Someone I know told me that he would only buy an iPad if it could run Mountain Lion and Mavericks. I am not aware of any present iPad which can do this; has anyone heard whether a future model might meet this description?
I am tempted to tell him that what he wants will never exist, but who knows what Apple's future plans might be?
However, the individual the OP is describing wants something that Apple doesn't make and likely wouldn't be cheap if they did.
If a company is filling this niche through modification it's a unique approach and why wouldn't it be costly?
Anyone with such a rigid requirement with likely questionable necessity should be prepared to pay lavishly for it.
There is another option though.
One would think that any PC tablet with similar internal hardware to Apple products would be fairly trivial to hack OS X onto. A typical Ivy Bridge PC tablet would probably cost somewhere between ~$800 to ~$1300 USD. Although secure boot on Windows 8 PC tablets could be a bit of a problem. Sandy Bridge PC tablets might be a bit easier to work with.
Well, this is someone who doesn't know all that much about Apple. He even ran an ad in Craigslist asking for iOS installation CD's (which definitely don't exist). Telling him to read up about Apple products doesn't accomplish much, since he doesn't like learning (even though I constantly tell him that learning is good).
There are people with money. Expensive upgrade. But rather sweet. I know that Carbon Computing has a service like that, or at least they have a partner that does it. -- If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough. - Albert Einstein
It really wouldn't be a horrible idea for Apple to have a OS X based tablet, but seeing how well (sic) Windows has done with their Windows 8 tablet, Apple my be hesitant. However, being that OS X has launchpad, I could see it working well. Being that the new MacBook Air's can do 10 hours, it is comparable to the new iPads. -- If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough. - Albert Einstein
It really wouldn't be a horrible idea for Apple to have a OS X based tablet, but seeing how well (sic) Windows has done with their Windows 8 tablet, Apple my be hesitant. However, being that OS X has launchpad, I could see it working well. Being that the new MacBook Air's can do 10 hours, it is comparable to the new iPads.
iOS is selling far faster and has captured a greater market share more quickly than OS X. Different markets and different products, of course, so it's not a fair comparison. But anyone that sells over 450 million devices in about seven years shouldn't worry too much about offering a completely redesigned and different version of their software. Guessing that 90% of users are very happy with the quick, easy and reliable iOS leaving a very limited share clamoring for a more sophisticated and versatile OS X based mobile device. Theres's not enough there for them to rip the brand in two. Microsoft Vista introduced a confusing array of choices (Home, Basic, Premium, Ultra, etc.). Not saying that contributed to the lack of customer adoption, but it didn't help, either. A small MacBook Air, like you said, can sell serve the mobile warrior in need of more capability...IMHO
Simplicity and fewer choice can have an advantage with respect to selling products among the uninitiated or novice that wouldn't fully understand a plethora of choices.
Thats one place where Apple can really shine. If someone wants a smart phone the latest iPhone is a relatively simple choice compared to the massive choices out there for Android phones. The same goes for MBP, MBA, iMac, Mac Mini and Mac Pro. Thats not to say there are no options but everything pretty much looks and acts the same within the streamlined product lineup.
I've said for a while now that the Mac Book Air would be great in a tablet design with docking keyboard (with built in auxiliary battery). Apple wouldn't be leading the way in this respect since they would be following the design of many ARM and PC tablets that do this already but I think it would be a great product for Apple.
On a side note, I have an Apple iPad and really like it. I currently still have the 3rd gen but will likely upgrade when a newer model comes out. I also have two HP Touchpad tablets (one running Android 16GB and one running WebOS 32GB). I also have an Asus Eee Slate EP121 Core i5 tablet PC running Windows (originally Windows 7 Home Premium now Windows 8 Pro on a 64GB mSATA SSD):