Apple planning to shake-up textbooks, newspapers, TV and gaming with its rumored tablet?

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The Wall Street Journal has chimed in with its assessment of the Apple tablet and has described the many ways Steve Jobs is supposedly aiming to reshape how we read books, browse newspapers, play games and consume TV with Apple’s new tablet device. Long a stronghold, Apple is reportedly courting the educational market and has developed this tablet with electronic  textbook technology which will presumably take the e-book reading experience a step beyond the current Kindle-experience. The Apple tablet may also reportedly fill the gap that exists for newspapers who have been clamoring for a digital distribution channel that offers a better overall experience than what is provided by a 6 inch e-ink device. Apple is rumored to be in talks with The New York Times, Conde Nast Publications, HarperCollins and News Corp in this endeavor. Hit the jump for Apple’s rumored plans for television and gaming on its tablet device.

Anyone who has owned a 9 to 10-inch slate device knows that it hit the sweet spot for casual movie or television watching and Apple may try to capitilize on the feature by bringing a “Best of TV” subscription-based TV service to the tablet. Rumors suggest that Apple has been negotiating with CBS and Disney which owns ABC to bring four to six shows per channel to the tablet. As was the case with the iPod touch, Apple is also thought to be collaborating with Electronic Arts to showcase the gaming capabilities of its tablet device. Other features potentially include virtual sticky notes, facial recognition technology that recognizes each user presumably to deliver user-specific content, and , of course, a virtual onscreen keyboard.

Details on how Apple is going to integrate these diverse services into the tablet is sparse but at least some of the content may be accessible from iTunes which may be moved to a cloud-based infrastructure following Apple’s purchase of Lala. The other unknown is the wireless connectivity which is needed for such a device. Rumors are hot and heavy that the tablet will feature a Qualcomm chipset that may support Verizon Wireless EV-DO. Qualcomm also makes the Gobi chipset which includes GSM/HSDPA in addition to CDMA/EV-DO connectivity so the tablet may not be a carrier-specific device.  Anyone else going to be glued to their computer next Wednesday to see how these rumors pan out and what other surprises Apple may have up its sleeve?

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