Today is the day when St. Jobs comes down from the mountain and delivers his (Apple's) "latest creation" ... that's what the official Apple press release says anyway.
Nothing about a tablet or anything, just "our latest creation." You would think that with all the hype about a tablet, that Apple has announced that they are releasing some sort of tablet computing device today. That's not so, they've never mentioned a tablet at all. (Which is not to say that they aren't releasing a tablet today.)
Given the level of buzz, chances are excellent that a tablet's what we'll see. Some blogs were leaking photos just this morning. We even know what it will probably look like: a ten or so inch seamless screen with maybe one discreet physical button and few visible ports, you know, the way Apple likes to design everything: simple with as few buttons and seams as possible. But the Wow factor of this device isn't what it looks like physically, but how the software interface will function.
But there is no point in going on about all the speculation about what this thing will do, or how it will function. If you really care about it you would have read the thousands of pages on every tech blog in the universe detailing every rumor ad nauseum. I'm personally glad that there will be an announcement today just so the tech press can start reporting facts about this thing rather than the rumors about what it will be.
So in honor of Apple's big announcement today, lets take a look back at some of Apple's failed tablet concepts of the past. Some that made it into production -- OK, one did ... and the ones that never made it out of the concept phase.
First the ones that didn't make it:
And here is the one that did make it (but didn't last long) Apples pioneering PDA, the Newton. About five years ahead of its time, the Newton was a great idea poorly executed with buggy half-baked software and a form factor that was probably too large for its own good. The Newton lived from about 1993 to 1998, when Apple killed it off and never spoke of it again. Here is a photo of it next to a modern iPhone:
click to enlarge
And here is a promotional video for the Newton (you can tell this is from the early 90's because it's all about the Fax):
If you can't wait for the mainstream press to report what Apple announces today, there are several sites that will be live blogging from the event, including Engadget and Gizmodo. And Leo LaPorte is so excited he's gonna be live all day with wall-to-wall coverage dedicated to the Tablet announcement.
And because you can embed his stream you can watch it right here: