Apple Tablet Rumors Fueled by New York Times Editor's Speech
Rumors of an upcoming Apple tablet PC, fueled periodically by alleged patent and insider leaks, receive another boost when video shows New York Times Executive Editor Bill Keller referred to "the impending Apple slate" in a speech at TheTimesCenter. Whether or not Keller was referring to a specific device, Apple has been exploring touch-screen functionality, leading Microsoft to tout the multitouch capabilities of its newly released Windows 7.Rumors of an Apple tablet PC were refueled over the weekend, with leaked video of the executive editor at The New York Times referring to "the impending Apple slate" at an Oct. 16 meeting. While Apple has long refused to confirm or deny the scuttlebutt about a tablet PC in the works, periodic leaks of everything from alleged patents to insider reports have never failed to ignite a media firestorm. Fueling the fire have been analyst reports suggesting that such a device will be released in the first half of 2010.
"We need to figure out the right journalistic product to deliver to mobile platforms and devices," Bill Keller, the executive editor at The New York Times, told the newspaper's staff during a mid-October meeting at TheTimesCenter in New York. "I'm hoping we can get the newsroom more actively involved in the challenge of delivering our best journalism in the form of Times Reader, iPhone apps, WAP or the impending Apple slate, or whatever comes after that."
An Aug. 24 report in The Wall Street Journal suggested that CEO Steve Jobs, returned from medical leave, was devoting a good deal of attention to the gadget. Jobs allegedly killed two previous versions of the device over concerns about battery life and internal memory capacity. In response to that article, Jobs e-mailed the Journal to state, "Most of your information is incorrect." The existence of an Apple tablet PC, along with e-readers such as Amazon.com's Kindle line and Barnes & Noble's just-announced Nook, could help repair the fortunes of newspapers and other periodicals looking for new ways to attract readers and revenue. Amazon.com has previously negotiated deals with content providers to port their periodicals onto the Kindle, and Barnes & Noble is doing the same. With the decline of traditional print advertising and readership, newspapers have been bleeding funds and staff members, leaving them desperate to find a new paradigm to embrace. Microsoft has been taking particular care to promote the multitouch capabilities of its new operating system, in addition to the new touch-screen devices being produced by its manufacturing partners.