Apple Tablet Prototype In Play - InformationWeek

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Apple Tablet Prototype In Play

The iPhone maker could introduce a tablet PC in September; the device could be available for purchase in November.

Reports that a prototype of Apple's tablet PC has been seen are reigniting speculation on the Web about the long-awaited device.

The touch-sensitive slate-style device was observed by a veteran analyst, financial newspaper Barron's reported on Monday. The unnamed analyst said the device could be introduced in September and available for purchase in November.

The latest report comes a week after the Financial Times reported that the table would have a 10-inch diagonal screen and would have the same capabilities as the iPod Touch. The larger screen on the tablet, however, would make it better for watching videos or reading e-books.

The Times also reported that Apple was in talks with EMI, Sony Muic, Warner Music, and Universal Music Group to sell through the iTunes store albums that would include video clips and interactive material, such as photos, lyric sheets and liner notes. The four largest record labels are hoping that Apple's magic with consumer electronics could help them inject life into lackluster album sales.

Apple's success with the iPod, which redefined the market for portable music players, and the iPhone, which did the same for the smartphone category, has shown that the company is capable of bringing game-changing technology to market.

Nevertheless, some analysts are skeptical that the tablet would attract a large number of consumers, if it is priced from $700 to $800, as expected. Anything more than $500 to $600 would likely be passed over for a low-end laptop.

The tablet is expected to have integrated Wi-Fi and Bluetooth wireless connections, but not telephone capabilities.

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