The Wall Street Journal recently announced that Apple will be shipping the iSlate Tablet device in March this year, quoting sources close to Apple, and automatically becoming the most credible source that there is an Apple multimedia Tablet device just around the corner.
MacObserver has speculated as to why this information was leaked to WSJ, as it looks very much like a controlled leak. Like many other companies, Apple sometimes need to release “unofficial” information, and this is something that they have practiced for different reasons over the years without damaging their reputation of never sharing information about unreleased products.
Apparently it is all done in person, with a senior exec asking someone if they have any contacts that they could talk to directly, without any written information passing hands (no emails). Reason for this is that will not be any papertrail, which gives both Apple and publisher a get-out clause so to speak, claiming the whole thing as a missunderstanding. How policitical of them!
There can usually be several strategic reasons why information is leaked in this way, and in the case of the Apple iSlate Tablet, it is believed that some of the reasons could be:
a) to light a fire under a recalcitrant partner
b) test out the public response to an expected $1,000 price point
c) To panic or confuse a potential competitor – there has recently been information/rumors that Google is working with HTC on a rival tablet solution.
d) To whet analyst and observer expectations.
They also have to be careful about how information like this is leaked so not to be perceived as trying to manipulate the stock market, which is why this information went online after the closing bell on Monday. There is of course the potential positive outcome that the shareprice will go up as the market expectations increase.
It is always nice to get a bit of insight into the PR strategies applied by a company like Apple and how they strategically deal with a new product release in relation to the media and competitors.
Although it might be March until the iSlate Tablet will hit the markets, it is expected that it will be officially announced on the 27th January at an Apple event.