updated 08:35 am EST, Tue January 19, 2010
Apple tablet to dwell more on books, video
Apple has been briefing record labels about its tablet but clearly doesn't consider music the focus, details slipped out today suggest. The iPhone maker has reportedly been briefing labels this month in advance of the January 27th event but is, according to insiders, only doing this as a "courtesy" to keep them informed. iTunes LP albums may be part of the design but wouldn't really need label talks as they've already been developed.
One of these tells MediaMemo that Apple may look to sell music on iTunes beyond the 256Kbps it offers today, though it's not clear what quality would be involved and any changes wouldn't be directly connected to the tablet.
Instead, attention is expected to be placed on e-books and video. No direct sources are given for these directions, but rumors of HarperCollins negotiations, New York Times allusions, a desire for harmony with iTunes and Apple's obvious connection to Disney through Jobs are all given as logical indicators of Apple's plans.
Most expect Apple to pitch any tablet that appears next week as a superior alternative to an e-book reader like the Kindle as it will function like a general-purpose device. Color, enhanced e-books, apps, Internet access and video would raise the price compared to the usual sub-$300 prices of e-book readers but also improve on their slow, grayscale e-ink displays.