After dramatically reforming the mobile phone and portable music landscape, Apple is now embarking on a wholesale transformation of the e-book, digital movie and album markets with its alleged new device; The Apple Tablet.
According to eyewitness reports cited on The FT, Apple is currently in the process of manufacturing a tablet computer, featuring a ten-inch screen, and is racing to ship the device to retailers in time for Christmas.
The touch-screen device will likely have programs and internet capabilities that will provide an experience comparable to Laptop computing, yet various reports claim Apple is ready to tie the tablet to digital Movie downloads, e-books and CD albums via iTunes.
The alleged ten-inch display is naturally more suited to movie viewing and book reading than the small-screen iPod and iPhone devices, while it is said that the company is hoping to shift consumer habits by encouraging album purchases for the tablet.
The seminal rise of the iPod brought about with it an epiphenomenon; consumers moved from buying whole albums to cherry-picking key tracks from artists, thus casting much album-filler to digital dormancy. The tablet will aim to reverse these trends, though it is unclear how.
Speculation is also emerging that the tablet will be a destination for games as well. With the App Store providing even bedroom-developers a chance to make their games a global phenomenon, it is highly probable that games will emerge on the device if Apple allows them to.
Apple’s aura of success – brought about by a unprecedented string of popular multimedia devices – has to an extent buoyed the pessimism surrounding tablet devices.
Even Microsoft has tried, and failed, to make such a ‘halfway-house’ of a device truly mass-market.
If true, the entry-level-priced tablet would further dampen any possibility of Apple working on a netbook; one of the only devices that has held firm during the PC market’s recent decent in the market.
According to Oppenheimer & Co analyst Yair Reiner, the tablet could cost between $600 and $1,000 – a high price range that, nonetheless, is relatively cheap for Apple PC solutions.