Apple Tablet: Focusing on Books, News Papers?

Apple is allegedly talking with book and magazine publishers about providing content for an unnamed device. The company is apparently hoping to develop a new way for end users to experience written materials by including additional content such as audio and video, according to Gizmodo.

If true, Apple's tablet device would be able to leapfrog past the capabilities of the current crop of ebook readers, including Amazon's Kindle. Today's ebook readers offer text in a more static format with text and photos on a black and white screen with button-based controls. In contrast, the rumored Apple tablet device would include a color touch-sensitive display much like the iPhone and iPod touch.

The rumor mill has been citing unnamed sources as claiming companies such as The New York Times, McGraw Hill and Oberlin Press have been working with Apple to bring content to the device -- an indication that Apple is hoping to offer newspapers and text books for its tablet. Several magazine publishers have apparently been showing Apple mockups of their publications, too.

Presumably, Apple would offer magazine and newspaper subscriptions, along with book sales, through the iTunes Store.

Apple isn't talking about what it might have in store for a tablet computing device, but if it is targeting the publishing industry, ebook reader makers like Amazon and Sony will have to watch Apple's actions closely.