If it were rugged enough to be dropped on a concrete boiler room floor, and have custom form filling, we'd be VERY interested. But it appears this is not in the cards.
I assure you, service companies are waiting, clamoring for, a gizmo to replace paper forms. One that can be filled out with service call details, materials used and hours spent. Spot for customer to sign. Email copy to customer, transfer data to home office for invoicing and payroll prep. And that's just the beginning. But it will need to be able to be used by wrench turners, not Comp Sci graduates.
First company to come out with a practical version of something like this at reasonable cost will make a fortune. Just juice up what UPS uses.
The Newton was Apple's PDA 1.0 and there are 30,000 of them taking up space in a California landfill as I recall.
The problem with tablets is that they typically lack a good keyboard. While some are perfectly happy to review other people's work, many desire (or are required) to actively contribute and that's not entirely practical without a keyboard.
Tablets are more than adequate for filling in checkboxes and radio buttons and maybe even a slider, but they often stink on ice for note taking and all but the simplest of correspondence.
I guess it comes down to what the user is trying to replace as to whether the tablet is an option.
I've never seen this discussed but was always wondering: Why wouldn't Apple start small and release a "traditional" tablet computer first, the one that is a laptop first and can have its screen turned around and put on the keyboard?
If they can do it in the 10-11" screen size, base it on Air - it would be enough "groundbreaking" to qualify as an Apple product and charge an "Apple" price. If that sells, "just-a-screen" tablet could be next...
The last GE service tech that was here used a Dell device that had a touch screen but was still a fliped out lap top. Very similar to the application you described, navychop. It was built like a MIL spec laptop. Oh, my brother-in-law wrote the software for the UPS tablet.
Harshness- That's a different report than I read but similar. It was released and within an hour the falling Apple stock turned and has shot up $10 a share, recovering much of the loss in the past few days. What I find interesting is if you want the earliest news from any tech company, look to the financials, as they get these scoops first followed by the tech writers. Tells me there are more leaks in the marketing and administration end of the business than in the tech and engineering side. My online real time stock trading tool has this feature that when any scoop comes out it shows up as an advisory news release, click on it and the full text or video cast pops up.
I'm still wondering how this will fit in the consumer environment. If it is to compete with Kindle, then that might be it but Amazon is an old dog at books so that will be a tough road for Apple to muscle in.
Apple stock did rise by about $10 yesterday but has fallen slightly today. The rise yesterday is generally attributed to several analyst reports about the tablet and that the iphone will soon be coming to Verizon. personally I am skeptical of that and we have certainyl seen reports like that before but maybe it is true this time.
but as far as I can tell there is no announcement by Apple on either subject.
Geronimo- I don't know what to think about this iphone at Verizon deal. Every time I hear something about Verizon getting the iphone I read another report about negotiations going bad. Primarily, because Apple wants lots of control and Verizon wants the same control and neither can get their heads together on who controls the phone. Most of us Verizon owners know they love to be in control of the phone branding and content, including their special version of the OS. When did Apple ever submit to that with AT&T?
AS for the stock- yes, in this market stocks jump up and down based on the latest analyst reports that predict future events, then when the event is actually confirmed, the change is not as significant. Today's fall off of a few $ is likely due to more analysts downgrading the outlook for the stock, now down to $220- $226. I recall not too many weeks ago the outlook was at $260. Frankly, I am concerned we have way too many analysts making predictions that are not based on the business fundamentals but on their own collection of outside influences. The tablet has now had it's run on that piece of news. For anything to influence further will have to be something different, like announcing a new improvement to the ipod or iphone. BTW- there was another announcement along with the tablet that Apple was raising it's download pricing by 29% per song. While margins will increase, volume will decrease. Time will tell on that one.