4. App stores
Apple's iTunes app store demonstrated how tightly designed, limited use, inexpensive applications can turn a ho-hum phone into an incredibly powerful and usable platform. All the other major smart phone handset makers followed suit, and developers are pouring incredible time, money and energy into creating mobile games and applications, many of which will work on touch tablets just like they do on cell phones.
Unlike pen tablets, which Microsoft envisioned we'd use for running Microsoft Office, tomorrow's tablets will run a gazillion free or low-cost apps from the platform vendors' app stores.
Because of cell phone apps stores, touch tablets will be way more fun to use than netbooks, old-school tablets or even cell phones (because their screens are bigger).
5. The rise of e-books
Everybody is talking about e-books. And although dedicated e-book readers will always be with us, most people will read electronic books with cell phones and touch tablets. Ignore the naysayers. Tablets will be great for reading books. You'll even be able to turn the page by flicking your finger across the top right of the page, kind of like a paper book.
6. Faster mobile broadband
The carriers haven't figured out the right pricing models for data in a world where everything is connected via mobile broadband. But they will. And when they do, touch tablets will be sold like cell phones, and always-there Internet connections will be standard.
7. HD video on demand
Consumers are gradually discovering that getting TV and movies over the Internet is the way to go, the TV itself is optional, movies are downloadable and the cable subscription probably isn't worth the money. Just as the masses really understand all this, along comes a cheap, high-quality tablet that functions largely like a cable-connected, Blu-ray-connected, DVR-connected TV set, but one you carry with you everywhere you go.
And this will be the killer app that mainstreams touch tablets: It's a mobile HD TV with a universe of downloadable programming.