"Well today, we're introducing THREE revolutionary new products. The first one is a widescreen iPod with touch controls. The second is a revolutionary new mobile phone. And the third is a breakthrough Internet communications device."
"An iPod, a phone, an Internet mobile communicator. An iPod, a phone, an Internet mobile communicator.... these are NOT three separate devices! Today Apple is going to reinvent the phone. And here it is...we are calling it iPhone!"
So echoed Apple CEO Steve Jobs in his Macworld 2007 keynote that publicly kicked off what (arguably) became the most successful consumer product launch of all time.
Now it seems that Apple is poised to launch its Tablet Computing entry later this year for a (rumored) price ranging between $500-800; wedging it from a pricing relativity perspective at about a grand less than a MacBook Air with solid state memory.
What computing model it pays homage to (i.e., the Mac or the iPhone, or more likely a hybrid of the two), and what it means for Apple's hardware-software strategy moving forward, is a topic that I recently blogged about in the O'Reilly Radar piece, 'Apple, the Boomer Tablet and the Matrix.'
But, perhaps the real story with respect to the forthcoming Apple Tablet Device is that Apple has already released a tablet computing device.
It's called the iPod touch, and because it's often overshadowed by its noisier sibling, the iPhone, we sometimes forget that it has already sold 15M+ units.
After all, the iPod touch (with Safari, Mail, Contacts, Calendar, Maps, iTunes, iLife, MobileMe and the 65K application strong App Store baked into it) is already more powerful than most of the netbook offerings, which, by contrast, are typically touted as doing one thing well - web browsing - and a bunch of other things in a "good enough" fashion (e.g., email, chat, audio/pics/video).
All of which begs the question; when Apple releases its NEXT tablet computing device, will they reinvent the iPod touch in the same way that the iPhone reinvented the phone?
My guess is, yes they will.