This again: Apple tablet coming, totally for real this time

Oh, look, if it's Monday and there's a Chinese-language article in the China Times, it must be time for another round of pointless Apple tablet rumors! The current maelstrom derives entirely from said China Times article, which those with better language skills than I say conveys the following details:

  • 9.7-inch touch screen
  • Arrives in October
  • $800 price point

[ Click here for more on Apple's rumored $800 tablet PC ] I hereby officially declare this to be the Persistent Apple Rumor That Most Annoys Me. I honestly cannot for the life of my figure out why anyone would spend $800 -- or, heck $500 -- on a gadget that they can't really type on. I guess I can't see what you can do with this that you can't do with, say, a low-end laptop, for not that much more money and with much more functionality. The fundamental problem with the tablet device is that it doesn't really replace anything. You're still going to need a real computer (which may well be an almost-as-portable laptop) and a cell phone to get computer-y Internet-y things done. If you're enough of a Mac nerd that you'd consider this tablet, you probably already have an iPhone or iPod Touch that covers much of the lounging-around-consuming-media-or-doing-casual-Internet-things angle of this covered. Real laptops are only going to get lighter, and smartphones are only going to get more capable. This is a narrowing niche. That doesn't mean that Apple isn't planning to enter it; it just means that I'll be the first to call it a bad idea if they do (and the first to eat crow if they end up making a mint on it, as is their wont these days).

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