Apple Tablet Prototype is Real, Nov. Launch Expected, says Report

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The Apple tablet is real, and someone claims they've actually seen the thing. Well, so goes the latest rumor anyway. After months of speculation, innuendo and good ol' wishful thinking, someone finally found an anonymous source not willing to go on the record who claims to have first-hand knowledge of the storied Apple tablet. This morning's rumor comes from the anonymous "A. Veteran Analyst," who says they've actually held a prototype for Apple's next wonder device in their own hands, according to Barron's.

Apple Tablet Prototype is Real, Nov. Launch Expected, says Report

Mr. Analyst says Apple is going to have a final design ready in the next six weeks, and the device would then be announced in September for a November launch. The Apple tablet may also break your bank, costing you a whopping $699 to $799. But for those big bucks you'd get a device that would be able to, among other things, play high-definition video. While other features might be nice, it sounds like the Apple tablet's video capability is the feature to beat. The anonymous source says the device's video quality "is better than the average movie experience."

So the 10-inch Apple tablet is a better movie experience than staring at a giant screen with surround sound or watching a DVD at home? That must be some mythical device.

Computer Industry Scared Stiff

While Apple is busy creating its next super device to replace the multiplex, everyone else in the computer industry is reportedly so nervous about the Apple tablet they're waiting to see what the product looks like before imitating or ripping it off. That's a smart move considering how one guy was left with a warehouse full of iPhony Nanos after this year's MacWorld Expo. By the way, if you're looking for a fully non-functioning mini-iPhone drop me a line.

Apple Tablet: the Rumor That Keeps on Giving

Apple tablet mania has been heating up in recent weeks. Earlier this month, another rumor came out saying the Apple tablet might be available through Verizon with a multiyear service contract. An arrangement like that would subsidize the heavy cost of the device, and with a price of almost $800 it's not hard to see why that would make sense.

Late last week, there was also a rumor the Apple tablet would launch with a secret software project codenamed Cocktail. The software is rumored to be a development in conjunction with the major music labels, and would be "a new type of interactive album, which will combine photos, lyrics sheets, video clips, and liner notes, all gathered into an interactive booklet."

That sounds like an interesting concept, but software is one of the big questions hanging over the Apple tablet. As Barron's writer Tiernan Ray says, no one knows if this device will be attached to the iPhone App Store or will have a software model closer to Apple's MacBook line. As I've said before, I think tying a tablet to the App Store could be a mistake since it would virtually guarantee a less-functional device. But we may have to wait until next month's supposed announcement before we'll know for sure how this device will work.

Assuming of course, that this yet-to-be-proven device exists. As PC World's Michael Scalisi pointed out last week, the rumored Apple tablet, despite all they hype, could end up being a flop given the poor track record of past tablet devices. So would Apple risk its iPhone mojo on an unproven device that nobody may want, or are we truly at the point where the world will just go nuts for anything Apple comes out with? If the rumors are correct, we may know the answer to that question very soon.

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