Category: developers journal

iSlate – what is really important

Author: Daemon January 11, 2010

What has Apple done to all of you punks, eh? They didn’t even properly announce their new product, yet entire world is naming and renaming products – slate.

For the sake of argument, let’s pretend that the new product will in fact be called “iSlate” and that it will in fact be a tablet-kind of a easily transportable computer.

Entire internet is trying to guess how will it look like, and (almost) entire internet thinks it will be an oversized iPhone. Now listen up, you ignorant fools! Do you all have attention span of a goldfish in a bowl aquarium? Do you not remember how your last predictions ended up?

Rewind time few years back … and we are here with the almighty iPod, and Apple announced iPhone. Everyone, thought iPhone will be a glorified version of iPod, just with an capability to call someone. There is even an archive of your ridiculous attempts, check it here at

What can you first notice in those concepts? They are all based on iPod (or are completely nonsense). And do you know why is it like so? It is because people in mass are not product designers. People, in general, cannot create NEW things, but can just recycle what they have seen and add on to it something that they think. If you could create NEW things out of thin air and your own imagination, you would probably be working for Apple or some other hard hitting techno company. But you cannot. So you think that iPhone will look like iPod on steroids.

And the same thing is now happening with iSlate. People, yes you, cannot create new things, so in lack of imagination everyone is taking iPhone as a relevant starting point, and just build up from there.
Let me tell you something really short: I will be bloody surprised, shocked and somewhat disgusted if iSlate turns out to be oversized iPhone. That would mean that Apple did not try hard enough to make new and original product, and has instead gone “The Porsche way”. You know – every car looks the same since 1963, only a bit tweaked. The laziest designers in the world.

And there ends my theory on the looks of iSlate.

What is more important is what will iSlate do. What has become a norm, a MUST, is that the slate line of products from any company needs to be able to connect to the internet. If the slate is not connected, it is useless. The ergonomic nature of that shape prevents some normal work activity, slate is not laptop. There is no keyboard, and perpendicular to it – a screen. Rather, it is just one surface with onscreen keyboard. And that layout makes it basically impossible for anyone to do some serious work on it. You cannot type text easily, you cannot do a quick Photoshop action, you cannot create presentations, etc. The only thing you can easily do is what you now do with iPhone: use applications that have simple touch interfaces to do things that are in the cloud. Twitter, Facebook, read blogs, read news through their aplications, watch video, listen to music, play some games, but all that through, I repeat, simpe touch interface.

And for all that to happen, iSlate needs to be connected to the internet, and needs to do it on the move (not just wireless in your home/office)! Who needs iSlate in closed desktop environment – I have my own computer in such environment.

And this opens up a Pandora’s Box of problems.

How will iSlate connect to the web on the move? You cannot just insert SIM card into it. And even if you could, would you want to? SIM card means that you could basically perform phone calls with it as well, and I seriously doubt that iSlate will be oversized iPhone. SIM card would mean one more thing: contracts with operators. Meaning iSlate would not be out in the open market, rather, it would be bound to operators. And that is bad. And let’s face it, iSlate without internet connection is only good to use as a plate holder for your lunch.

So what then?

One word: iPhone. The iSlate will be, I am 99% sure, heavily bound to iPhone. It will use Bluetooth, or Wireless, to connect to iPhone, and through it tether to the internet. Knowing Apple, this bond will be seriously tough. Like, superglue that NASA uses tough. That bond would also enable limitless options. For example, Apps for iSlate could be bought on the move via iPhone, and when you pair them up, iPhone could transfer it to iSlate. They could share movies and music. iPhone will act as a remote control for iSlate as well. Hell, they could even share battery power, why not? I could think of millions of other ways iPhone and iSlate could be connected, but I will leave that to Apple to figure out.

But this also means that iSlate will be in offer at mobile operators as well. You would have it in bundle with iPhone, subsidized.

And now tell me that does not make you all sparkly inside: iPhone, iSlate, good internet connection, subsidized price, let’s say: $500. Yes, there is a monthly charge, but monthly-schmontly.


    4 thoughts on “iSlate – what is really important”

  • Holly shit – Apple haven’t even announced the iSlate name yet, but googling for “islate” returns 5,340,000 results.

    However it will be called, I believe it will eat Microsoft Courier for breakfast.

  • So, are you bloody surprised, shocked and somewhat disgusted? :)

  • All of the above!

    Apple could revolutionize the market, and they failed.

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