The Tablet PC is a great idea in theory, but a lousy seller. On the other hand the iPod Shuffle is a lousy idea in theory, but a great seller - Apple does indeed have the magic touch. So given that it has now received a patent to make a Tablet PC will we finally see the format take off?
Well maybe, though in this instance putting two and two together might not equal four: there are many hurdles between saying you’d like to do something and actually putting it on shelves. That said, it does clear up a mystery that has been with us since August last year.
Back then Apple filed for a chopping board shaped device that left us all a little confused. We speculated that it could be a Tablet PC, but now we have the proof.
Granted yesterday, US Design Patent Number D504,899 provides us with much clearer illustrations of what the white obsessed, feline fetishist has been dreaming up. As you can see, Figure 9 is really the killer with it labelled “an exemplary diagram of the use of the electronic device thereof”. Preposterously self important language aside, I think this pretty gives the game away.
Whether Apple follows through on this early draft work remains to be seen, but the fact that it has pursued the idea through the draft office for eight months demonstrates a certain level of commitment. Tablet computers are also a hitherto unexploited market and Apple likes nothing more than a little exploitation. (I’ve always wanted to say that :) )
Check out the official submission at the Patent Office and start crossing your fingers and toes very tightly.