updated 08:45 pm EST, Wed January 20, 2010
Device expected to be shared by family members
Although a variety of reports suggest the rumored Apple tablet will offer digital versions of newspapers and magazines, sources familiar with the matter have told the Wall Street Journal that the company is also targeting classrooms and the gaming market. Apple is said to be exploring electronic-textbook technology, hoping that its device will beat the Kindle by offering advanced interactivity and superior presentation.
One source claims Apple CEO Steve Jobs is "supportive of the old guard and [he] looks to help them by giving them new forms of distribution." The company is said to be in talks with publishers such as CBS Corp, Walt Disney, News Corp and Conde Nast, among others. Apple representatives were also reportedly dispatched to the Frankfurt Book Fair to attract additional publishers.
Although the iPhone has continued to integrate Google's range of services, people familiar with the matter claim Apple is in "serious talks" with Microsoft for the tablet. The device is expected to diverge from a focus on Google and instead offer its default search functionality and mapping services through Bing.
Apple is claimed to have put significant resources into making the device easy to share between friends or family members. Sources suggest the company had explored systems for virtual sticky notes and facial recognition technology using the built-in camera, although it is unclear if the features made it onto the production model.
Along with the book content, the tablet will allegedly offer premium video content such as TV shows. Sources claim Apple executives were seeking to establish deals with TV networks for a "best of TV" subscription service that will allow users to gain on-demand access to programs from several participating networks.
The device is believed to expand purchase options beyond the current system utilized in iTunes. Users may be able to press "buy" buttons that are directly integrated with websites or other services such as Internet radio.
Apple has yet to confirm even the tablet's existence, although the device is widely expected to be launched at a January 27th media event.