New Apple Tablet & Book Reader Only 5 Weeks Away

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As exclusively tipped by SmartHouse back in December 2008 Apple is about to launch a “touch” tablet device which insiders at a third party manufacturer says will be ideal for listening to music and the reading of books newspapers and magazines.

The screen developed by LG display could be the first OLED product from Apple. it is tipped to be 10.6 inches. If not OLED the screen will be LED.

See “Apple Explores Newspaper & Book Application Store”.

We also revealed that Apple is working with LG on new OLED display technology.

Currently, Apple is talking to book and music publishers in an effort to get access to content for the new device. Back in May we outlined extensively the move by Apple to deliver a device that will allow consumers to easily read their morning newspapers on an Apple screen with media organisations offering a low cost monthly subscription rate. The content will interface with new touch software from Apple that allow pages to be turned easily and enlarged using two fingers. Advertising in the newspapers and magazines will contain links which allow consumers to access a web page directly from their device.

It is expected that the new device which will have Wi Fi and streaming capability will be launched in September along with new iPods just in time for the peak buying period.

Mark Mulligan, vice-president and research director of consumer product strategy at Forrester Research, said: “the rumours around a tablet are pretty presistent building up to this. Everything strategically makes sense: the one thing that record labels are still unable to do is to get people to buy albums in sizeable numbers. The problem is that iTunes unbundles albums; to persuade people to buy bulk, they have to deliver added value.”

Some of the impetus for the new device is believed to have come from record companies which have seen their incomes plummet even when people buy content legally because far fewer now buy entire albums; Apple’s iTunes Music Store, launched in 2003, allows people to download single tracks rather than buying the whole album at once – drastically cutting the income for the record company.

The FT reports that Apple has been working with EMI, Sony Music, Warner Music and Universal Music Group on a project codenamed “Cocktail” to produce new formats for music downloads that would enhance the standard download experience – which is usually limited to, at best, a video and PDF booklet as well as the music.”It’s not just a bunch of PDFs,” one music executive told the FT. “There’s real engagement with the ancillary stuff.”

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