Last week, I asked you to help me kill time until Apple (probably) announces its tablet by participating in an experiment: a group prediction about its features, name, and price. Nearly three hundred of you pitched in. Here’s part two of the project: aggregating your responses into one big collective guess. (Part three will come once Apple unveils the thing: We’ll go over our prediction and see how we did.)
The predictions are based on your answers to a series of multiple choice questions. In instances where you were allowed to select more than one answer, any answer that more than 51% of you chose counts as a prediction. In cases where you were only allowed to select one answer, the one that received the most votes counts as a prediction, even if it fell short of a true majority.
(There is, of course, nothing the least bit scientific about any of this. But given the lousy track record of professional Apple pundits, I figure it stands at least as good a chance of being accurate as any other method short of finding someone within Apple who knows what he or she is talking about and has very loose lips. )
First of all, a basic question: Is Apple going to announce a tablet on Wednesday?
Yes. A landslide 96 percent of you say it will.
Now your point-by-point prognostications…
OS: It’ll run iPhone OS or a very close variant thereof (59% say so)
Screen size: at least 10″ but less than 11″ (55%)
Input features: multi-touch (99%). A majority says it won’t have pen input, a touchpad, a physical keyboard, more than one button in its face, or dedicated game controls. (We didn’t ask about an on-screen keyboard, but presumably it’ll have one if it’s otherwise QWERTY-free.)
Screen technology: LCD (49%). 43% think it’ll be OLED, and a gutsy 3% predict E-Ink.
- Wi-Fi (99%)
- a headphone jack (93%)
- Flash storage (82%)
- Bluetooth (84%)
- An accelerometer (78%)
- 3G wireless (70%)
- speakers (65%)
- GPS (64%)
- One or more USB ports (62%)
- a camera (59%)
Storage (base model): 32GB (32%)
3G providers: Wow, it’ll be available on more than one of them! (38%)
- Web browser (87%)
- E-reader (85%)
- Video player (81%)
- iTunes Store (81%)
- Music player (71%)
- E-mail (63%)
- Games (61%)
- Photo organizer (55%)
Application strategy: Third-party apps will be distributed through an iPhone-like App Store (81%). iPhone apps will run with some modification by the developer (69%).
E-book strategy: We have a tie! Exactly 48.5% of you think Apple will let other publishers sell books, magazines, and newspapers through the tablet,and 48.5% think it’ll sell them itself. Only 3% think it won’t do anything e-book related.
Price (of lowest-cost model, including any carrier subsidy): Another tie! 24% say $799, and 25% say $699, (1.3% percent optimistically say $199.)
The product’s name: iSlate (31%). Second place: “Other,” at 21%.
Shipping in: March (40%). Second place: April or later, at 36%.
The event will be presided over by: Steve Jobs (88%). Eight percent say Phil Schiller.
Other predictions made by one or more survey takers that sounded either plausible or at least not utterly fantastic:
- Option to connect Apple Wireless Keyboard through Bluetooth
- They won’t sell 10 million in the first year, but will sell over 5 million.
- It will likely use a “one app at a time” scheme. There will be no file system. It will essentially be a computing appliance your grandmother can operate.
- Going against the rumor mill, the Apple tablet may be carrier-agnostic (3G).
- Will have multiple color options.
- Will run a modified iPhone OS but it WILL allow background apps.
- There will be at least one totally off-the-wall feature that no one predicted.
- Developers will be able to use the dock connector for hardware (game controllers etc)
- Payment systems for some magazines and newspapers through iTunes will already be worked out when it goes live.
- Called Applet
- It will have some form of interaction with Apple TV. It will also have a docking element (i.e. docking to an external keyboard through its charge port).
- A single camera on the front of the device, that will eventually be used for video conferencing
- Free 3G subsidized by their own ad network (Quattro)
Consider this post a scorecard which we’ll (I have to insert “probably” here) get to fill out next Wednesday at 10am when Apple holds its event. Please join us for our live coverage then. In the meantime, feel free to continue predicting: There’s lots of stuff we didn’t ask about, including the tablet’s processor and the most interesting thing of all: the details of its user interface.
(Oh yeah, a note to those who entered the drawing for a $100 Apple Store gift card: We’ve drawn a winner and alerted that person, but haven’t heard back yet. We’ll announce a name publicly once we have.)