The oft-discussed (but never confirmed) tablet, you see, is poised to save us — the humble scribes of print media — from an unseemly demise. At least, that's what the latest and greatest Apple rumor predicts. And, as we know, those rumors are never wrong.
All right, so here's the scoop: Apple's mysterious tablet will "redefine" newspapers and magazines, according to a report published by gadget blog Gizmodo. The big company's bigwigs, Giz says, are in the midst of negotiating with several print journalism companies to bring their content onto the device in some revolutionary way.
Gizmodo's story cites unnamed sources at The New York Times who swear Apple has approached the paper about using its material on a new apparatus. (TheStreet.com, it's worth noting, quotes a named Times spokesperson as saying the company is not working in any way with Apple — though it is, she says, "prototyping concepts" that could be "compelling should a tablet-like device be released.")
Aside from that, Gizmodo's story points to "a person close to a VP in textbook publishing" who claims McGraw-Hill and Oberlin Press are "working with Apple to move textbooks to iTunes." Finally, the blog says that Apple recently held a meeting with a handful of unnamed magazine execs.
"They were asked to present their ideas on the future of publishing," the story says.
"It is presumed that more talks took place after the introduction and investigatory meeting," it continues, providing no substantiation.
Putting it all together, Gizmodo predicts that Apple's ultimate goal for the tablet is to create "hybridized content" that brings interactive audio and video to newspaper and magazine layouts.
More tablet talk
Lest you think that's all the baseless gossip you're getting today, Apple speculation station iLounge has something to add as well. A "reliable source" tells iLounge that Apple's created three different prototypes of the device, the latest of which boasts a 10.7-inch screen. It'll come in a 3G or non-3G form, the site reports — the equivalent of an iPhone-like device or an iPod Touch-like alternative.
Furthermore, the iCrew says, the Apple tablet will run the iPhone OS, look like an iPhone, and be announced on or before Jan. 19 of next year. Unless it won't be announced at all, which iLounge says has a 20 percent chance of occurring.
All of this rumor talk raises the question: What ever happened to the tablet on the way from Mr. Unsubstantiated Info himself, Michael Arrington? The CrunchPad was supposed to be unveiled at some grand event in August, but so far, its status is as murky as the last TechCrunch-reported rumor.
It only makes sense, I suppose, that believing in the power of these omnipotent readers would require an awful lot of faith.