Some of the most exciting news for all of technology has to be the official introduction of a new product category at Apple - the tablet. After all, the iPod and iPhone were responsible for billions of dollars in new spending from global consumers. Remember, MP3 players and mobile phones were both mature markets when Apple entered - but look at them now -- everyone seems to crave products from Apple and they want to spend more money for them because frankly they are worth it.
But there is danger in this new product launch which scares me more than almost anything else in the land of tech. You see, Apple popularized the mobile application. Sure, I downloaded apps on my other Windows Mobile devices before the App Store existed but Cupertino's electronic marketplace brought a thriving ecosystem of apps which totals more than 100,000 at most recent count.
And every one of these applications is controlled by Apple. They tell you what apps are allowed to be distributed openly and they further tell developers what they can and can't do.
I would venture to say no other company can get away with Apple has done with its App Store.
Yet, Apple thrives because the products the company makes are just that good!
And every day I think about how I wish there was a way to download any app I wanted to an iPhone without jailbreaking it, I am thankful that this world of locked-in apps hasn't come to PCs and laptops.
But guess what? Apple is definitely coming out with a tablet now and one has to wonder if the app store will come with it.
If it does, will laptops and desktops be next?
Are we witnessing the end of freedom when it comes to applications on all devices?
Sure, I can likely go to the competition like I can today and download any app I want on a Windows Mobile or Android-based device but what if the trend catches on?
Apple is raking in cash from the App Store, how long before Microsoft investors begin to complain?
Will jailbreaking of devices become the next frontier for battling consumers - replacing the battle over music piracy by record labels?
Is this what we have to look forward to this decade?
I for one hope this doesn't happen but if Apple's device is really incredible, I will likely go out and get one and perhaps another for my family. Sure - it is early to say I will drop $1,000/device for a device I haven't seen but that is the trust I have in Apple's ability to create new devices which people crave. And therein lays the problem for the open application market.