WSJ: Apple Tablet Ready to Change Print, TV

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.