After months of rumors today we finally get some solid information coming directly from rap overlords Kanye West and Kay-Z concerning their upcoming collab album. If you head over to Kanye and Jay’s blogs you’ll be presented with the album artwork for Watch the Throne; the gold metallic cover is designed by Givenchy creative director Riccardo Tisci and it’s pasted above. Clicking the album art at either site brings you to www.WatchTheThrone.com, a site designed by label Island Def Jam. There you can preorder the album in a variety of formats: Deluxe CD ($16.99), Standard CD ($13.99), Deluxe MP3 ($14.99), and Standard MP3 ($11.99). After completing your order an email receipt lists an August 2 drop date, but this information has not been confirmed. Sources say that the standard version will pack ten tracks, and the deluxe will add four bonus songs on top of that. West, Jay-Z, Swizz Beatz, No ID, and Lex Luger are all expected to receive production credits. And finally, it’s rumored that Beyonce and Bruno Mars will lend their voices to a track called “Lift Off.” Expect the followup to H.A.M. to drop within the next few weeks. According to fellow G.O.O.D. Music artist Cyhi Da Prynce the album is near completion–the songs are recorded, and ‘Ye is adding his final touches before the final master ships. Happy fourth of July!
Gamers, listen here! Today the house that built Mario formally announced the Wii successor. Sure details are sparse, but at least we’ve got confirmation that something new and exciting is on the way, and it’s coming sooner than you might think. In a press statement out of Japan, Nintendo refers to their next-gen console as the “Wii’s Successor System” and they say a “playable model” will be shown off at E3 in early June, followed by a launch in 2012.
What can gamers expect from the next-gen Wii? The only official word to come out of Nintendo (besides the aforementioned press release which is sitting after the break) is provided by company president Satoru Iwata: “We would like to propose a new approach to home video game consoles. It’s difficult to make 3-D images a key feature, because 3-D televisions haven’t obtained wide acceptance yet.” They’ve managed to bring glasses-free 3D to their portable 3DS, but the technology to make the magic work on larger scale just isn’t there yet. So what then might Iwata be referring to when he hints at a “new approach” to video games?
Late last week Kotaku reported that, according to undisclosed sources, the next-gen Wii will utilize an entirely new breed of controller. In addition to housing eight buttons and two analog sticks, the new controller is rumored to also boast a 6.2 inch screen and a camera. They say: “The 6.2-inch screen will receive data wirelessly from the Nintendo console and presents an array of options, from putting the player’s inventory or map on the controller screen, to allowing players to combine it with the controller’s camera to snap photos that could be imported into a game or even turning it into some sort of glorified viewfinder (we’re unclear about whether the camera on the controller points at the player or can be outward-facing; we’ve heard both — maybe it swivels?).” Then they propose: “You could think of the new Nintendo console as turning your living room into a glorified mega-DS…. your TV is the upper-screen; your controller is the lower touchscreen.”
Other Wii 2 rumors to chew on… The new controller will not replace existing Wii-motes, as the system is said to be backwards compatible with all current Wii games. The often labeled Wii HD will be capable of running games at HD resolutions (up to 1080p) and it will be more powerful than current-gen systems (read: Xbox 360, PS3). And finally, the next-gen Wii is internally referred to by its codename “Project Cafe,” so go around saying that to your friends if you want to act all cool like you know everything. Though these rumors are certainly intriguing, let’s all anticipate the E3 reveal where Ninty will formally lay out the specifications, controller scheme(s), and perhaps a launch lineup.
Here’s your very first glimpse into the first Muppets movie made for the big screen in eleven long years. Take it all in…
Now let’s talk deets. James Bobin (of Flight of the Conchords fame) is set to direct and Jason Segel (I Love You, Man, How I Met Your Mother) will executive produce, write (with Nicholas Stoller), and star in the film. Segel happens to be a big fan of Jim Henson and his furry creations. ”We’ve worked really hard to stay true to the original spirit of the Muppets,” said Segel. ”We’ve missed the same thing everyone else has been missing.” Here’s a leaked synopsis:
The Greatest Muppet Movie of All Time is about Gary, Mary, and Walter (a man, his girlfriend, and the man’s life-long nondescript, brown puppet best friend) getting the old Muppet gang — now retired entertainers known for the same Muppet show we know them from — together to save the TV studio that the original show was shot in. A villain, Tex Richman (nice name, on par with Doc Hopper), bent on drilling for oil underneath the studio, is due to take over the studio in weeks and the only way to stop him? Putting on a show that draws ten million viewers.
Segel will star as the human lead Gary, Amy Adams is Mary, and Walter–who happens to be a brand new Muppet addition–will be voiced by Paul Rudd. (FYI, Walter is the iPhone-wielding Muppet in the image above.) Tex the antagonist will be voiced by Chris Cooper. Rashida Jones is locked in, too. Beyond that almost all the other information surrounding this movie is pure speculation. But let’s add to that conversation! Other potential guest voices include: Kristen Schaal, Jack Black, Donald Glover, Jane Lynch, Danny Trejo, Zach Galifianakis, and Lady Gaga. And guess who’s rumored to play Gaga’s entourage? John Krasinski (The Office), Ed Helms (The Hangover), and Eric Stonestreet (Modern Family). Yeah. This might just turn out to be the greatest Muppet movie of all time after all.
Production started in September, and Disney plans to release it wide Christmas 2011.
Over the weekend a tablet called iPad was released into the wild. Taking a backseat to all the ruckus was HP, a company who knows a thing or two about the tablet game. The HP Slate makes a brand new appearence in this video, boasting features that are noticably absent from the coveted iPad including dual cameras for Skype video chat, an SD card slot for expandable storage, and a USB port. The Slate will run Windows 7 with a layer of HP’s TouchSmart UI laid on top. Rumors are swirling that it’ll cost $529 and drop into customer’s hands this June, but I’ll make sure to report back when official word comes from HP.
According to the Wall Street Journal, Apple is “developing a new iPhone to debut this summer.” This bit of news isn’t too surprising if you look at Apple’s track record; since the inception of the iPhone, new handsets have been announced each and every summer. But wait–there’s more! Apple is also “working on another model for US mobile phone operator Verizon Wireless.” In other words, the best smartphone is coming to the best network. We’ve heard these rumors before, but hearing it come from the WSJ make it sound that much sweeter.
Some manufacturing details have surfaced as well. According to “people briefed on the matter” and relayed by the WSJ, the “next iPhone is being manufactured by Taiwanese contract manufacturer Hon Hai Precision Industry” (the same company behind all previous iPhones) and the first CDMA iPhone (purported to go to VZW) will be manufactured by Pegatron Technology. Mass production of the CDMA iPhone could start as early as this September.
Engadget was tipped about a June 22 unveiling for the next-gen iPhone, dubbed the iPhone HD. Long-time Apple product seer John Gruber added his latest predictions to the mix. He claims the next-gen iPhone will feature the A4-class system-on-a-chip, a 960×640 display, a front-facing camera, and third-party mulititasking support with iPhone OS 4.0.
To sum up: A new iPhone (possibly the “iPhone HD”) will be announced this summer; said iPhone will boast a high-res display and front facing camera (among other predictions); and a CDMA version of the iPhone is headed to Verizon Wireless, with manufacturing to commence as early as September, ending AT&T’s death grip on what is arguablly the world’s best smartphone. Sounds about right to me. Now it’s time to start the waiting game. Summer isn’t that far away, is it?
Hot off the heels of these latest rumors, Nintendo may or may not have slipped up in releasing a short but sweet press release about a forthcoming successor to the Nintendo DS handheld temporarily dubbed the Nintendo 3DS. That’s right, as in 3D. According to the press release found on Nintendo’s Japan website, the 3DS will allow games to be “enjoyed with 3D effects without the need for any special glasses.” Whether or not the 3D tech will work like this DSi Japanese game is yet to be known. It’s also important to note that it specifies the 3DS as the successor to the DS series (which includes the DS, DSi, DSi XL). The 3DS will be backwards-compatible with both DS and DSi games. Engadget scooped up further information; it looks like the 3DS will pump out 3D images using a parallax barrier LCD screen made by Sharp and Hitachi. The 3DS will pack dual screens, each sizing at 4 inches diagonally, 3D control sticks (these just might end up being analog nubs), vibration feedback, faster WiFi transfers, and improved battery life. We won’t have to wait much longer to hear the final word; Nintendo is expected to officially unveil the Nintendo DS successor this June at E3 2010.
The next iteration of the Nintendo DSi, the DSi XL, has yet to release in the States and already there’s word of an entirely new DS system. Let’s refer to it as the DS2, shall we? According to the latest rumors, the DS2 will continue the dual-screen tradition, but this time it will allow for gameplay to occupy a single screen or bleed onto the second screen, serving as one giant display. The two screens will be bigger and boast a higher resolution. Unfortunately the letters HD were not included in the mix. Playing off past rumors, the DS2 will contain an accelerometer and an advanced graphics chip, possibly the NVIDIA Tegra 2. Based on the hardware dev kit, the DS2′s graphics are comparable to Gamecube and even the Wii. Lastly many developers have spilled a late 2010 launch window–that’s when they plan on having their DS2 games ready for showtime. And what does that suggest? Nintendo will likely reveal the next significant upgrade to the DS hardware line at this year’s E3 in June. Remember, all of this is unofficial pieces of information being thrown into the rumor mill. But boy doesn’t it sound tasty?
Remember when Gizmodo first picked up this story back in September about a Microsoft hardware-and-software-designed booklet of sorts? Since then I’ve been keeping my ear to the ground, picking up on anything concerning the secret device. Today new details emerged about what’s being called the Microsoft Courier. According to the latest sources (as relayed by Engadget) the device will be smaller than expected, not much bigger than a 5×7 photo when closed and will be under one inch thick and weigh a slightly over a pound. The operating system will be powered by NVIDIA Tegra 2 hardware and based on the same OS as Windows Phone 7 Series and Zune HD. The device will also include a built-in camera, headphone jack for media playback, and a stylus for writing and drawing. The source pegs a release date of “Q3 / Q4″ of this year.
The Courier is being dubbed a “digital journal” whose sleek user interface will revolve around pen-based interaction with the help of handwriting recognition software. If you take a look at the latest videos (look after the break for another) and images (see below) you can tell the developers behind this device have really come a long way in the design process. The overall UI experience looks tighter, more defined, and user friendly. The demos feature many touch-based actions like dragging, flicking, copy & pasting, and “pocket”-ing. At its core, Courier is an “infinite,” highly customizable journal; it’s a place to discover and collect things of interest locally and over the Internet and use them to create. Or as Microsoft says, it’s about “bringing ideas to life.” I smell a worthy iPad contender. Tickle me highly intrigued.
According to “unverified sources” the next Batman flick is well underway, with a David S. Goyer/Jonah Nolan first draft script already penned. Sources add the the plot will introduce Arkham Asylum and the prominent villain will be…THE RIDDLER! Also mentioned is that other classic Batman villains will make cameos and they include The Penguin and Mr. Freeze (as Dr. Fries). And if that’s not enough for you, sources also say that Barbara Gordon (daughter of Commissioner Gordon) will have a bigger role in the film and Dick Grayson will make an appearence, though likely not as Robin. Oh, and one more thing. The Superman universe may get mentioned in the film with nods to Lex Luther and Metropolis. Director Chistopher Nolan was recently hired by Warner Bros. to helm the Superman reboot franchise; an exciting connection as such makes sense. With all these juicy Batman rumors flying around the ’Net I can’t wait to see the trailer!
In a recent interview Nintendo President Satoru Iwata splilled the beans on what to expect from the successor of the Nintendo DS: “[It will have] highly detailed graphics…And it will be necessary to have a sensor with the ability to read the movements of people playing.” How interesting, Mr. Iwata. I can see an advanced accelerometer placed inside a new DS-like portable gaming device that will allow for motion control in Nintendo and third party games. As for the “highly detailed graphics,” this comment adds sparks to the fire about an NVIDIA Tegra chip being incorporated in the next DS.
In other Nintendo news, it was just announced that the Nintendo Wii will join the Xbox 360 and PS3 and finally support the Netflix service. Like the PS3, the Wii will require users to place an “instant-streaming” disc into the console in order to stream movies and TV shows. Obviously the Wii will not support HD content since its lowly graphics card can only handle 480p resolution. And per usual, there will be no additional fee to watch Netflix on top of Netflix’s monthly fees. If you’ve got a Wii and a Netflix subscription, head on over to Netflix to order your very own instant-streaming disc today. What are you waiting for?
Let’s get right to it, shall we? The Wall Street Journal reports that CBS and Walt Disney Company (among other major TV networks) are “consideringparticipating in Apple’s plan to offer television subscriptions over the Internet.” CBS will offer shows from CBS and CW and Disney will offer selections from its ABC, Disney Channel, and ABC Family networks. Though details are being kept under wraps, word has it that Apple will offer its iTunes customers a $30/month subscription to choose from the TV networks’ selection of shows. This is all starting to make sense now that Apple has ate up streaming company Lala; they might just have a Hulu-esque TV streamingservice in the works. Whatever it may be, “sources” claim that Apple could finalize licensing deals and switch on the service sometime in 2010.
The Financial Times delves further into this matter and regurgitates the followinginformation: ”Apple has contacted other broadcast and cable networks, including Time Warner’s Turner Broadcasting System and Viacom, which have so far been unconvinced by Apple’s proposal. The computer maker has also courted the book publishing industry, sector executives say.” This is all very interesting, to say the least. Major publishers like the WSJ and the FT reporting on a potential iTunes subscription-based service can only mean that something is brewingat Apple HQ. Talks with CBS (Viacom), Time Warner, and ABC are vital if Apple plans on making such a TV show subscription plan work. And let’s not forget about their “court[ing] [of the] book publishing industry”…cue the Apple tablet/iPhone rumors.
Addional news comes from the Financial Times, and this time it’s about the impendingannouncement of the Apple tablet: “Apple is preparing an announcement next month that many anticipate will be the official unveiling of its tablet, but the company has so far declined to confirm the existence of the device. Wall Street analysts expect mass production of an Apple tablet to begin as early as February.”
To spread to the gaining hype around the tablet and the next-gen iPhone comes news today from a Silicon Alley Insider report: “Apple is preparing to show off a new, larger mobile device with a higher resolution display in January — probably a version of the Apple tablet we’ve been hearing about for months — according to a plugged-in source in the mobile industry.” This source says that Apple has asked a select group of app developers to prepare their apps to support a full-screen resolution (rather than the fixed 320×480 rez the iPhone currently uses) and to demo on a “new, larger mobile device.” In addition, the report says that the tablet will be demoed in January but not released into the market until a later date. This matches up with the FT news posted above; Apple will unveil it in January, ramp up production in February, and have it ready for the public by March 2010. And there’s more! DigiTimes reports that the next-gen iPhone will be packed with a 5 megapixel camera sensor.
And that’s it for now. Exhausting, huh? I think Apple just needs to come out with it already and unveil this coveted (albeit non-existent) tablet to calm our nerves and get us excited for something that we at least know is real. With Piper Jaffray’s Gene Munster claiming that there’s a 75% chance that an Apple January event is coming and word that the tablet will be the main focus of the event I am waiting in much anticipation. An overhaul of iTunes, the next-gen iPhone, the tablet…so many potential topics to discuss! Here’s hoping that Apple hits at least one of them next month.
We’ve been here before, so let’s do it again. According to an Oppenheimer research note from analyst Yair Reiner, who apparently has no real connection to Apple, the oft-rumored Apple tablet will release around March or April with production starting as soon as February. Reiner says that the tablet will feature a multitouch 10.1 inch screen, it will look similar to the iPhone, and will sell for $1,000. He also says that Apple has approached book publishers in hopes of forming “a very attractive proposal” to distribute their content digitally. Reiner: “As innovative as it is, we believe the [Amazon] Kindle has disgruntled the publishing industry (book, newspaper, and magazine) by demanding exclusivity, disallowing advertising, and demanding a wolfish cut of revenue. The tablet is set to change that.” According to Reiner, Apple has offered the publishers a revenue cut of 70% without requiring exclusivity. Sure, this is interesting and all, but there has still been no word at all from Apple about this tablet device and Reiner’s information is not entirely substantiated with proper evidence. Folks, take all of this with a grain of salt, would you?
In related Apple news, analyst Gene Munster of Piper Jaffray says that the Verizon network with be “the next big feature” of the iPhone. Munster: “We continue to believe there is a 70% chance that Apple will launch the iPhone with Verizon in mid-CY10.” He also mentions that the next-gen iPhone may feature hardware support to read RFID chips, enabling swipe payments. ”The iPhone could feasibly become a full digital wallet,” says Munster. News of a new iPhone comes from another direction with Eldar Murtazin, editor in chief of Mobile Review. Murtazin tweeted ”Foxconn received order for next generation iphone.” Engadget calls him “the ultimate insider” when it comes to mobile news, so maybe you can take his word of a manufacturer ramping production for a new iPhone with a smaller pinch of salt.
Whether these rumors about the tablet and next-gen iPhone are true or not, sompthin’ is a brewin’ at Apple and we can all smell it.
So we are all aware that Transformers 3 has started production, director Michael Bay is at the helm again, and Shia LeBeof and co-star Megan Fox will play the lead roles. According to the latest rumors, a major character from the series will be killed off. It has been reported that Bay wants Mikaela Banes, Fox’s character, “out of the series in a gory death scene in the first few frames of Transformers 3 and (replaced) with another gorgeous young actress.” The source of this rumor also claims that “Michael’s pretty much discovered Megan and now he’s very quietly looking for her replacement. … He hasn’t decided if he’s going to kill her off in the next movie, but he just wants to be prepared.”
I know it’s only a rumor but I’ll say it anyway: Mr. Michael Bay, please do not kill off the sole character that sells your movie. Megan Fox’s appearence was the reason I went to theatres to watch the sequel. It would be a disservice to all parties involved if you were to make such a grave mistake. Thank you.
In addition to this revealing video picked up at Gizmodo, ZDNet’s Mary Jo-Foley reported on new speculation from a “more verifiable source” that sheds some more light on the still unannounced Microsoft Courier booklet device. Her source claims that the Courier is currently running on top of the Windows 7 operating system. However, the consumer will not be able to install Windows 7 apps on the device: Microsoft tablets of the past “failed because the applications were not tailored to a tablet form factor – that is, Word still had toolbars and menus and scollbars. So, a tablet needs to be like an iPhone – a UX that is specific for the form factor.” The source mentions that the development team at Microsoft is creating this device like they did the Xbox video game console; Microsoft will handle the hardware and software so as to speed up the development process. The source also says that the Courier is on track for a “mid-2010″ release.
Very interesting tidbits of information, yes. As Apple is currently in the process of manufacturing their own tablet, I am excited to see how all of this will play out. Will it be the MS Courier vs. the Apple tablet in the near future? Only time (and potential surfacing FCC filings) will tell.
Let’s do this, bullet-point style.
- New iPods: It is very likely that new iPod touches and nanos will be announced. This is a “music event,” afterall. Both the touch and the nano will have 3.2MP cameras, and the touch will receive a built-in mic. Also, both devices will receive a storage upgrade, possibly to 64GB or higher. Overall design should remain the same. Due to the recent rumor that claims Apple is having technical difficultieswith the camera mechanisms with the iPod touch there is a chance the product release may not be instantaneous with the announcement. Also, the death of the iPod classic may be imminent.
- iTunes 9: Last we heard about iTunes 9 was a BGR source stirring up the rumor mill with these claims: Blu-Ray support; Facebook, Twitter, last.fm integration; and the ability to organize purchases apps. Blu-Ray support only makes sense if Apple plans on releasing iMacs and Macbooks with Blu-Ray drives. Also on the table is “Project Cocktail.” Sources say that albums sold in the iTunes Store will not only come with digital PDF booklets; they will also come with “interactive album material.” The point of this is to entice customers to purchase entire albums instead of only the 99 cent singles.
- THE BEATLES: According to Yoko Ono herself the entire Beatles collection will finally be digitally distributed on the iTunes Store. EMI, the record company, told The Financial Times that this will not be announced tomorrow, though. [Via Engadget]
- Apple TV: Ah yes, the “hobby” that is the Apple TV. Jobs announced this product three years ago, and not much has changed since its release (besides a UI upgrade via a software upgrade). The latest rumors predict a new Apple TV device that supports DVR and CableCARD functionality. Today, though, these exact rumors were shot down by Apple CFO Peter Oppenheimer. He said such capability does not match Apple’s service scheme. And this makes sense; why would Apple allow its customers to freely record TV shows or movies when they have the iTunes Store for those needs. I do not see an upgrade to the aging Apple TV at this event. [Via Engadget]
- Apple tablet: The tablet will not be announced at this event. The most recent rumors point to a 2010 (or beyond) release.
- Steve Jobs appearance: It has been way too long since we’ve seen Jobs appear on stage at the helm of an Apple event. Now that his health has rebounded and he is back at work on the Apple campus in Cupertino, I expect him to at least make an appearence if not host the event.
Be sure to check back here for all the Apple news once it is announced. It takes place tomorrow at 10AM PDT (1PM ET). Get pumped!
Engadget got some hands-on time with the upcoming Zune HD. See the action in the video above.
In related news, it seems like electronics giant Best Buy has outed the release date and price of the Zune HD. A spy shot of a Besy Buy inventory sheet reveals a September 8th release and two price points: $220 for 16GB and $290 for 32GB. A tipster also nabbed further evidence at Amazon; they too have the same price point and release date listed. Look after the break for the two screen shots.
Boy Genius Report has received information from “a pretty reliable source” spilling the beans on some of the upcoming iTunes 9 capabilities. First up is Blu-Ray support. Rumors spreading from Apple Insider are pointing to the next lineup of iMacs packing Blu-Ray disc drives, making this lastest tidbit of news all the more convincing. However, we cannot forget Apple CEO Steve Jobs’ “bag of hurt” comment from the notebook event in 2008: “Blu-ray is just a bag of hurt. It’s great to watch the movies, but the licensing of the tech is so complex, we’re waiting till things settle down and Blu-ray takes off in the marketplace.”
According to the same source, there were mentions of some sort of Facebook/Twitter/Last.fm integration with iTunes. No details about this were shared. Perhaps “…broadcasting what song you’re playing to your friends” is in the pipes. The last grain of news states that iTunes users will gain the ability to “visually orgainize and arrange” their purchased apps. It is likely we won’t have to wait long to find out if all of this is fact or fiction; Apple’s September iPod+iTunes event is right around the corner.
Today Barrons is reporting that one lucky analyst has actually seen and handled the hyped and rumored forthcoming Apple tablet device. From the article…
One veteran analyst who has seen first-hand a prototype slate-style computer from Apple says the device could be announced in September for release in November.
Whatever the exact dates, the computer industry is so anxious to see what Apple introduces that it has held off on competing designs until Apple CEO Steve Jobs gives the device his final blessing. “It’s close enough now to a final design that in Asia, there’s no other product in the waiting room or in the bullpen,” said the analyst. “There are dozens of ODMs [original device makers] making products for Lenovo and other PC makers that are all waiting to see what the Apple product is.”
The new device, which may retail for $699 to $799, could fulfill a variety of multimedia functions currently taken up by a gaggle of individual consumer electronics devices. It could be a home media center, somewhat like the current Apple TV, and it could be a gaming machine, opines Jon Peddie, head of Jon Peddie Research in Tiburon, Calif. “Gaming will be a big part of what this is about,” he adds.
The machine impresses with its display of hi-def video content, says the veteran analyst, who asked not to be identified. “It’s better than the average movie experience, when you hold this thing in your hands.”
A second source confirmed to me that news of the new device “is all over the supply chain in Asia.” The biggest question at this point, and the least understood by anyone outside Apple, is whether the company’s App Store will be the exclusive distribution point for software for this device.
As Steve Jobs says, it’s the software that defines these things.
So, what do we gather from this? A September announcement, a November release, a $699-$799 price point, media center and gaming capabilities, and computer manufacturers have put production on hold until official specs and other information is released. More rumors added to the spinning, gigantic rumor mill. What do you have up your sleeve, Mr. Jobs? September cannot come any sooner.
At Comic Con, website io9 sat down with screenwriters Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman (Star Trek, Transformers) and asked them about the future of the rejuvenated J.J. Abrams’ Star Trek film series.
Q: I know there was a meeting about Star Trek a little while a go, have there been any more additional meetings at all? Any little update you can give us about the next film?
A: Roberto Orci: “Nothing was decided [at the last meeting]. It was really about, hmmm. You know what, I’ll give you a tidbit. [They said to us] ‘We thought maybe you could do that as like 2 and 3.”
Hmm, this is interesting. Something can be taken from this rather vague answer. Will the sequel to the new Star Trek end on a major cliffhanger that will bleed into the third Trek film? If so, will the third Trek be released soon after the sequel in order to keep the plot alive and relevant? While Orci’s response raises only more questions and no concrete answers, it is more fuel being added to the fire that is the new Star Trek film series! Abrams, Orci, Kurtzman, bring it on.
The Financial Times has joined the gang of rumors pointing to an Apple tablet device coming out in the near future. The FT is adding credibility to these rumors with the following information: the screen size “may be up to 10 inches diagonally;” it will run the iPhone OS; it will connect to the Interner via WiFi; it will have a book marketplace (think Amazon’s Kindle service). Here are some direct quotes taken from the article: “[The] tablet-sized computer [will ship] in time for the Christmas shopping season, in what the entertainment industry hopes will be a new revolution.” “[The] touch-sensitive device… will have a screen that may be up to ten inches diagonally,” and while it will “connect to the internet like the iPod touch, it’ll probably [do so] without phone capabilities.” Apple is known is release updated iPods and Mac desktop/laptop revisions in September, after the back-to-school season. This tablet device could very well slip into the launch window between this time and the holiday season. According to the FT, Apple is apparently rushing to complete this device and have it on store shelves by Christmas.
In other Apple-related news, Apple has decided to join forces with major music label companies (namely EMI, Sony Music, Warner Music and Universal Music Group) to come up with a plan to make consumers want to buy entire albums rather than single tracks when shopping at the iTunes Music Store. In order to stimulate consumers to go beyond the single track and dive into the entire album of a particular artist, Apple and said music labels will soon include ”interactive booklets, sleeve notes and other interactive features with music downloads.” Up to this point, users have only received PDF files with their album downloads that includes only album liner notes. According to an insider, “…it’s not just a bunch of PDFs; there’s real engagement with the ancillary stuff.” Executives commented on this new initiative code-named “Project Cocktail:” Apple wants to make bigger purchases more compelling by creating a new type of interactive album material, including photos, lyric sheets and liner notes that allow users to click through to items that they find most interesting. Consumers would be able to play songs directly from the interactive book without clicking back into Apple’s iTunes software. Would you be enticed to pay for entire albums instead of single tracks if these kinds of additions were tagged with your purchase of the album? Both the Apple tablet device and Project Cocktail are rumored to be released side-by-side as soon as this September. Let’s cross our fingers and hope these rumors come to fruition; sounds like really cool stuff is on the way.