Laurie posted OWC's announcement of their upcoming ModBook Mac tablet just as I began rounding up commentary from some Mac notables as to why a tablet from Apple simply doesn't make sense. OWC's announcement indeed makes things a bit more interesting, but I think some of these thoughts from Steven Frank (of Panic, Inc. fame) and David Sobotta, one of Apple's own former sales managers, can shed some light on why Apple is likely to stay away from this market.
Mr. Sobotta tells a longer story over at The Guardian of his 20 years of experience at Apple, and Steven Frank more or less rounds up the bullet points in a Macworld rumor call-out post. To sum things up: the idea of a tablet Mac is cool - really cool - but the fact of the matter is that the tablet PC market sucks. And by 'sucks' I mean "it's downright horrendously dismal." Steven also reminds us that Apple hasn't really been making products for unidentified markets for about a decade now. Sure, there are a big handful of Mac Photoshoppers that would love to be able to craft their next Fark submission with a Mac tablet on the couch, but the unfortunate reality is that Apple - already a niche company - would need a *lot* more interest in an über-niche product like this to make it profitable. To make matters worse, already established industries (like the medical field) *still* aren't touching the tablet PC products that have been on the market for over two years now.
Steven lists a lot of other good obstacles that simply don't seem ripe for Apple to tackle anytime soon, and Mr. Sobotta certainly offers some commentary from behind Apple's well-guarded veil as well.
Which brings me back to the intriguing ModBook announcement from OWC. Apple hasn't made the idea of a tablet Mac work just yet (though who knows: maybe next week could prove everyone wrong), but OWC apparently has. Next week should be a very interesting one, to say the least.