Apple Launching a ‘Family Device’ Next Week, Report Suggests

Steve Jobs allegedly sees the tablet as an intuitive-something for the entire family use

The WSJ is again the source of multiple iTablet details, this time saying Apple aims to focus its tablet on providing content from multiple "old media" business sources, including textbooks, newspapers and television. The report also digs up rumors of Apple using Microsoft’s Bing as a search engine across multiple devices.

Citing several sources familiar with Apple’s short-term plans, reporters Yukari Iwatani Kane and Ethan Smith reveal that Apple sees the tablet as a family device used for reading news and checking e-mail. This comes into conflict with rumors of the Apple tablet launching with a $1,000 price tag.

A sharing element had been a major focus for Apple in creating the user interface for the device, one person said, while interaction with the hardware would be extremely intuitive. "The person said that Apple has experimented with the ability to leave virtual sticky notes on the device and for the gadget to automatically recognize individuals via a built-in camera," the report reads (subscription required). "It's unclear whether these features will be included at launch."

Apple has been rumored to plan the creation of a cloud-based iTunes service,, which would eliminate the need to use the actual iTunes application. Details unearthed by the WSJ suggest the service would allow customers to buy music by simply visiting the site on an Internet-capable device, and it should be available by June, going by the latest developments. Lastly, Microsoft’s Bing will not only be used for its search features, but also for maps, according to the report, which reaffirms Wednesday’s rumors.

AppleInsider makes a list of other important details dished out in the Journal’s report. They are available below.

- The tablet will include a virtual keyboard for text input.

- Apple wants to present traditional print content, like newspapers and magazines, “differently” on the device. The company envisions the device for use reading content both at home and in the classroom.

- Game maker Electronic Arts is working with Apple on software to demonstrate the game-playing capabilities of the tablet.

- As has been rumored for months, Apple is in negotiations with TV networks for a monthly subscription service. The plan would include a “best of TV” subscription for on-demand access to content. It would offer about four to six shows per channel.

- Referring to traditional media companies, Apple co-founder Steve Jobs was said to be “supportive of the old guard,” a person who once worked with him told the Journal. Jobs allegedly wants to “help them by giving them new forms of distribution.”

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