My prediction: a Mac OS X tablet by 2018

Apple’s official position may be that we don't need an OS X/iOS hybrid tablet (which I’ve dubbed the MacPad), but I’m going out on a limb here and predicting we’ll see one by 2018.

Why? According to Gartner Inc., one-third of all laptops will ship with a touchscreen in that year. The research group says that as incremental price for touch decreases, it will become more normalized as a default feature for notebooks. 

Certainly, Apple doesn’t follow the trends, but I’m still convinced we’ll see a MacPad. Now I’m setting a date: before the end of 2018.

Along the same lines, Gartner says that, by 2018, users will demand more screen real estate for their workspaces, resulting in higher-resolution screens and more of them. Within three years, the research group says that more money will be spent on display screens than on the personal computer itself. 

"All of these trends portend a new employee workspace that is more mobile, more capable of working more naturally with humans, and, overall, more productive and secure. Endpoint support staff must rethink the workspace and work with suppliers to rearchitect and re-cost standards," says Ken Dulaney, vice president and distinguished analyst at Gartner.

Hopefully, we’ll see the long-awaited Apple 5K Thunderbolt Display before then.