Originally Posted by ThePixelDoc
Actually... the "non-tech no-geek" crowd will be the biggest consumer of this device. I've said before, "it's not for "us" (geeks and decade-long computer users)... but for "them" (the normal Windows/entertainment users that just can't deal with it's inherent problems)."
This is the device for people that don't want "complicated", to be able to use a computer...
BTW: subsidized or not... their WILL BE lines... Very. Long. Lines.
I agree with this. Steve wants this device to a paradigm shifter like the iphone. 99% of folks didn't even imagine what we could do with a phone until the iPhone popped up. Steve wants the same thing to happen here. If it is, then the price is almost irrelevant at the start. Relativity to a macbook won't count if it does everything differently in common use cases that the macbook/netbook doesn't satisfy.
I think this is intended to be so entirely different to a laptop that it will set it's own price. For instance, this thing will:
1. sit on a coffee table or end table not a desk (plugged into a dock a lot to keep it juiced).
2. Family members will pick it up as if it were a magazine, to read any content (news/mag/book), view other media (TV show, youtube clip etc.) all while on the sofa, not in the office, at a dining table, in an uncomfortable chair. I know people use laptops on the sofa but it is neither comfortable nor natural to have 5lbs on their lap to do such "trivial" things, which it is not optimized to do.
3. While several people watch the game on the HDTV, someone else will be there but with headphones watching greys anatomy off iTunes or reading some Dan Brown epic or playing Tetris/GTA.
4. Or the slate will go off to the kitchen displaying a recipe in large font propped up in one of the many stand accessories that will proliferate for different uses. To scroll down, you just use a floury finger to move the screen - no gunk in the keyboard...
That is just home/family use. What about all the professional applications like in businesses, schools, hospitals, (patient notes, diagnostic tools, video-con with a consultant in another wing/hospital, etc.) none of which can be done out of hand right now. I can't even think about what the out of home/office (travel) uses might be (needing 3G) but that is a whole other set of cases too.
There will be stands for propping up like a book, like a little TV, to make it easier to hold for long reading, to prop up for limited typing, rubberized cases for water/food/dust resistance, holsters for holding it on your arm as you walk around (e.g. doing hospital rounds), etc.
Most sane people would not use a laptop for many/any of these things, some might use a netbook but those are not optimized for most of those uses and mostly rubbish.
It is likely to be able to do more than this but I would bet that it is not going to be viewed as an equivalent to a laptop but as a completely different and additional device. As the family tablet for a family that already has enough computers everywhere but the living/family room. I currently use my iphone for these uses but it is killing my eyes and giving me RSI from holding the little device for up to hours at a time. A tablet would be great and I would not consider its price vs. a laptop but in what it would do for me.
Of course it has to be insanely great and do all these things and more, but the iPhone/Touch already does much of this but is way too small for prolonged use. I have high hopes for this but expect a high price. Apple could care less if the cheapskates buy one at launch, only that the well heeled do and the cheapskates want one when it gets cheaper...
Oh, and it won't castrate Macbook sales. You won't do any serious productivity work on it, you can't use it for school (except for text books), etc. 2 largely different sets of use cases, many of which are complimentary (Macbook and textbook, Media Library and player, etc.)