I have been reluctant to get an iPad so far, mainly because it doesn’t offer enough differentiation from my iPhone, and it doesn’t enable me to do anything close to the amount of activity I can achieve with my laptop. It doesn’t justify the need to have one more device.
What I want is for the Macbook Air and the iPad to come together. There are a number of hybrid notebook/tablets on the market. One of the slickest is Dell’s Inspiron Duo.
I want the best of both worlds. I want a Macbook Air laptop…
- That can run OS X and OS X applications
- That has a multi-touch screen which can pivot into a tablet form
- That can run iOS applications
- Apple would have to reconcile iOS and Mac OS X in some way. Either by porting OS X to A5 architecture and providing an emulator for OS X apps, or by providing an iOS emulator (something they kind of already have in the iOS SDK) for OS X running on intel.
- Apple would be cannibalizing some of their device stack. They’ve put a lot of marketing effort behind the iPad in trying to convince consumers that they need a laptop/desktop, an ipad, and an iphone (plus an Apple TV and an Airport Express).
- It would be an AWESOME device. Apple enjoys building awesome devices.
- The market will force Apple to make this convergence some day. As Android improves for tablet devices, you’re going to see more hybrid form factors that make Apple’s notebook entry more irrelevant than it is already. And as notebooks become more powerful, in terms of the things a variety of users can do on them, the Macbook and Macbook Pro product lines will begin to seem like bulky dinosaurs compared to the laptop market of the future.
I don’t think we’ll see this dream device this month, but we may see an A5-based Macbook Air running OS X which would probably be the first step.