Until very recently, I had a very hard time believing that Apple would release the Tablet version of Mac (or iPhone) and have never spend time thinking about it. Tablet PC market is too small for Apple to go after, and eBook market is far from attractive yet.
The photo contest by Gizmodo, however, forced me to think about it further. I put myself into shoes of somebody who is in charge of this device, directly reporting to Jobs. What does it take to convince Jobs to approve the launch of this device?
I came up with one possible answer, which the picture above represents. Instead of going after traditional eBook market, I think Apple should directly go after schools - just like Apple did it with iTunes store and iPhone. Here is the pitch.
"It is great to see you guys to take advantage of technology, offering online classes and registrations and networking entire campus with WiFi, but there is one thing all the schools are a decade behind - text books. It does not make sense to waste all the trees, spend extra cost in printing and distributing, and forcing your students to carry tens of pounds of textbooks in their backpacks. I think it's time to switch. Just like we've eliminated CDs with iPod, we have created a perfect device to eliminate text books.
(And show the device, and demonstrate its various capabilities)
We have already talked to all major publishers, and they have agreed to offer all their text books in the new eBook format we've defined. In order to protect their business, we have created a new DRM mechanism, which makes it impossible to illegally copy text books. We also added a mechanism to expire books after a specified period, so that publisher has a full control over the business model.
It is going to cost $600 for each student to buy this device, but it allows them to "rent" text books at half the price of paper-based text books. This cost saving alone justifies this up-front cost, but it also allow school to offer online classes with video chat capabilities and gives a great flexibilities in the type of materials you offer.
Do you want to join thousands of other schools in the united states to join this exciting opportunities?"
I think this level of effort (and involvement of publishers and schools as the result) is absolutely necessary to successfully launch the Apple tablet. I think it's time to take advantage of "reality distortion field" by Mr. Jobs.