And don't think that your iPhone skills will somehow map over to the larger, clipboard-style implementation of the iTablet. There's a big difference between interacting with a handheld device that fits snuggly in the palm of your hand and a book-sized device that rests awkwardly in the crook of your elbow (or jammed, tray-like, into your abdomen).
Reality No. 2: Typing is much faster than writing
I don't know about you, but I type a heck of a lot faster than I write with pen and paper, and given the prevalence of text messaging, word processing, and similarly keyboard-centric technologies, I'm guessing I'm not alone in this sentiment. For many of us, the act of scribbling with a traditional writing instrument seems almost anachronistic.
So given our preference for typing, why would anyone want to go back to the prehistoric world of dragging and scratching? Sure, the various touch-centric navigation gimmicks of an iTablet would be fun for a while. But when it came time to enter data -- to type a long e-mail message or edit a complex document -- the limitations of the tablet form factor (onscreen keyboards or stylus, plus handwriting recognition) would begin to grate on even the most die-hard touchscreen aficionados.
It's no secret that the first peripheral to appear for many popular touch-only handheld device categories is an external keyboard. Adding such a kludgy option to an otherwise sleek piece of Apple engineering would no doubt ruin the whole iHalo effect -- you know, that hip, white-on-white, earbuds-displayed-prominently-for-all-to-see look that seems to lure so many of the beautiful people into the Apple Reality Distortion Field. An external keyboard? Dangling from your iTablet like some weird appendage? I just can't see it happening.
Reality No. 3: The netbook conundrum
But perhaps the biggest hurdle to iTablet success is the netbook. Lightweight and sleek, today's units have all of the advantages of a notebook PC -- including nearly full-sized keyboards -- and none of the disadvantages. Compared to an iTablet, netbooks simply make more sense for how the vast majority of users think and work. And that, more than anything, will decide the iTablet's fate.
Unless Apple pulls something truly revolutionary out of its hat, the iTablet will become yet another footnote in the sad, miserable history of tablet computing.