The Internet Says Apple Has A Tablet Up Its Sleeve; Is It True This Time? : All Tech Considered An Apple tablet computer may finally be set for production after years of rumors. And the pre-emptive praise is already rolling in.
NPR logo The Internet Says Apple Has A Tablet Up Its Sleeve; Is It True This Time?

The Internet Says Apple Has A Tablet Up Its Sleeve; Is It True This Time?

I'm not much for the tech-news gossip sites, but two distinct yet intertwined stories about Apple have surfaced this week. First, the Financial Times reports on the upcoming release of a "portable, tablet-sized computer" from Apple to be released before Christmas. The report seems to confirm an Apple-tablet rumor that has been making the rounds for years. Second, Apple and major record labels plan to add interactive sleeve notes and artwork to music downloads as a way to encourage higher margin digital album sales. The FT quotes an executive familiar with the plans,

It's all about re-creating the heyday of the album when you would sit around with your friends looking at the artwork, while you listened to the music.

But, as CNET reporter Greg Sandoval points out, it's not as if music labels are abandoning other digital music distribution outlets. Labels will continue to provide content to Amazon and other outlets, even as Apple claims credit for reintroducing album art to the music-sales mix.

Still it's the hardware that is generating the most Internet buzz. The rumored device is already being billed as a game-changer by people like Jason Schwarz at Seeking Alpha:

I see this device taking its place at the high end of the iPod family; it will be a larger version of the iPod Touch. This product won't fall quietly into place however. The iTouch Tablet launch is primed to be the most significant in the history of Apple.

That's big praise for a product that has not been released or even announced by Apple. Still others like PC World's Michael Scalisi tries to temper his analysis while trying to sidestep the wrath of Apple fans:

I'm no Apple hater, and I welcome an Apple device to the (don't call it a) netbook market, but I've got to think this device would be a flop. This concept is such a train wreck from start to finish that I don't know where to begin.