Reality distortion field set to 11

(1/6/10) The rumor mill has been running at full-tilt that Apple will introduce the iSlate tablet computer during a January 27, 2010 event. Seems like a pretty solid rumor but the thing that gets me is that it appears that big newspapers like the New York Times are thinking this new gizmo will save the dying newspaper industry.

I’m sure the execs have been standing too close to Steve Jobs’ reality distortion field and have eaten up all he has said to them about this new ‘i’ device. And I’m sure it will be a beautiful device but really folks? I highly doubt newspaper readers will drop anything more than $200 on yet another gizmo in this bad economy.

Why would anyone spend the money if they can already read the newspaper on the computer they already own? And older folks who are used to and love the paper product are not going to buy some expensive shiny new tablet computer. And folks who already own an iPhone can currently read many news publications formatted just for their the smaller form factor.

Face it. Jobs is hoodwinking the newspaper industry to promote this device which is going to be a flop for newspaper readers. So newspaper readers won’t buy it but college students would buy it if all their textbooks are on it. Book publishers would sell books to be published on it, probably even too even if it appears to be a threat to the Kindle (I already buy and read Kindle books on my iPhone since Amazon created a Kindle app).

The newspapers will gush and glow all over the iSlate, since they think it’s going to be their savior and thus give it tons of free advertising. Jobs is playing them like a grand piano.

Update (1/26/10): Okay, it’s the day before T-Day (Tablet Day) and I still think dynamic textbooks will be the killer use. And as I said on Facebook, being able to view a cookbook and actually change the ingredient lists so they’re viewable by humans with normal vision would be great. On TWIT Leo Laporte talked about video possibly being a killer app and I’d have to agree. Having a great screen that has the same field of view as some $5,000 HDTV in your lap would be nice.

Also all this talk about Microsoft meeting with Apple to put on the iPhone OS, yeah that could happen but maybe they’re meeting for a deal to put Silverlight on the iTablet. That’s what Netflix uses instead of Adobe Flash to deliver streaming movies on the Mac so why not have it on the iTablet and even on the iPhone in lieu of Flash.

A half day away Steve Jobs will show us something fantastic, we’ll want to buy one but in reality it won’t be something brand new, but Apple will have done it with the style and simplicity that has made their products hits. Sell your Kindle, sell your HDTV prepare to upgrade to RoadRunner Business Class cable modem at home.

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