Entelligence is a column by technology strategist and author Michael Gartenberg, a man whose desire for a delicious cup of coffee and a quality New York bagel is dwarfed only by his passion for tech. In these articles, he'll explore where our industry is and where it's going -- on both micro and macro levels -- with the unique wit and insight only he can provide.
Harry McCracken has a great post on Technologizer reviewing the tremendous buzz around the iPhone right before it launched -- it was about three years ago at this time that rumors were swirling around Apple getting into the phone market. All sorts of predictions had been made for years, dating back to a 2002 New York Times piece in which John Markoff said "Mr. Jobs means to take Apple back to the land of the handhelds, but this time with a device that would combine elements of a cellphone and a Palm -like personal digital assistant." Of course, it took until 2007 for Apple to announce the iPhone and nearly six months longer for Apple to actually ship it.
The rumors of Apple doing a phone back then were at about the same fever pitch of the recent Apple tablet rumors. Like the iPhone, the tablet rumors aren't at all new -- in this case we can go back to 2003 for some of the earliest stories about this mythical device. Will Apple introduce a tablet in 2010, as some predict? Will there be in an introduction in January? What features might it have, and how could it be sold and positioned? I'm not going to speculate on those things for two reasons: first, if I don't know, my guess is as good as yours -- and second, if I do know, I probably couldn't tell you anything, could I? Having said that, I find it remarkable that the latest tablet buzz so closely echoes the run-up to the iPhone. Call it déjà vu all over again.