Apple Tablet Finally Here? What does that mean for Adobe?

- by Jori Curry

While Apple continues to remain quiet on the iTab, industry insiders say a 2010 release date is imminent.

With the massive popularity of the Amazon Kindle, and the Barnes & Noble NookApple is in a prime spot to take advantage of the wave of users flocking to the new tablet technology. With McDonalds joining Panera and Starbucks in offering free wireless, the iTab is poised to sell 10 million in the first year, according to Lee Kai-fu, a previous president of Google in China. Though the Kindle is a nifty device, the ability to utilize iPhone Apps, Adobe Photoshop, Adobe InDesign, and other Creative Suite apps will make it far more powerful than the popular E-reader. Where we are limited in the use of Flash on the iPhone, the iTab only should not only allow users to view flash, but to create Adobe Flash applications while enjoying a Big Mac at McDonalds–all without having to lug a laptop around.

Unlike the iPhone and iPod Touch, the iTab may utilize a new electronic pen. With the recent patent filed by Apple, it appears the new pen would even take advantage of an “Ink Manager” to communicate with applications that may not be designed to work with an electronic pen.

The patent document reads: “Even systems that attempt to improve this situation by using each stroke to determine the input field anew, such as the Apple Newton from Apple Computer Inc. of Cupertino, Calif., can suffer from failure modes that make the situation difficult for both end users and for application developers,” the document reads. “For example, a word that accidentally spans two input fields even a tiny amount (due, for instance, to a stray ascender, descender, crossbar, or dot) may be broken up into multiple sessions, causing misrecognition and invalid data entries that must be manually corrected.”

Apple Insider has also elaborated on the delay of the iTab. They report that Nick Bilton of the New York Times has said one of the biggest reasons for delay was the lack of software for this kind of touchscreen platform. Now that the App store offerers a plethora of software, the iTab can only be around the corner.

Macquarie analyst Phil Cusick was quoted estimating the iTab will cost approximately $800 and sell 3-5 million tablets in the first year.