Does the Apple Tablet = the iPad?

by Meiera Stern Aug 17, 2009

Rumors abound regarding the Apple Tablet, with everyone trying to guess when/if/how it will appear. According to Borders booksellers has sent out an email asking readers if they plan to buy an Apple iPad (large screen reading device) this year. Huh?

If this were a multiple choice exam it would look like this:

A. Borders is in deep doodoo for letting the cat out of the bag.
B. Borders is merely trying to stoke the rumor mill.
C. Borders is fishing to test the market
D. Borders mispelled iPod
E. None of the above
iPad survey

B, D, and E seem unlikely, and how could Borders send out an email asking people if they plan to buy a product that hasn't been released yet? Doesn't Borders have a legal department to worry about?

Perhaps Borders and other major booksellers (with the notable exception of Amazon) have been aware of a fledgling Kindlesque Apple product for months already, and this is just the first steam out of the soon to be volcanic Apple release vent.

Code name "Cocktail"
At the end of July, Matthew Garrahan of the Financial Times wrote about Apple working with major record labels on a project codenamed "Cocktail,"

Apple is separately racing to offer a portable, full-featured, tablet-sized computer in time for the Christmas shopping season, in what the entertainment industry hopes will be a new revolution. The device could be launched alongside the new content deals, including those aimed at stimulating sales of CD-length music...

It's possible that EMI, Sony Music, and Warner Music are only a few of the companies partnering with Apple to bring such a device to market. Borders and other major booksellers eager to give Amazon a run for its money may well be so eager to capitalize on a device that quacks like an iPod Touch, but has the functionality and market appeal of a Kindle. With such prospects, it's easy to see how someone in Border's marketing department jumped the gun.

If the device that has music companies and book sellers all excited is one and the same, it may well be the mythic Apple Tablet, which may well be the iPad. Is this iPad, as the name suggests, approximately the size of a Kindle (or a notepad) with some of the functionality of the iPod Touch? Will it be a full-color, touch sensitive Kindle-killer? We don't know, but maybe Borders does. And maybe this mythic creation is coming to Apple Stores + Borders before the end of the year?

Data Entry
Stephen Wildstrom wondered, in BusinessWeek today, how one might enter data into such a tablet device? If the iPad turns out to be an iPod Touch on steroids two of the major limitations of the Kindle--that its keyboard sucks and that it's black and white would be solved. Anyway you slice it, even if Borders just mispelled iPod, this is huge.


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