Apple’s rumored Tablet: what’s it for?

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Rumors of a new device supposedly being prepared by Apple for a release sometime in the next five months are flying this morning after an FT.com story which describes about a flat, rectangular device with which users would interact by way of a touch screen. The gizmo is said by various writers to be a competitor to the Amazon Kindle, a giant iPod, or a mashup of the two. It is also being described as a colour, flat-panel TV, a train wreck of a design, and a non-starter in the education market without built-in content.

By comparing the articles, it’s possible to come up with a consensus: The Apple Tablet (assuming such a thing actually exists) will have a touch-screen interface only; you could type on a keyboard that takes up a large part of the screen, leaving only a narrow strip for composition that reminds one of early word-processors — or it might have a stand and an optional external keyboard as shown here. It will have Internet connectivity or phone connectivity, or both. It will play movies and music, and you’ll be able to read books on it.

Apple itself, famously secretive about its upcoming products until they are revealed at a flashy trade show, is saying nothing.


Mark Pritchard is the author of the novel How They Scored and the collections of sex stories "Too Beautiful" and "How I Adore You." He lives in San Francisco. More from this author →