The Apple tablet rumors are coming so thick and fast now that the big surprise would be for Apple not to announce one.
According to the Financial Times, Apple is bound to launch the fabled Apple tablet in September, along with new iPods with camera. They claim Apple is working with record labels and book publishers on new iTunes features created for the new device: A Tablet cum Kindle Killer
Apple is separately racing to offer a portable, full-featured, tablet-sized computer in time for the Christmas shopping season, in what the entertainment industry hopes will be a new revolution. The device could be launched alongside the new content deals, including those aimed at stimulating sales of CD-length music, according to people briefed on the project.
Apple is working with EMI, SonyMusic, Warner Music and Universal Music Group, on a project the company has codenamed “Cocktail“, according to four people familiar with the situation.
The Financial Times’ sources point out that the device will have a 10-inch touchscreen and run iPhone OS. The tablet will be able to connect to the Internet using Wi-Fi like the iPod touch, and—according to publishers—it will also have a book marketplace. Yes, that’s Jeff Bezos’ worst nightmare.
The device will “probably” come without a cell connection. Somewhat bizarrely, the FT describes it as being pitched at rejuvenating sales of the multi-song music album. “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,”. How will this happen? Liner notes and artwork on the big 10-inch screen.
Codenamed “Cocktail” will tempt consumers to buy albums rather than just picking the songs they like. Unfortunately, it seems to have escaped the music execs that people bought albums because it was the only way to get the tracks you wanted, unlike today where you can pick and choose, discarding the chaff.
The article also mentions book publishers, who “have been in talks with Apple”. This sounds great, and if Apple can manage the battery life issues then a color, hi-res screen could be a “Kindle Killer”. The FT ends with a statement that is indisputably true, given a high-resolution, 10-inch screen: “It’s going to be fabulous for watching movies.”