New Apple entertainment tablet mooted and Spotify iPhone app spotted

27 July 2009

It’s being reported that Apple are gearing up towards launching a brand new piece of hardware in time for Christmas that, if it takes off, could leave its own iPod and Amazon’s Kindle in the dust.

It’ll be a portable tablet-sized computer with a screen that may be up to 10 inches diagonally and is believed to have been designed to stimulate sales of CD-length music. New services such as interactive booklets and liner notes that come along with purchases of entire music CDs will be included and naturally the device will connect to the Internet to allow access to Apple’s online stores.

The move should please the entertainment industry as it will signal a shift back towards the purchasing of full length albums rather than the iPod-inspired trend for cherrypicking the best tracks from an album and jettisoning the guff.

Apple are believed to have been in discussions with book publishers over the new device, with a view to taking on Amazon and their Kindle e-reader. One publishing executive is quoted in the FT as saying: “It would be a colour, flat-panel TV to the old-fashioned, black and white TV of the Kindle.”

Early estimates suggest that the new piece of kit would cost between $600 and $1,000. Ooof!

Meanwhile, Wired have had a look at Spotify’s iPhone app, which they hope will be launched when their stand-alone service hits the US later in the year. Whether it will depends solely on if Apple deem it to be an iTunes competitor and put an angry cross on its app application form rather than a nice big tick.

EDIT: In their own blog, Spotify are confident that the app will be launched in a few weeks and will only be available in the territories where they currently operate, which is even better news for UK-based users. It will only be available for subscribers to their premium service.

Wired staff writer Eliot Van Buskirk raves about the app in his piece, saying:

“Whether Apple approves this app for widespread use or not, I have it installed and you’d have to pry it out of my cold, dead iPhone before I’ll delete it from my phone. In the same way that the Spotify on a desktop feels like iTunes with more than 6 million songs, Spotify on an iPhone feels like an iPod with the same ridiculously comprehensive library.”

Spotify works using a song-streaming method but one of the app’s smartest features is its ability to cache entire playlists while you’re hooked up to a fast connection – that means that when you’re out and about and only able to access a 3G or Edge connection, you don’t have to worry about losing your Spotified tunes – they’ve already been stored in your iPhone – as many as 3,333 of them if you’ve got the space.

It looks and sounds fantastic but like the hippopticorn, may end up being a thing of myth and legend, an idea that was never made real because of money and politics. EXACTLY like the hippopoticorn then.

TOPICS:   Mobile   Gadgets

9 comments

  • Dave S.
    Welcome to the Apple Blog everybody, it's fucking brill!
  • BombJack
    I just can't see Apple approving spotify - to some extents it makes itunes feel like an outdated bit of kit, and I reckon further down the line, this will be the way of doing things - streaming is the way forward...
  • Paul S.
    Dave, the story is the third story on the BBC News homepage. Pretty big story to be honest with you...
  • Nobby
    10 inches is large for a music player. So this looks more like a netbook than an ipod. At $600 to $1,000, I'd prefer to stick to my eeepc. It connects to the internet. It connects to itunes. It plays music. It plays films. I can read pdfs on it. I can add storage easily. etc.
  • Apple B.
    [...] Some have described it as super sized iTouch (it’s a 10″, 3G enabled touch device).  Andy Dawson of Bitter Wallet believes that the Tablet will look to stimulate the full length CD market with audiences being [...]
  • Dave S.
    ^^ Who's blog is that? Andy, WWince, Paul or Paul? You can't phone a friend either.
  • TV's B.
    Hmm... approve already!
  • ssme
    surely the whole point of the black and white kindle was its screen technology which prevents eye strain and provides huge battery life? if the tablet has just a normal screen it won't have either of these advantages, for all the facetious claims that it's a "colour, flat-panel TV to the old-fashioned, black and white TV of the Kindle".
  • hinh v.
    You understand therefore considerably in terms of this topic, produced me personally believe it from numerous numerous angles. Its like men and women aren't fascinated until it's something to accomplish with Girl gaga! Your own stuffs nice. At all times care for it up!

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