Tablet PCs were cool, but they never captured the imagination of the public. The iPhone and iPod Touch, on the other hand, created a computing revolution. The iPhone trained millions to compute with their fingers. What should have been detriments—its size and lack of physical keyboard—turned into key attributes. People love touching the screen, and no one complains about the iPhone not shipping with a stylus. Adding an accelerometer to the mix was sheer brilliance, and I'm sure that tablet PC manufacturers were kicking themselves wondering why they hadn't thought of that. Future tablets are now seen as an extension of the Apple iPhone ideal, not a better tablet PC.Other reasons include longer battery life, cheaper processors, and better displays. Follow the link for more.
I expect to see significant innovation in these areas over the next few years. The success of the iPhone and Apple's App Store show there is huge untapped potential for this kind of technology and business model. Toss in the effects of the netbook revolution on cheap computing and long battery life and, and the effects of the Kindle on eBooks, and you've got the perfect storm for driving innovation of high-volume, low cost technology the can greatly benefit developers and consumers alike. I think the personal computing revolution has just begun.