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Apple January Event: Publishing, iBooks Announcement May Come This Month In New York

The Huffington Post    
First Posted: 01/03/12 10:51 AM ET Updated: 01/03/12 04:17 PM ET

What, oh what, is the ever mysterious Apple planning for the end of this month?

Kara Swisher of All Things Digital broke the news that Apple is reportedly planning an event for January. It's not what you're thinking: Swisher emphasized that the event would not feature the unveiling of the iPad 3, the next-gen tablet that has long been rumored for a release some time between February and April 2012. Also off the table is any kind of announcement surrounding Apple's television, the much-hyped product, teased by Steve Jobs' biographer Walter Isaacson in several interviews, that will supposedly revolutionize TVs with its reported radical new interface and potential integration with voice assistant Siri.

No, neither the so-called "iTV" nor the iPad 3 are the subject of January's event, per Swisher. Instead, according to TechCrunch's Alexia Tsotsis, the stars of the event at month's end will be iBooks and book publishing.

From Tsotsis' post, on our Aol sister site TechCrunch:

According to the source the event will not involve any hardware at all and instead will focus on publishing and eBooks (sold through Apple’s iBooks platform) rather than iAds. Attendance will also be more publishing industry-oriented than consumer-focused.

Past that, details remain scant, but several ideas that have been floated in the blogosphere.

Apple blog TUAW is hoping that iBooks will become available to read on Mac laptops and desktops; Mac Rumors wonders whether Apple might begin selling textbooks, as Jobs told his biographer Isaacson he hoped to revolutionize the textbook industry; and another Apple site, TiPb, is wishing for a better selection of iBooks, one that could compete with Amazon's selection for the Kindle (per the two companies, Amazon has over a million titles, while Apple has over 700,000). A partnership with Barnes & Noble, a once-rumored acquisition target for Apple, could help with the latter; however, given B&N's own hardware (including the recently released NOOK Tablet), this seems unlikely.

Apple, as is its wont, is staying quiet, and has not responded to a request for comment nor confirmed that it is holding any kind of event in New York City this January. We'll keep you updated as details emerge.

What do you think Apple is planning for this mysterious event? Do you think there will be one at all? Let us know in the comments.

Check out the slideshow (below) for a look at the worst Apple rumors from 2011.

The iPad 3 Will Be Released In 2011
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Much of the rampant speculation began in February, when widely-read Apple writer John Gruber speculated -- and we're talking SPECULATED, based on no inside information whatsoever, a fact he admitted outright in the column -- that his gut was saying that the iPad 2 would be released in Spring 2011, followed by the iPad 3 in Fall 2011, perhaps in September. Despite what should have been everyone's better judgment, news outlets went bananas on this column (One headline: "Gruber Confirms iPad 3 In Blog Rant?") until March, when the iPad 2 was released and Apple, in an announcement accompanied by a sad trombone, dubbed 2011 "The Year of the iPad 2." This seemed to rule out that a second iPad would follow later that year; Apple bloggers everywhere shed a single tear for a device there was never any evidence existed.

The trail of the single tear was still moist in May when everyone forgot that Apple had said 2011 was The Year of the iPad 2 and went bananas again. A May report from T3.com put the iPad 3 on track for a September release; a concurrent rumor claimed the iPad 3 would be a glasses-free 3D device, which I suppose could still be true (I'm dubious of Apple promoting one of its products with such a stupid gimmick, but I've been wrong before). The 2011 iPad 3 rumors mounted and mounted: A May article from Reuters put the iPad 3 on track for Q4 2011 release, and then Asia weighed in with reports from the supply chain: An analyst working in Hong Kong said that a 4G iPad 3 would arrive just in time for Christmas; Taiwanese trade publication DigiTimes reported in July that Apple would start production on the iPad 3 in September and would make it available in October; Japanese Apple site Macotakara independently confirmed that DigiTimes was correct.

And that's not all: Also in July, non-Asian tech siteThe Verge nee This Is My Next reported that the iPad HD would be released in Fall 2011, as did FBR Capital Markets analyst Craig Berger.Isn't it comforting to know that in this day and age of multinational aggression, distrust and strife that we, as a planet, can sometimes come together and all be wrong about the iPad 3's release date as one?

It was at this point, in August, that The Wall Street Journal weighed in with a report that, due to problems with the display screen on the supply chain, the iPad 3 was being pushed back to 2012. Analysts agreed, with most predicting that the iPad 3 would be released in early 2012 a.k.a. exactly one year after the iPad 2 was released a.k.a exactly the way that Apple ALWAYS released iterative updates to its devices.

2011 really was the year of the iPad 2. Boo hoo.

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