Making a case for Apple challenging the upcoming Sony Reader ebook/tablet can be done on so many levels, that’s it’s virtually a no-brainer. Publishing is a core market of Apple’s, and they’ll certainly defend that position to the best of their ability. Whether Apple will decide to introduce an all new e-book device or simply add it to their iPod line-up, is neither here nor there.
To back that up, the facts supporting this position were made abundantly clear throughout the first quarter of 2006. This is when the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office revealed a series of new Apple patents regarding touch screen technologies and a tablet PC doubling as an ebook.
Within those patents, Apple revealed a plethora of advanced features that would certainly dwarf those found in Sony’s first iteration of their Reader, such as giving the user the ability to access Apple’s online iTunes Music Store via simple touch screen commands. More specifically and in context to an ebook, patent number 20060026535 titled “Mode-based graphical user interfaces for touch sensitive input devices,” – describes initiating “page turns… .associated with an electronic book.” Further on, the patent goes on to describe a new multiple-page-swipe technology that will allow users to virtually-flip through pages quickly as they naturally do today with a magazine or technical book etc.
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