Pogue on the Apple Tablet

You’re probably getting tired of hearing about this damn thing. Well, we promise after Wednesday, we’ll never mention it again at eBookNewser (though keep in mind our fingers are crossed behind our backs). In his Saturday blog post, New York Times tech columnist David Pogue did a little speculating about the Apple tablet. He says Apple hasn’t told him anything and the he’s going on the same rumors everyone else is. And he makes a very good point:

…[M]y gut tells me that, as usual with these overheated Apple hypemonsters, we’re all missing something important. There are some aspects, some angles, that nobody’s guessed. We’re like the blind men who encounter an elephant in the ancient legend, where each guy feels only one part of the beast and nobody puts it all together.

Because “a big iPod touch” wouldn’t really be that interesting, would it? I mean, it wouldn’t have nearly the same appeal as an actual iPhone/Touch, because it’d be too big for a pocket, you’d need two hands to operate it, and it’d be too fragile to chuck into your backpack. Besides, touchscreen computers have been tried before, at prices much lower than $1,000–remember Microsoft’s Tablet PC initiative?–and flopped.

This blogger, at least, has to agree with Pogue: if there’s one thing Apple is truly good at (and, frankly, there’s more than one thing), it’s the element of surprise. When this Tablet hits on Wednesday, it’s going to do some pretty cool stuff that we haven’t thought of. And, if Apple can do for eBooks what it did for music with iPhone, we are going to have more and more seamless access to book content on this piece of hardware than ever before. But, also, we may be handing over to Apple more control of the eBook market than we’re comfortable with.

Or maybe it’ll just be a big iPod Touch.