestly think that if my first computer had been a Windoze/MSDOS box (this was 1985, remember), I wouldn't have been nearly as motivated to explore and learn about how computers work and why, and how I can use a computer as a creative tool. If my first computer hadn't been a Mac, I'd be totally hating computers by now. As it turned out, though -- about halfway through the MacPaint tutorial the little light bulb came on in my head, I quit out of the tutorial, threw the manual in the desk drawer, dived in head-first and never looked back. Yeee-hahh!

          Steve Jobs With A Halo Icon, only because there's no icons of Steve Wozniak with a halo, or Bill Atkinson or Andy Hertzfeld with a halo.

        2. Thom Sanders

          Sort of agree, but

          every single developer event I have attended in the last few years has shown 50-75% upwards of participants to be running OS X on a Macbook of some kind. Even at MS events I've attended there's a high percentage of Apple hardware on display.

          Things like the ipod/iphone are locked down but Macintoshes aren't really and seem to be a favourite tool for hackers - the combination of running *NIX apps and having a good range of commercial, supported software available makes sense.

          Of course, I'm posting this from a MacBook Pro so have already drunk the Kool Aid and may be safely ignored by most on here.

  3. mikecad
    Jobs Horns


    Control or not, you could always choose not to buy one. Personally I like the Ipod app store model because the apps are typically cheap and it has everything I want. Having said that apps tend to be "siloed" and I'm not sure how that would work in terms of a workflow using multiple apps which is a more common scenario on a notebook like device.

    1. Cookie Monster

      All your choice are belong to us!

      "Personally I like the Ipod app store model because the apps are typically cheap and it has everything I want"

      Obviously you never wanted to change the default theme. Perhaps you want use the oddles of space to put flac files on your iphone/ipod touch. Or maybe you want to put a monsterously huge music collection on it and want to use ogg vorbis files instead.

      Alas the Great Satan from the Lake of Fire in Cupertino doesn't let you do any of those things.

  4. Big Bear

    A matter of perspective

    The difference between a phone and a personal computer is that the unwashed masses install nothing onto their phones, using them as they arrive in the box, whereas in personal computing, people expect to have the option to add software as they see fit, even if it down to the classic "You need a newer version of flash player. Click Yes to install it" type of prompts. The iPhone has changed this model to the point that everyone is jumping into the appstore world, but then again, the scope of activies possible on a tablet is far, far greater than on a phone. Will big corporate systems restrict themselves to godawful browser based versions for use on these machines, or will iTunes suddenly start selling SAP Tablet v1.0 for £10k per license?!

    If this is the way Apple do take it, I can foresee the iSlate being hailed as the greatest thing since toast, then the other hardware manufacturers will launch their versions running Windows or Linux and those will the ones that companies buy up in the thousands.

    Interesting random thought: if these things support multitouch, how will the screen fare in terms of greasy finger marks? I had reason to use both a Fujitsu tablet and a touchscreen laptop back in 2002, and the smearing across the screen was the most annoying thing, especially as compared to a phone screen, you look far more closely and intently at a computer screen. Back then, both machines came with a stylus, but for multitouch a stylus is not practical so greasy dirty fingers will be the tool of choice...

    1. Ted

      Is your post from 2004

      Everyone installs software on the iPhone and iPod Touch, it's super easy, just a couple of touches.

      Ah, the greasy finger print problem was solved with the iPhone 3GS, so you certainly don't keep up.

      No, the iBook or whatever it will be called, will be the primary device, Fujitsu, Nokia, Linux, Amazon don't have the computing background, or engineering skills like Apple does... Apple will sell a bit over 10 million unit that first year, so those other companies are toast.

      1. Owen Smith


        fuji and nokia not having a computing background, i'll have what you're drinking


  5. Eponymous Howard

    who wouldn't want a desktop computer free of malware

    Some of use already have that.

    1. Shades


      ...when running Windows!! *shock-horror*

  6. Stu Wilson

    i call bullpucky

    "... it's only a small jump to the desktop and Cupertino control over everything you do on your computer."

    that last part is complete and utter shite, scaremongering "woooohhh, takeover, mind-control, gibber gibber" bull-hooey.

    it's rather a large jump to the desktop, rather than such a small one, and one that Apple won't push for. they have their niches, and i can see this becoming a very big idea, especially as it would appear from all those rumours that the iPhone OS App Store applications will in all likely hood be accessible and runnable with no or little to no modification. In any case, this is not a device to replace the desktop, but it might just cannibalise low-cost laptop sales.

    for those who don't have the memory of a goldfish, Apple did advise all cocoa programmers to make their applications to be screen size/scale agnostic a little under 3 years ago.

    Since the iPad/iSlate/IDrool looks to be a beast of the same genus as the iphone, it could be comparable in terms of application usage... however the feature set of the device is not known, and how this feature set would affect the existing app store content, is anyones guess (except Apple who probably know a thing or two)

    Now I have 3 computers in my house, 2 imacs and a plastic MacBook laptop. my laptop is basically a machine for couch surfing and email. It has no real function other than that (95% of the time), and it does it very well. It's cheap, has a good size screen, but is not very light. If the object of desire is lighter at the same price point as my laptop, then theres a very good chance I will get one purely for its weight characteristics alone, because I know it's going to do everything I want and probably a whole lot more in a more comfortable form factor.

    Add to the fact that Apple will have some hook (for want of a better word) that will make the iSlate a cut above the competition (integration with other apple gear aside).

    Imagine a Slate with USB, BT2.1 (with full A2DP) and Infrared, a MiniDisplayPort, AND an HDMI port. Connect it to your TV, to play some games, connect handsets (iPhones or Apple controllers wirelessly or over BT for multilayer). the Slate could be the new AppleTV, or it could fit in the middle as a bridge device.

    whichever way, it's never going to replace a desktop, but it might just replace a laptop.

    1. Kenny Millar

      Ooohh so close

      You were so very close when you said:

      >Imagine a Slate with USB, BT2.1 (with full A2DP) and Infrared, a MiniDisplayPort, AND an HDMI

      >port. Connect it to your TV, to play some games, connect handsets (iPhones or Apple controllers

      >wirelessly or over BT for multilayer). the Slate could be the new AppleTV, or it could fit in the

      >middle as a bridge device.

      All those ports, well the physical ones at least, will be available - but via the dock connector.

    2. Mike Flugennock

      Just a frickin' minute, here..., basically, this thing is just going to be an enlarged Jesus Phone, with the same kind of lock-in, lock-down and other restrictions that plague the normal-sized Jesus Phone?

      Well, screw it, then, if _that's_ the case. I was honestly expecting something more like the kind of Mac tablet I'd been dreaming of ever since the original Newton (which I _also_ wasted no money on) -- a tablet with about a 9x12-inch "live" area, running "full-strength" MacOS with extensions for drawing and handwriting recognition, with a full set of standard ports (because I really do prefer the option for a "hard" keyboard/trackpad).

      Huh. Damn.

    3. Gulfie

      "It might just cannibalise low-cost laptop sales"

      In your dreams, boyo. The iThingie will be priced well above the iPod Touch and below the MacBook. I recon they'll pitch it at around £500-£600 in the UK (I hear prices of $600 in the US) which is only 20% more expensive than a Dell 15" machine with Windows 7.

      To take on even the mainstream home laptop market the price has to come very close to the £400 point. preferably below. And if joe public is savvy enough to spot that they can't just load and run any old Mac software, the lock-in starts to become a sales issue that is only offset by cost savings.

      Of course Apple could launch it at a wholesale price and make the money on app sales instead.

      1. Stu Wilson
        Jobs Halo

        ... and I woudln't touch the Dell with a bargepole

        Yeah price will be a major factor I agree, but the Dell rubbish will fall apart after a year, will need more memory out the box, and will need to pay the Windows Tax for AV etc

        John Gruber @ Daring Fireball had the same thoguhts as me vis-a-vis the tablet replacing "some" cases of lower spec laptops, but it's entirely dependant on the use case

  7. Bill B

    Over egging it a bit, mate?

    I confess to owning an iPhone and I must admit, I haven't noticed Cupertino's iron control over everything I do on the thing. I've got all the music i want, suitable (and unsuitable) photos to show friends, all my email messages, calendar events, and most web pages that I would want (OK, I admit, I can't see the Flash movies on the BBC web site).

    So, speaking as an owner of a consumer device which has some limitations but does most of what I want, I'd say you need to calm down a bit and have a nice cup of tea and don't get so fret up about Apple's business model.

    You can always buy whatever alternative comes along. It's a free market, after all!

    (Beer because maybe you need something stronger?)

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    iPod all over again...

    If you search youtube for the launch keynote around the first gen iPod, and abstract the presentation so "Generic MP3 player" = Netbook and "iPod" = iSlate I think you end up with a good idea of where this is all going.

    I can't see the slate being anything approaching a desktop or even a laptop replacement, it'll take the design compromises in todays netbooks (small screen, small keyboard, grunt) and address them in a different way (not better or worse, just different). Like the iPod, the device won't suit everyone, but I imagine it will fill the classic Apple segment - by which I don't mean the fanboi community, but more the "I've got a decent lifestyle and a few quid to spare and that looks like a really good idea" crowd - perhaps those that got into Plasma and LCD TVs 4-5 years ago rather than this christmas.

    If apple position the device as a general purpose computer I reckon it'll fail as the (different) compromises they'll make (touch screen keyboard, signed apps and limited connectivity) won't come close to cutting the mustard. On the other hand, if they adopt the iPhone model this might actually be one of the defining devices that take computing from either general purpose grey box in corner of room or fully embedded into a popular and mainstream middle space - much as the iPhone has done.

    In the end people will pay their money and take their choice.

    PS - All that said it would be interesting to see a flavour of desktop Linux on it...

  9. Ian Ferguson

    My preferred name isn't iSlate or iGuide, but...


    1. Mike Flugennock
      Thumb Up

      Hey, now... there's an idea...!

      Too bad I can't afford to take my iBook to that guy whose Web site I've seen, the guy who does "steampunk" computer case and keyboard mods. He did a mean-assed job on a laptop; real class, too, real leather cover for the case, the whole nine yards -- expensive, but worth it... but, expensive. My first thought when I saw that case mod was of how much it'd cost me to have him do a real "uptown" case mod of my iBook based on the "Don't Panic" book in Hitchhiker's Guide. Man, would that look sweet in my laptop bag -- right there next to my towel.

      Of course, I suppose I could just run down to the hardware store and get some of those heavy-duty stick-on acrylic letters made for mailboxes and outdoor signage and stick them on the lid of the iBook, but that wouldn't be nearly as classy.

  10. Anonymous Coward

    Filling a niche

    I think that what most everyone misses out on when it comes to the iPhone and now this "iSlate" is that their meant to be portable and really not a desktop, notebook or netbook replacement. They're more similar to the eBook niche: they are portable, small and lightweight, but allow you to view/consume media where ever you choose to, but they do more.

    I regularly use my iPhone while I'm in the bathroom (I don't want to get more graphic than that) to read the latest news stories and to pay bills. I don't give myself a lot of time in the morning to get ready and when the morning constitutional calls, I grab the iPhone and grab a couple of news items. It's better than just sitting there. ;)

    So I can can imagine that an iSlate would serve a similar purpose: super fast booting, near-instant web and application access, and quick shutdown. Plus I can run music and haul it from room-to-room (AS opposed to lunking-around a netbook).

    Not just on the toilet, but while I'm downing a bowl of cereal before I head out the door. Also, it great when someone has a question about a topic and no one has an answer to Google it and get the information seemingly on the fly.

    I'm sure other smartphones serve the same purpose, so the larger sized "iSlate" is just better for leaving it on the table/counter while I'm scrambling around in the morning.

    Beer. Just because it makes for a great Saturday morning meal.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Horns

    I, i, eye

    iLaughed, iCried, iShite on iStick

  12. Adam Azarchs
    Gates Halo

    Those who would give up Essential Liberty

    to purchase a little Temporary Safety for their iCrap deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.

  13. John Smith 19 Gold badge
    Thumb Down

    So many ports, so little battery life

    iDoubt I'll be getting one.

    That's without the ever so slightly authoritarian "we choose what you can put on it and when"

  14. stefn

    OSX versus Android/Chrome

    The writer pussyfoots around. Here's a real prediction you can check a year from now. In 2010, Apple's safe-app approach will be proven a much, much, much stronger business and distribution model than Google's laissez-faire approach.

    Google's "don't care what you do" model will be riven with complaints and issues about access, versioning, corruption, and fraud.

    Apple's so called "control freak" model will allow us to move on with our lives, doing all the things we want to do with computers other than screwing around with computers.

    You read it here first.

  15. Jeremy 2


    At least the idea that it would be called iPad seems to have fallen by the wayside. I always thought that sounded like an incontinence aid.

    iStuff is for the people who live in areas governed by Home Owner's Associations - those nightmarish places where the almighty 'rules' govern the colour of your house, the length of your grass, the hours you can cut said grass within, and so on. Some people obviously thrive on living in a controlled environment where somebody else does all the thinking for them. I'm not one of them so I won't be even remotely interested in the iDontCare. I'm sure they'll sell millions though.

    Where's the 'meh' icon?

  16. Si 1

    There is malware on the iPhone

    Don't forget the Apps that Apple approved that were capable of stealing personal information like call history and contacts. Just because Apple says an App is OK, doesn't mean it really is.

    And the reason digitally signing apps for Windows was dumped was because MS wanted to charge for the service and to charge an annual fee to keep your app's signature on their servers. So basically it was a means to for MS to make money, not secure Windows. If they were serious about securing Windows it would have been a free service.

  17. Big-nosed Pengie
    Jobs Horns


    Another solution in search of a problem from our friends at Cupertino.

    I predict that the number of sales will precisely equal the number of Apple fanbois.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Horns

    Remember, remember...

    that Apple got a $300 Million tax break for it's brand new $1 billion+ server farm out in North Carolina! Cloud-based hosted application environment, anyone?

    If people think the app model for the tablet will be the same to the iPhone, think again. Apple seem to have already set the wheels in motion to provide more serious iSlate users (and probably also later users of iPod touch/iPhone) with their own cloud-based application/service playground :)

    Compare this approach with what Google is doing, and you get the feeling both Cupertino and Mountain View are out to grab and corner complete slices of the interwibblers, albeit in slightly different ways.

    Google seems to be going top->down, from the advertising, DNSing, to the OS, to the browser, to the web-based apps, to the mobile computing devices etc..

    Apple seems to be cornering it's own lucrative herd by getting 'em hooked using a nice and shiny iWorm, and then keeping them happy by feeding them a carefully crafted diet of applications and services, all grown in-house ofcourse.

    Lovely, aint it :)

  19. Christian Berger

    So it'll be another iBrick?

    Well the DRM preety much made the iPhone useless. Unless it's Jailbroken of course, but then you run into security problems.

    The big problem with that is that in a few years all of those devices will end up in a landfill as people realize the software prevents them from using the hardware.

  20. Anonymous Coward


    ...basically it is going to be a fancy touchscreen Netbook sans physical keyboard, in a pretty package with a price tag to match??

    Whoopy frickin do!

  21. Simon R. Bone


    the launch delay is due to their printer breaking down as they try and print "iSlate" labels to stick over all those Newtons they have left in the warehouse??

  22. Anonymous Coward

    Long term

    Apple are all about OSX, even the iPhone has OSX on it, just locked down, so we can guess that the iSlate will have OSX on it tuned to a tablet form. This (if its a big hit) will bring developers to develop apps and games for the iSlate which are easily transferred to the Mac, boosting the available software for the Mac, adding games for the Mac etc. Something the Mac can't claim is that its a game machine, there just are not that many, probably more than Linux mind you. So adding games will increase their appeal to game developers to develop games, letting Apple go head to head with Microsoft in the gaming arena.

    Unfortunately, for the iSlate to be a success it needs to be cheap, Netbooks were successful because they were cheap and cheerful, as time went on Netbooks got more powerful and less cheap, speculation is that Netbooks are going down, so if the iSlate is the usual overpriced Apple rubbish, it will only appeal to iDiots and fanbois, it won't garner much market traction and Asus will bring out a much smaller version running Linux for 1/3rd of the price and take the market.

    Microsoft on the other hand are already building a tablet, which looks amazing and will take over the business side of things, Apple, as usual, will end up in a niche market with their "PC" hardware.

  23. David Barrett

    Didn't I read...

    Didn't I read on here a while ago that apple were looking to employ some mapping guys?

    Could iGuide be a tom tom like device?

    It's early on the first of jan so forgive if I'm being dumb.

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Maybe not a bad idea to lock down the machines

    Having Apple's computers locked down might actually be a very good thing for the average consumer, as long as it was possible to opt out of via the terminal. That might keep the critical mass of vulnerable machines low enough to deter the malware writers.

    But 100% control from Cupertino would be a very great shame.

  25. stefn

    Cupertino vs. Google

    Let's not pussyfoot around, as the writer does. Here's a prediction you can bet on: A year from now the Android and Chrome app world will be riven with issues related to quality, revisioning, corruption, and outright fraud.

    Meanwhile the Mac and iPhone app world will move along in fine fettle cuz' it's built for users who want to do cool stuff WITH these devices, not waste their time messing with them.

  26. Simon Langley
    Thumb Down

    No thanks Apple

    I am a big fan of Apple's products and own several including the MacBook Pro on which I am typing this and an iPhone. I love my MBP but I only like my iPhone and software fascism is the main reason.

    I shan't buy another iPhone as I am fed up with the restrictions on what I can do with it even though what it does do, it does extremely well.

    I was going to buy an iWhatever but if this story is true (and I have to accept that it seems entirely plausible) I shan't be after all. I'm not prepared to put up with Apple's sometimes bizarre restrictions any longer - what a shame.

  27. gimbal

    I would gladly trade my rights and freedoms, today...

    ...for complete malware invulnerability, tomorrow. (kidding, kidding)

    Colonies, indeed, though! It could seem* like a kind of a colonial approach to the whole computing environment, couldn't it though? I say, good call, Hollerith 1, in first drawing the metaphor about colonization.

    With the Microsoft juggernaut caught up on the legal concertina wire of uncertainty, the Google team may be thought free to proceed undaunted, on their own respective courses for do-gooding consumer surveillance and data-sharing (in ref to another Reg article, at least once) while Apple do-goodily locks the Apple consumer (and entices share-holder, let's not forget) into an imperial plan for the "the full Apple experience"? I think it may shape up to be a peculiar year, indeed. God Save the Queen.

    * but we're just imagining it, therefore it's of little consequence - isn't that how it's supposed to go, these days, for those of us in the rank-and-file at least?

    (Artistic license validated by Bogus and Sham, Ltd. License number 55531415927)

  28. Gary F 1


    I laughed out loud at this article and all the comments.

    How pathetically desperate is the Reg and the Nerdcore?

    Your Mac and iPhone envy is so bad that now, you have to criticise and malign a product that is unannounced.

    No-one knows what it looks like, it has no advertised specifications.

    All that exists is rumour and speculation, and from that, the morons here automatically assume that it will be an ultra expensive, poor battery life, locked down enlarged iphone.


    Seriously, for a bunch that hates Apple, Macs and iPhones, you sure waste a lot of time commenting and hating.

    If you are so happy with your Windows box and wonderful non-iphone phone, why waste time here?

    Stinks of insecurity and envy.

    Or perhaps you follow news from Apple so that you can see what you will be buying from your favourite manufacturer next year when they catch up.

    Vista / Windows 7: Desperately trying to emulate OSX

    Every other phone manufacturer: Caught napping and playing catch-up with the iPhone since its launch. Every phone trying to be an "iPhone Killer" says it all. Like it or not nerdcore, all major phones from the last 2 years have been directly influenced by the iPhone.

    The iTablet (whatever it turns out to be) - what Dell, HP and everyone else will be trying to emulate for their netbook design in 6-12 months time.

    1. OrsonX

      iPot iKettle

      "How pathetically desperate is the Reg and the Nerdcore?"

      ...yes, we are, fancy wasting our time commenting of forthcoming non-existant technology....

      "Like it or not nerdcore, all major phones from the last 2 years have been directly influenced by the iPhone."

      ...when we could be commenting on existing technology instead, like YOU!

    2. dogged


      You forgot to select the little troll.

  29. David Halko

    Missing Bluetooth Profiles on iPhone, iPod Touch, and hopefully not on iSlate

    Author writes, "Apple vets every application, through its obscure and sometimes inconsistent approval process, and who wouldn't want a desktop computer free of malware?"

    This process is very tedious, does not need to be as stringent, but it does offer the ability to yank back malware upon discovery - which is a very good thing. People run the service patches from Microsoft, which has the malware scanner & remover inside of it. If Apple added a little "yes/no" dialog saying "Apple detected possibly malicious software titled... please press 'Yes' to remove it" - I think this would make everyone happy.

    Author write, "Stick a Bluetooth keyboard on the iSlate and it's a laptop replacement, extending the manufacture-controlled model into desktop computing."

    A bluetooth Keyboard, bluetooth Mouse, and bluetooth Headphones were the profiles missing from the iPhone (and presumably from the iPod Touch.) This delayed people purchasing the iPhone (until they just broke down) and is delaying me from buying an iPod Touch. Apple should release them for all iSlate, iPhone, and iPod Touch.

    I want to use one of those nice aluminum Apple bluetooth keyboards on some of these portable devices - but Apple has to get their act together.

  30. Jared Earle
    Jobs Halo

    Loving the knee-jerks.

    For a device that hasn't even been announced yet, let alone previewed, an awful lot of you are getting hung up on what you believe it'll not do. Apple haven't even acknowledged that they may or may not be working on a tablet, yet you're already upset because the battery life sucks?

    If you're already prejudiced against it because of what fellow knee-jerkers are guessing it'll not be able to do, then you have both my scorn and pity.

    Imagine Apple have been working on this for as long as the rumours say; don't you think they'll have come across and dealt with all the problems you're coming up with after 15 minutes of speculation?

    I'll reserve my judgement for after the announcement, if it even exists at all. I'd suggest you all do the same, but I know that's far too much to expect.

  31. playtime

    The title is required, and must contain letters and/or digits.

    Looks like the fanbois are out in force from all those thumbs down on well-reasoned comments.

  32. iSlate


    We will just have to wait until January 27 for Apple to make the official announcement.

  33. Martin Nicholls


    "If you want an open platform, buy any one of the dozens of other tablets that will appear on the market in the 6 months after Apple announces a tablet computer"

    Or any of the decent ones that are around now and, knowing Apple - inevitably cheaper.

    Put whatever OS you want on them, even OSX is easy to do.

    Microsoft's concept slate looks better than anything Apple could dream up given infinate resources and the best minds anyways. Granted it's a concept but all indications are it's pretty much ready for the big time anyway, so it might be worth the wait.

    Regardless, Appletards will buy this in their millions anyway without caring what it costs or if it's even any good (evidence: the iPhone, the iPod), so why should we expect the iYawn to be any different?

  34. Martin Nicholls

    Developers, developers, developers...

    "every single developer event I have attended in the last few years has shown 50-75% upwards of participants to be running OS X on a Macbook of some kind"

    I'd ask what sort of events and where.. North America, probably, I've personally seen nothing of the sort - indeed they usually get laughed out, or abused.

    The only places you tend to see them are in large groups of management types. People who actually write code, not at apple events.. Nothing of the sort.

    That's what I've seen anyway.

    1. Chris_Maresca

      Yup, lots of Macs used by software dev...

      Well, for the last 2-3 years, I have seen the same thing. A LOT of developers are using Macs, not because they are fanboys but because they are Unix machines with a lot of functionality for fitting into corporate networks out of the box. Yes, some people throw Linux on x86 laptops (I have one laying around), but a lot of open source developers who just want to get stuff done use Mac's. Never seen anyone getting laughed at for using one, must be one of those childish British rituals, like getting into fights at sports events....

      And, a Mac's used by management types? Now that's something I'd like to see, because I've never seen it.... Almost everyone I know who has a Mac is either a graphic designer of some sort or a software engineer.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Apple kit

        "Almost everyone I know who has a Mac is either a graphic designer of some sort or a software engineer."

        Or an academic. Apple kit is very popular in universities (teaching and research staff, not just amongst the students).

    2. fgp


      all the events have been in the UK (mainly London/South East) aside from a couple in Germany. These were all (mainly web) developer events and very few non-coders present. How about the last Open Hack London as an example? Those that weren't on macs tended to have netbooks running linux. MSDN events at MS in Victoria have shown a different picture but still a surprising amount of Macbooks evident.

      I too have never really noticed any 'management types' using Macs. Dell, mainly. There are a lot of architects and designers around where I work and most of these are on Macs by and large, at least when out and about.

      1. Thom Sanders


        turns out I have two accounts here. fgp and Thom Sanders are one and the same so was responding to Martin Nicholls' reponse to my earlier message.

        As I'm sure everyone was desperate to know...

  35. Gulfie

    Fail, fail fail...

    And this is why I will never by an Apple netbook/tablet/thingie. With the iPhone, Apple replaced several small walled gardens with one larger one of their own; one so big (once the app store arrived) that most people could ignore the walls altogether. With the tablet however they are producing at least a netbook equivalent (possibly more powerful) and it would appear taking control away. I won't buy a device of that kind of power if I don't have the sort of control I have over my current desktop and laptop computers. I think it will sell in the US, it may do well in education markets, but there is no way I'd buy one for personal use with an iPhone style lock-down.

    With regards to the question "who wouldn't want a desktop computer free of malware" the answer is again, for the average non-tech user, if the walled garden is big enough that you can't see the walls, who will care about the restrictions? I would expect most 'hands dirty' developers to be extremely reluctant to go down this path though because of the degree of freedom that is being sacrificed.

    This is an excellent example of Apple's core business practice - build a device that does something well, but also has a built in source of downstream revenue. The real question is, can they get away with this level of control in the area of the marketplace they are entering?

    Finally, I'm a keen OS X fan but any attempts to move this into the hardware I use will be met with an immediate and irreversible move to Linux. Although hopefully still on Apple hardware. OK, not that hopefully.

  36. Ascylto

    @ Martin Nicholls

    Microsoft's 'concepts' alway look good. They NEVER come to fruition, however. Sad but true.

    1. whiteafrican


      I know it's fashionable to bash MS, but I've got to call you on this one:

      "They NEVER come to fruition"... except, obviously, for their desktop operating systems, which have obliterated every competitor in the last 20 years, and their current offering looks set to continue this trend. You say they only look good as concepts, but Win7 looks just as awesome in the full release as it did when they started showing it... And then there's the Xbox, which also looks awesome in the flesh...

      Good use of the troll icon though.

  37. Mick Sheppard

    More rabid El Reg paranoia

    Ask the vast majority of people if they wanted a computer that didn't have viruses and on which applications just did what they said they'd do and I bet they'd say yes.

    Tell them that they could only buy software from a single place that ensured that the software would run and provided them with a single place to go and find things and I don't think they'd have a problem with that.

    Say that it worked in the same way as the iTunes store or the iPhone App Store and, again, I don't think you'd have many dissenters.

    Ask the same thing of the luddites that inhabit El Reg and you'll get a different answer. Isn't this the problem with computing? At some point we are going to have to listen to the users instead of trying to tell them that we know best.

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