I thought of posting this in comments somewhere else associated with this story, but I selfishly want it here, since everyone is essentially quoting the same couple of lines of Steve Jobs saying that Apple is not building a tablet.
I tried to analyze the quote, looking for inconsistencies…I’ve had more than a handful of people tell me, “I’m waiting for Apple to build a tablet, then I’m going to buy one.” My one thought (although perhaps over-analyzing Jobs’ craftiness) was that by focusing on the fact that “people want keyboards” (what about a large portion of the world where typing is a pain…like China?!), Jobs was pointing towards a “tablet” with keyboard attached?
Or, it is even more of a branding thing. Perhaps Jobs hopes to associate “Tablet PC” with the MS version, and come up with a different term – essentially, a different category, so no head to head competition – for the Apple version?
Many people nodded wisely, waggling their eyebrows, nudging each other, when Apple produced Inkwell as part of OS X 10.2. “Aahhh!” they exclaimed, “old Jobsie is building us a Tablet! Or maybe a PDA! A cellphone?”
I try not to get too excited one way or the other by Apple rumours anymore. I’ve got Mac OS Rumors on the site cloud now, so I check them every so often.
By the way, the full transcription of the Jobs interview is here.