Publisher Reveals Details of Apple Tablet Affair

Textbook publisher's plans to sell books on Apple's new device

By Jackson West
|  Wednesday, Jan 27, 2010  |  Updated 7:35 AM PDT
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Publisher Reveals Details of Apple Tablet Affair

CNBC

Terry McGraw can't keep his excitement over the Apple Tablet to himself, and spurted news all over CNBC.

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Terry McGraw isn't going to be getting a gift basket from Steve Jobs this Christmas, especially if McGraw's loose lips sinks the Apple tablet announcement ship.

Apple is expected to unveil its new tablet computing device today, making fanboys in the technoblogopunditosphere positively tumescent in anticipation.

But McGraw, CEO of educational book publisher McGraw-Hill, blew his load of information a bit prematurely on CNBC. He told the cable network that the tablet will be "really terrific," and that the company has plans to sell up to 95 percent of its titles on the device in electronic format.

He also answered a question that's been on many minds -- would the tablet have a full-fledged Mac OS X operating system, or would it be based on the iPhone software?

It's the latter, according to McGraw, who said that the titles would be transferrable between the tablet and the phone, meaning you won't have to lug the tablet with you when you want to cram on the bus ride to school.

McGraw's not the first to blab -- New York Times executive editor Bill Keller left a mess in the press after hinting at discussions with Apple  about a tablet-friendly edition of the newspaper.

Apple has also apparently orchestrated a bit of a whisper campaign through judicious leaks to the Wall Street Journal.

Print publishers have high hopes that the tablet will save them by offering paid downloads and subscriptions as more and more people ditch the newspaper to read content online instead.

Regardless, expect people with more money than sense to queue up for hours in order to buy the first version, which will likely be rife with bugs and then discounted substantially when a new version comes out a couple of months later.

Jackson West has used tablet computers, and, well, meh.

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