The Apple tablet can save comic books

As I was reading V for Vendetta the other night, it occurred to me that if this Apple tablet device is real, it could reinvigorate comics and graphic novels even more than all the recent film adaptations. Imagine reading Watchmen and other graphic novels on a big, bright, interactive screen, and having new issues of comics automatically and wirelessly delivered (like newspapers on your Amazon Kindle). Imagine zooming in on panels, listening to voice-overs, and reading comments left by other readers.

Hopefully both Apple and the comic book industry are pursuing this opportunity without any of the obsolete preconceptions of traditional media. I believe if this is done right, the Apple tablet can revolutionize comics every bit as much as the iPod revolutionized digital music.

Although the last thing the internet needs are more rumors of what Apple is going to release, while I'm on the topic, I might as well present my predictions:

  • 10" – 13" multi-touch screen.
  • iPhone OS.
  • App Store, naturally (which, as a side note, I expect to come to the desktop eventually).
  • Focus on music, video, magazines, newspapers, hopefully comics, web browsing, and gaming (both 3D and simple virtual multi-player board games).
  • Nice "page-flip" animations and gestures to make you feel like you're reading physical media.
  • Wireless delivery, probably through Verizon rather than AT&T.
  • On-screen keyboard and voice commands.
  • No optical media, and perhaps no way to connect a keyboard (after all, Apple can't allow it to replace your MacBook).
  • Remote control for your iTV, perhaps.
  • Accelerometer, GPS, and camera (although these could come as upgrades in later models).
  • 64GB of storage capacity (must be bigger than the iPod Touch, but not so big that they can't sell you higher-capacity models in the future).
  • Non-removable battery (naturally — now that they've gotten away with it, why go back?).
  • Name: the Apple iPad.
  • Price: $800.

Anything I left out?

5 thoughts on “The Apple tablet can save comic books

  1. you’re wrong on some points,
    1: most rumors state it’ll start at 128GB (probably a SSD, while a model with lesser capacity (32 and 64GB) might be introduced later on)
    2: keyboard and mice might also be available/supported later on, at an additional cost since Apple will not allow existing kb/mice to be connected and rather introduce them separately and as using Apple’s dock connector instead of USB or bluetooth.
    3: Remote for iTunes/iTV will be in the form of an expanded Remote App like the one for the iPhone. Possible more of an iTunes/iTV like interface ’cause of the more screen-real-estate 10 or 13 inch brings
    Here’s somethings you might’ve left out:
    1: A lot of rumors speculate the device will sport a dual LCD/or/LED/or/OLED + e-ink combi screen, that with a touch of a button switches between full color LED/LCD/OLED to high quality paperlike (grayscale) e-ink.
    2: Another (but not so much wide spread rumor) says Apple has created their own e-ink (full colour) implementation thats placed below a traditional (but translucent like) OLED screen like the ones currently in used in the iPhones.
    3: Again, other rumors speculate that Apple may put some of the recently discovered patents in to practice. This, according to some, will include the resistive/tactile feedback patent (touted as “Haptic Tactile Feedback”), the fingerprint identification patent (“Fingerprint Identification as an Input Method”).
    Also we may see the implementation of a Carbon Fiber-based shell (might also be used in future macbook air’s to replace the aluminum and make the Air even lighter), the inclusion of an RFID-reader.


  2. The App Store on the desktop isn’t terribly likely, unless it was already sort of there. See also — Apple maintained a huge clearinghouse of Mac applications from before the iPhone came out. Shareware was already amply (and reasonably well) covered by the likes of Kagi, etc.


  3. David,
    Two things I would point out about a desktop app store:
    1. Apple isn’t making any money off their existing online catalog. After the success they’ve had selling applications on phones, if they’re not thinking of selling apps on the desktop, they’re crazy.
    2. Yes, Kagi is currently providing a similar service, but Apple isn’t making any money off it. Apple is a public company. Public companies need to grow. Growth is easiest in proven and established markets which enable you to leverage existing assets and infrastructure. Again, if Apple isn’t thinking of selling desktop software through the iTunes App Store, they’re crazy.
    Just a prediction, though. Who knows what they have in mind. Could be they’d rather focus on a closed and captive market like the iPhone than on the relatively wide open desktop platform.


  4. You’re not very optimistic about this device, if it exists. I do agree that the App Store will probably make it to the forefront of their business. It can’t be that hard to make some kind of emulator for current apps, and then just sell regular apps for full screen/touch devices. Although they obviously can’t restrict installed programs to the Apps Store for their entire line, so I doubt it will be very beneficial outside of the restricted environment of the iPhone/Touch.
    As for the OS. My feeling is if this thing has the iPhone OS it will be a complete failure. Reason A being the App Store. With this most recent flop with Google, Apple’s approval process will be like a plague to any device that requires it. Apple is seriously getting burned by this arbitrary level of fascist control. Reason B: I think Snow Leopard will have full multi-touch functionality, so a tablet is the perfect way to break that out. And C: If the tablet is robust enough and actually gains popularity, it will have to be able to run everything anyone wants. IE the current biggest reason not to buy an iPhone.
    Perhaps I’m too optimistic :)


  5. That doesn’t sound so optimistic to me, it sounds like you think there’s a big problem with the most successful phenomenon in technology history.


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