In a few hours, the jig will be up. Apple will have unveiled its latest and greatest gadget, which is widely expected to (and better) be a tablet. For months, the tech world has been swarming over a steady stream of purported leaks, rumors, and strategically planned business moves by Apple that have pointed in a number of directions. Let's break a few of the big ones down by quality.The good
The tablet idea
Rumors of Apple offering a tablet device have been swirling for close to a decade, though things really started to heat up when Apple released the iPhone and iPod Touch. After several very successful generations of these touch-screen devices, along with the acquisition of PA Semi and touch-gesture company Fingerworks, it seemed almost inevitable that Apple was cooking up something bigger.
The real proof, however came in the form of a patent application from 2008 that gave a very clear idea of how Apple imagined users interacting with such a device. Many of the ideas and principles that are detailed in that patent seem to mirror Apple's user design ethos for the iPhone and iPod Touch, which has led to speculation (and even more rumors) that the tablet will have a similar OS to what's found on the iPhone and iPod.
The name game The rumored name of Apple's tablet has gone under two main monikers: the "iSlate" and the "iPad."
Blog Mac Rumors discovered historical evidence that Apple has owned the iSlate.com domain since 2007. The day after that discovery, blog TechCrunch found that the iSlate name was a registered trademark of Slate Computing, which turned out to be a company owned by Apple. The connection was confirmed by Mac Rumors, which found the signature of Apple's senior trademark specialist on the iSlate trademark application.
The lesser of the two names is "iPad," which despite being just one letter off from "iPod" is in far shakier legal ground. Tech company Fujitsu has held a trademark for the word iPad since 2003. This is on top of the company having shipped Microsoft Windows CE-based devices called the iPad, which were sold to retail stores to let customers look up prices and navigate around the store.
The only reason this became a lead in the tablet name sniffing case, was because Apple filed three separate extension requests with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to lengthen the amount of time it had to file for an opposition to Fujitsu's claim.
In either case, both are perfectly reasonable names for the tablet. But more importantly, there's enough of a legal shuffle behind the scenes to suggest that Apple is at least trying to cover its bases in a similar fashion to what it did prior to releasing the iPhone. … Read more