WSJ: Apple Tablet Ready to Change Print, TV

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Apple looks to be ready to finally release its own tablet device, and insider sources claim it's positioned to change how people find and view books and TV shows in the same way the iPod changed the music industry. The company will apparently target its tablet at home and classroom use and include a list of features that sets it apart from other tablet form factor devices, according to the Wall Street Journal.

The WSJ sources claimed Apple is in negotiations with several publishers and media companies to offer tablet-based books and TV shows, and has been discussing a "Best of TV" subscription service. Apple has apparently also been working with EA to produce some tablet-based games.

If Apple goes after the education market with its tablet, that could spell bad news for Amazon and its Kindle DX ebook reader. Schools have been complaining about the Kindle's lack of page numbering and color graphics, along with its limited support for interactivity -- all features that Apple's tablet will presumably address.

The Apple tablet is said to include a 10- or 11-inch touch screen surface, a rumor that's backed up by photos The Mac Observer recently obtained. It also will likely have some form of wireless data access, an on-screen keyboard, an easy way to share the device among several people, and possibly even facial recognition support.

Apple's biggest obstacle to wide-spread acceptance of its tablet device could be the price. Many are expecting it to cost around US$1,000, which may make it too expensive for many schools -- especially if it doesn't integrate well with technologies the institutions already have in place.

Apple will be hosting a special media event on January 27 where the company is expected to introduce its new tablet form factor device. Be sure to check in with TMO for our product announcement coverage.

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11 Comments Leave Your Own

Jeff Gamet

I’m hoping Apple’s fabled tablet device is priced well below $1,000 so it’ll be easier for schools to buy, and so there’s a clear cost distinction compared to the MacBook.

pdwatson2

Apple has always overpriced and always succeeded with that.  (remember the original iPod:  $499.)  But I hope they are smart and change that strategy this time.  Sell it at a loss even, to establish market share.  A price like $600 would blow away the competition.

xmattingly

Of all the predictions I threw out there for an Apple tablet, net book or whatever, at this point the one that seems the most possible is a $600 - $800 price tag.

Sounds like we agree on that Jeff - I’ve been looking at it from a price point of their product lineup; why pay x-amount for a smaller touch screen device when you could pay the same price for a fully functional notebook?

The flip side of that is Apple does tend to introduce products at a higher price, then drop it a bit later when/if it takes off. My theory on that is early adopters pay for development costs. smile

AceNet-Alan

The flip side of that is Apple does tend to introduce products at a higher price, then drop it a bit later when/if it takes off. My theory on that is early adopters pay for development costs.

Actually, I agree with Jeff, but am counting on book publishers to help offset the costs. I think that they want in on this device, and need to boost their long-term sales.

ziploc

Apple has always overpriced and always succeeded with that.? (remember the original iPod:? $499.)

How about this from July 2000:

Pricing and Availability The 450 MHz Power Mac G4 Cube will be available in early August through the Apple Store (www.apple.com) and Apple Authorized Resellers for $1,799 (US). A 500 MHz Power Mac G4 Cube will be available through the Apple Store for $2,299 (US).

xmattingly

The 450 MHz Power Mac G4 Cube will be available in early August through the Apple Store (www.apple.com) and Apple Authorized Resellers for $1,799 (US). A 500 MHz Power Mac G4 Cube will be available through the Apple Store for $2,299 (US).

That is exactly the example that came to mind when I wrote “early adopters pay for development costs”. A lot of people poo-poo’d on that one as a high-priced novelty, but I really think that if it had enough sales and hung on for another year it would have had a substantial price decrease. The MacBook Air for example, has dropped a few hundred bucks, with a substantial decrease for the SSD option.

FlipFriddle

Boy WSJ sure seems positive about what is being released next week. They even offered up a ship date.

FlipFriddle

The article also said “Apple must also convince consumers the product is worth buying in addition to an iPhone and a laptop computer. ” What if the tablet will be the item that replaces the MacBook line of consumer laptops? Then that argument becomes moot. Hmmm

Gary

What I see happening here is that Apple is creating a whole new class of computers, all running on the same Touch Operating System. It is now just the iPhone OS but it will soon evolve to include a whole new class of controlled content computers with touch screens. iPhone, 10?iPad, iPod Touch, 5?iPod, 7?iPad, 22?iTouch Desktop and more all running the same Touch OS. All content will come from iTunes: Music, Newspapers, Magazines, Books, Text Books, Movies, TV Shows, and Apps.

iTunes will keep all the media and apps you own in the cloud for you to access from any of your devices. You will be able to add content to your iTunes account from anywhere on the internet. If you want the latest copy of Sports Illustrated, there will be a iTunes button right on Sports Illustrated?s web site. Just click on the button, enter your iTunes password and you own it. You can then access it from your desktop computer, iPhone, iPod, iPad, laptop, or connected TV. They will offer very easy integration with all Apple hardware and they will make it more difficult (but not impossible) to access your iTunes content from non Apple hardware, as we have seen playing out with the Palm Pre.

SirDennis

I read recently that, because of the excitement circling around the special media event on January 27 that the FOX Network will be carrying the announcement live. Does anyone know if this is accurate or not?

CCardona

Gary said: “iTunes will keep all the media and apps you own in the cloud for you to access from any of your devices”

Eh, nope. Not happening, not unless everyone gets a T3 line and a terabyte of free space! Think about it! My iTunes folder is already 250 GB, and growing every day.

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