I have indicated in the past that Apple is likely to introduce new products in early 2010 rather than late 2009 as there is virtually no need to do so given the strength of its already robust mobile lineup. However, I have also indicated that I love being wrong and that we'll see this new mobile device, dubbed iTablet by many in the blogworld, as a larger iPod Touch.
There have been a lot of rumors generated late last week about something from Apple but I don't want to get into that. However, given the strength in reporting financial news, I'll give FT the benefit of the doubt (though WSJ has just a strong reputation but they have been known to be wrong in the past).
So, what is the Financial Times report?
- Tablet-sized device for this Christmas shopping season. I'm still thinking 2010 but I hope I'm wrong. Still, given Apple perchance for perfection, don't be surprise of the target of late 2009 is pushed back or my early 2010 prediction is also pushed back. Until they've got it right, Apple will not put out an half-ass device. And yet, they know people will be buying this up in droves. What better than a paying public willing to beta-test your product?
- Apple and music labels are working on a new product that will be perfect for the tablet. This includes an interactive booklet for music to entice buyers into purchasing whole albums.
- Apparently, prototypes have already been seen and tested as an entertainment executive was quoted as saying "It's going to be fabulous for watching movies."
- Watch out, Amazon and Kindle! Literary publishers are trying to get in on the tablet. As one publishing executive put it, the Apple device is to the Kindle as a color LCD TV is to an old black and white TV. That's gotta hurt. Perhaps, this is why Kindle app in the iTunes app store.
- It will be priced between $600-$1000. I'm closing that gap a bit and day it'll be $699 and $899. This is in line with past Apple product pricing. Expect this price to hold for a couple of years and drop as other competitors, like Microsoft's Zune, bring their own clones to the market.
There is something that does seem a bit off. At the end of the article, it was mentioned that movie executives were not consulted. I don't know what that really mean but it just sort of sticks out.
So, there you have it. Four quarter of 2009. There are still a lot of questions and we'll get into it later. We'll just let this one sink in a bit before going further.