First Tablet

In honor of Apple’s new tablet device, the iPad, it’s useful to reflect on what may have been the first tablet ever. The telautograph used a motorized pen to transfer drawings via telegraph. It was originally devised by Elisha Gray who patented the device in 1888.

My personal prediction of the tablet is it will go the way of Apple TV meaning lack of content keeps the device from being transformative. All in all, we can expect one million units (Apple TV was ~1-1.5mus). It will not directly compete with the Netbooks which Steve Jobs has so notably snubbed in October: “There are some customers which we chose not to serve,” Jobs said at the time. “We don’t know how to make a $500 computer that’s not a piece of junk, and our DNA will not let us ship that. ” Instead of competing with netbooks, I believe this device will help open new markets–most notably would be the non-tech user, the casual web surfer, and the higher education student.

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