Why Do We Need A Tablet If We Already Have an iPhone And a MacBook?

Why do we need an Apple Tablet

With rumors about an Apple Tablet launch more or less confirmed to be true, it is only a matter of time before we actually get to hear from Steve Jobs about this. Rumors about an Apple Tablet have been floating for a long time now. Nevertheless the delay in the launch has been more due to doubts within the company about the viability of such a device rather than any production-related delays.

Gruber's article on his Daring Fireball blog draws some fine thoughts about why an Apple Tablet, long relegated as a redundant device is actually making a debut. The reasons why it is redundant are simple: We already have a Macbook that gives us a portable version of a computer. We also have a handheld device in the iPhone that seamlessly integrates the functions of a mobile phone and a computer. This being the case, what purpose does a Tablet serve? 

Gruber argues that a Tablet is a modern day rendition of the Macbook. Hypothetically, if only the iPhone and Mac existed, a Tablet today will serve to integrate the two. However, unlike the Macbook, the Tablet is an extension of the iPhone. 

What difference does that make? A lot. For instance, when the Macbook was conceptualized, there was little to no prevalence of touchscreen technology. While Macbooks have simplified Macs and made them portable, they still try to incorporate all those things that a Mac is capable of which makes it needlessly bulkier. A modern day rendition of a portable computer will be a device that is pretty similar to an iPod touch but something that makes web surfing, ebook reading and other similar activities possible – a device like the Tablet.

That does not necessarily make the Macbook irrelevant. On the other hand, it clearly demarcates the existing Macbook crowd into two – Those who need a simplified Mac (businessmen on the move) and others who need a bigger iPod touch (Students and other segments of people who don't need to carry their computers everywhere). An Apple Tablet thus carves out a niche for itself and provides a stripped down version of the Macbook for those who don't need the frills.

However, the question of viability remains. At $1000, would you rather go for a Macbook or a simpler Tablet? Do we have enough consumers ready to shift to the Tablet? This question has haunted Apple all along. But considering that the company has finally decided to go ahead with the launch, there sure seems to be some hard facts justifying a market for the Apple Tablet. 

In his article, Gruber asks, "If you already have an iPhone and a MacBook; why would you want this?". We would like to ask this to our readers. Why would you want a Tablet if you already have the other two? Please tell us your opinion in the comments.

[via Daring Fireball]