Analyst: Apple Tablet Isn't for Books

Apple may be working on a tablet computer device, but it won't be targeted at ebook reading. Based on hints from Apple executives, RBC analyst Mike Abramsky thinks Apple is focusing on movies and video instead, according to Fortune.

Mr. Abramsky spent some time discussing market opportunities with Apple's Vice President of iTunes and Internet Services Eddy Cue, Vice President for Worldwide Mac Marketing David Moody, and CFO Peter Oppenheimer this week. What they seemed to focus on hinted at a tablet computer geared more towards video content than written content.

"After music, video content is expected to be the next 'exploding' opportunity, but requires overcoming industry rights dysfunctionality, competing with subsidies (cable box, video), and developing the right consumer offer," Mr. Abransky said. "Apple TV, while still a 'hobby,' is well positioned to benefit from evolving market dynamics. Apple was less enthusiastic about the online book/newspaper market, given unattractive industry structure."

In other words, Apple is more interested in video than the written word.

Current rumors peg the mythical Apple tablet as a high-end ebook reader loaded with extra functionality that puts it closer to the iPod touch camp, and many have been seeing it as just the boost newspapers and magazines need to revive dwindling sales. If Mr. Abramsky's interpretation is correct, however, newspaper publishers looking to Apple for a boost in sales may be in for a disappointment.