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New York Times Editor Refers to 'Impending Apple Slate'

A report from Gawker about recent comments by The New York Times executive editor Bill Keller regarding Apple's tablet project has been gaining a significant amount of attention today. While Apple's tablet has been rumored for several years and evidence has continued to mount that a release is likely in the relatively near future, public comments from those likely to have inside knowledge of the device have understandably been scarce.

Keller's brief comment came at an October 16th "all hands" meeting for the newspaper's digital staff at which Keller detailed a number of issues the paper is focusing on in the next few months. Among the issues mentioned by Keller was delivery of content to mobile devices, including the "impending Apple slate".

Sixth, we need to figure out the right journalistic product to deliver to mobile platforms and devices. I'm hoping we can get the newsroom more actively involved in the challenge of delivering our best journalism in the form of Times Reader, iPhone apps, WAP, or the impending Apple slate, or whatever comes after that.

The Nieman Journalism Lab at Harvard University has published comments on and a video of the speech, which was reportedly meant to be an "off the record" presentation. Keller's comment on Apple's tablet occurs approximately 8:15 into the video.


A late September report indicated that The New York Times was approached by Apple in June to discuss translating its content for a "new device" as part of the company's efforts to transform print media through the introduction of the new tablet. Provided that the report is true, it is likely that Keller has received information about Apple's tablet, and his recent comment provides public confirmation that, to the extent that he has been informed, the project is still in the works.