You know, a lot of people say there isn't a market for tablets...but was there REALLY a market for MP3 players? Apple took a big risk with the iPod but it has been one of the best things for the company! I can see them taking that same risk, which is part of business. If companies only did what was safe...well, we wouldn't have a lot of technology that we do have now. We wouldn't have either of Nintendo's current systems. We wouldn't have Personal Computers. We wouldn't have freaking CARS! Imagine when Henry Ford first said "Hey, I got an idea for this internal combustion engine, we are going to put it on wheels and it will help people get around!" "But Henry, people can walk, and for long trips, they have horses! There is no demand for such a product!"
MP3 players were a new market. Memory was VERY expensive. I bought a Creative that took Smartmedia cards. One 64MB (YES! MB) card, that only allowed one album on it at 128K/s, cost about $100.
Not too many people were buying them. Also, ripping your own Cd's was a pain back then. The software wasn't nearly as easy to use for most people on the Mac, and the situation on the far larger PC market was even worse.
There was room for another player, and Apple was able to come out with a product that, at first, was just marketed to the Apple faithful. It was much better than the competition. Also, playing music is a simple thing.
With regards to tablets, the situation is different. The reason why PC tablets are such clunky things, with keyboards, is because people simply aren't ready to abandon keyboards. There is also no killer app that would REQUIRE a tablet, and that's important.
You can look at many industries that needed one thing to make it successful. What is that thing here? Multitouch? I don't think so. That is an enabler, but it needs something significant to enable.
On an iPhone/iTouch, with their tiny screens, a two finger motion to shrink or enlarge something is almost a necessity, but not so much on a large screen. Convenient? Maybe? Necessary? No.
Until one can type on the screen at rates approaching regular keyboards, which is still off in the future, the tablet will be limited.