Apple’s perennially-rumored tablet device may be in stores in September, says a new report from the Financial Times. The device will focus on music, movies, TV shows, games and Web access through a Wi-Fi connection. It’s designed to be carried around the house or used at any location with a Wi-Fi network.
It sounds like fun. But it’s important to remember that not every Apple product is a hit. Apple TV, a $229 set-top box for TV, movie and Web viewing, fell short of projected sales estimates and has failed to become a talked-about, lusted-after cultural icon in the manner of the iPod and iPhone. In Apple’s most recent quarterly results report, the crazy millions-of-units sales figures for the iPhone and iPod Touch are highlighted, while sales of Apple TV units aren’t divulged.
The Financial Times reported on Sunday that a new flat-form gadget will be available in September, in time to be a Christmas present. It will be much like a bigger version of Apple’s current iPod Touch model, which can connect to a Wi-Fi network to access the Web and Apple’s iTunes music and video store. An illustration by rumor site AppleInsider shows a guesswork rendition of the new tablet, based on what AppleInsider claims are reliable sources.
The Times also reported that the four largest record labels — EMI, Sony, Warner and Universal — have partnered to deliver content for the device. In an attempt to regain album sales among an audience that now buys one song at a time, the labels will create advanced interactive booklets available to album buyers only. “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,” an anonymized record industry exec told the Financial Times.
Other entertainment industry executives told the Times that “It’s going to be fabulous for watching movies” and that the new album-only content is “not just a bunch of PDFs. There’s real engagement with the ancillary stuff.”
[Image by AppleInsider]