July 27, 2009

Apple to Launch Kindle Competitor this Fall?

Apple is getting ready for a Fall launch of a tablet computer with a touch screen like the iPhone or iPod, reports the Financial Times. The new computer will not run the full Mac operating system, but a slimmed down version limited to running one application at a time.

Apple hopes that its new machine will increase the sale of its music downloads. The new tablet will have a larger screen than an iPod or iPhone, to give users the experience of looking at a 12" album sleeves from the recording industry's past, when music was recorded onto vinyl. The bigger display might include videos, photographs, sleeve notes and lyrics for a song or album.

The device is expected to have Wi-Fi capabilities and to be able to download and stream music and run applications. There are no indications about the price or screen size of the machine.

Some of the impetus for this new tablet is believed to have come from record companies which have seen their incomes plummet 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.

There is also speculation that the computer will contain ebook capabilities, making it an immediate rival to Amazon's Kindle. "It would be a color, flat-panel TV to the old-fashioned, black and white TV of the Kindle," one publishing executive told the Financial Times.

[via Guardian Online]

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