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Author Topic: Apple 'to launch touch-screen tablet this year'  (Read 1248 times)

Offline javajolt

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Apple 'to launch touch-screen tablet this year'
« on: July 28, 2009, 11:51:37 PM »

Apple is rumoured to be launching a touch-screen
tablet computer later this year, which could look something
like this mocked-up device

Rumours of a tablet computer – similar to a large-screen iPod touch – have swirled for months, but many analysts and experts dismissed the chatter as wishful thinking rather than indicating any solid plans from Apple.

But according to the Financial Times, which quotes sources close to the company, Apple is hoping to launch a tablet computer this September. Although details of the device, jokingly dubbed the MacBook Touch, remain scarce, the Financial Times reports that it will have a 10in screen, Wi-Fi connectivity, and the ability to download e-books as well as music, which would pitch it in direct competition with Amazon's Kindle ebook reader.

Apple is also thought to be working on a new music initiative, code-named Cocktail, that will see the big four record labels – EMI, Sony, Warner Music and Universal – offer interactive booklets, sleeve notes and exclusive cover art with songs and albums purchased through its iTunes Music Store.

“It’s all about re-creating the heyday of the album when you would sit around with your friends looking at the artwork, while you listened to the music,” an executive familiar with the plans told the Financial Times.

Industry experts hope the launch of a new touch-screen tablet computer could change the PC market in the same way that the iPod revolutionised music, and prove as much of a technology step-change as Apple's iPhone.

However, some commentators have said it's "unlikely" that such a device will be available in the next few months. "Reports last week had Apple working hard to get a tablet device [ready] in time for Q1 2010," said MG Siegler, an expert with technology website Techcrunch. "So how likely is it that we're going to see such a device in just a couple of months? Probably not too likely."

In a quarterly earnings call last year, Peter Oppenheimer, Apple's chief financial officer, hinted at a new, unnamed product with "technologies and features that other's can't match". Some have speculated that the product in question could be a touch-screen computer that draws together many of the key features of the iPod touch and iPhone range in a larger device that offers basic computing functionality as well as wireless internet connectivity for on-demand access to the iTunes music shop and application store.

Apple said it did not comment on rumour or speculation.