The short answer is (deep breath and a sigh) what is always Apple's achilles heel: it may just be too darn expensive!

A new consumer survey put out by market research firm, Retrevo, demonstrates that Apple will have an uphill battle making their new tablet a must-have product.

The big headline from the survey:

- 70% say if it costs more than $700 than forget it. I wish Retrevo had followed up with lower price points to see where the pain point lies. Apple probably would like to know, as well. The unofficial word is that the retail price will be around $800 and Verizon (and possibly AT&T) will sell it for $600 witha two year contract. Memo to Apple: the recession is not over and the economy was much better when you launched the iPhone.

Here's what else they want, Mr. Jobs:

1. An overwhelming 75% said they want longer battery life than six hours.

2. 39% want 3G network access (big "but" however, see #2 on the next list).

3. 28% want a big selection of eBooks.

Here's what would be a deal breaker to buy the tablet in the first place:

1. 44% give a big thumb's down to a monthly plan.

2. 34% say no to AT&T's 3G network.

3. 22% say a lack of eBooks (see #3 on the last list).

I'm seeing a theme here. They want it cheap and without strings attached to a telco carrier. If all the "leaked" reports are true, customers are not likely to get either. Houston, we may have a problem.

I'd like to remind you that when the iPhone came out two and a half years ago it was priced much higher. Apple had to slash prices within weeks and give rebates to early suckers, er uh, adopters who paid big bucks up front.