Apple Tablet Launch to Coincide With iTunes Digital Album Enhancements in September?

In a companion piece to its report on Apple and record labels planning to launch interactive album booklets for iTunes Store music, The Financial Times provides additional details regarding Apple's planned launch of a tablet computer. Concurring with other reports, the new tablet is rumored to carry a screen of up to 10 inches, Internet access, and integration with Apple's music and application stores.

In a twist on previous rumors, the report closely ties the new device to the rumored new music content deals, which The Financial Times claims are planned for a September launch.

The device is expected to be launched alongside new content deals, including some aimed at stimulating sales of CD-length music, according to people briefed on the project. The touch-sensitive computer will have a screen that may be up to 10 inches diagonally.

It will connect to the internet like the iPod Touch probably without phone capability but with access to the web, and to Apple's online stores for software and entertainment.

The report also focuses on the tablet's apparent importance to the movie and e-book industries.

The entertainment industry is hoping that Apple, which revolutionised the markets for music players and for phones, can do it again. "It's a portable entertainment device," said one entertainment executive. "It's going to be fabulous for watching movies."

Recording industry executives said Apple planned to use the larger screen to offer new services such as interactive booklets and liner notes that come along with purchases of entire music CDs.

While Apple has reportedly not been in touch with movie studios, film executives have expressed interest in providing new content for the rumored tablet, and video game publishers are also looking to the device as a new platform for their content.

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