Apple Tablet Announcement Slated for Jan 26 – We Have a Name Sighting And It’s a Good One

All eyes will be on the stage of the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco on January 26th. That’s where and when Apple is expected to introduce its long-awaited tablet. . We couldn’t get odds in Las Vegas but David Gelles of Financial Times‘s ft.com website reports that at least one analyst rates the likelihood at 50-50. Investors liked the odds a lot better than that, driving Apple shares up by almost $7.00 to an all-time high of over $209.00 at the end of last week’s trading. If you’d bought Apple last January you’d be up about $130.00 a share today.

What will the Apple tablet look and feel like? Since everything at this stage is pure conjecture, the device is literally a tabula rasa. But Jeremy Horwitz, editor in chief of iLounge.com, who has a pretty good track record in the conjecture department, speculated about it in September. Among other features he thinks we will see when the curtain is pulled back are:

  • It has a 10.7-inch screen
  • It runs on an iPhone OS
  • It will come in two different variations: one with 3G networking capabilities, and one without. “Think of the 3G version as a bigscreen iPhone 3GS, and the non-3G version as a bigscreen iPod touch.”
  • It will have a 480 x 320-pixel display, enabling easy reading of full-sized book and magazine pages.”Expect something like 5-6 times the resolution of an iPod touch or iPhone screen (720p or thereabouts) and 7 times the touchable surface area.”
  • It is designed to be a slate-like replacement for books and magazines, plus all of the media, gaming, app, and web functionality of the iPhone and iPod touch

Gelles in his ft.com article adds that “Apple is working to solidify a new round of content deals with TV studios. Meanwhile, publishers have been working on new versions of digital magazines that would be viewed on touch screen computers.

We have frequently stated here that as red-hot as the e-book industry’s growth may be, it will not reach its full potential until there’s a tablet under the arm of every student on every campus. There is simply no dedicated reading device available today with screen size adequate to serve the educational community.

So, what’s the name of Apple’s tablet? Typical of Steve Jobs’s secretive style the company is holding it tightly under wraps. However, a little birdie tells us it’s iSlate. “It seems Apple’s name was temporarily exposed as the actual owner of ‘iSlate.com’ for several weeks in late 2007,” explains a website called MacRumors. “It was changed back within a few weeks, but MacRumors has found the historic record proving Apple ownership of the iSlate.com domain.”

You can actually see the document here. But don’t go looking for it online, at least not yet. We tried and got one of these:

PROBLEM LOADING PAGE
Firefox can’t find the server at www.islate.com.

Do we like the name “iSlate”? Well, given the epidemic of dumb names assigned to e-book readers lately, we give a big thumbs-up to iSlate. That is, unless you misread it as “Is Late.” If Apple fails to release its tablet early in the new year (March is the projected date), you can expect no end of plays on an otherwise memorable name.

Richard Curtis

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