The rumor: The Apple Tablet will "strike a familiar chord with owners of the original iPhone, with similarities in industrial design trickling all the way down to the handset's button and connectivity components."
Our take: Honestly, we can believe this one. Apple has had a great deal of success with the iPhone, and we've already seen the "tablet PC" as it's known today take a nosedive. Apple Insider is saying that the device may look a lot like a "first-generation iPhone that's met its match with a rolling pin," and while we've obviously no inside way to confirm nor deny, we can get why Apple would stick close to a design that it knows will work. Oh, and be sure to peek two more clearly fake mockups after the break.
The rumor: New York Times Arthur Sulzberger, Jr. won't be at Apple keynote next week.
Our take: So? Just because the head honcho from The Times is planning to be in Davos, Switzerland next week while Apple unveils its tablet doesn't mean that Jobs can't showcase the device's ability to video chat across oceans in front of the masses... if Apple even has a deal with any publisher. If Apple really is reaching out to publishers for content deals, you can bet your bottom dollar the NYT is listening. And be honest -- if you had the option of being in Davos or some convention center in San Francisco, which would you pick?
More after the break... if you dare.
The rumor: Double dock connectors (one on the bottom, one on the side) and iPhone-esque antennas are coming to the Tablet.
Our take: If this tablet doohickey ends up being as multimedia friendly as we imagine, having twin dock connectors makes gobs of sense. With a 7-, 8-, 9- or 10-inch display, you can rest assured that some users will want to flip this thing sideways and dock it as a portable movie viewer, which becomes infinitely easier with a side-mounted connector. As for the antennas? We'd be pleased as punch to see a stripe extend along the full side of the device rather than some "iPod touch-sized pill" -- the latter of which we found remarkably disruptive to the flow of the touch's design. If Apple Insider's earlier report about the overall look pans out, we'd guess this one would fall right in line with that.
The rumor: Apple is in talks to bring McGraw-Hill and Hachette educational content to its forthcoming tablet.
Our take: Apple's no stranger to the world of education; in fact, it's difficult to find an institution of higher learning here in the US that doesn't have an OS X-based machine somewhere on the campus (and in a public-use facility). Considering the likelihood that some sort of e-reader functionality will be baked into the device, the suits in Cupertino would be crazy to not field interest from powerhouses like these two. Of course, we can't exactly see schools lining up to drop however many dollars (read: a lot) on scads of Apple Tablets for students, but we suppose all those free iPod and iPhones given out to select kids at select schools could one day be replaced by a slate.
The rumor: Clayton Morris expects that both Verizon Wireless and AT&T will offer subsidized versions of the Apple Tablet.
Our take: Hmm. Early, early reports noted that the impending Apple Tablet would boast HSDPA capabilities, and given the company's existing relationship with AT&T, it seems like a partnership with "America's fastest 3G network!!!" would be in the cards. But Verizon? We guess anything's possible, but unless Apple has a next-gen iPhone waiting for Big Red's CDMA network, we highly doubt it'd publicly open that can of worms. Not that we'd argue with actually giving consumers a choice or anything.
We've got a sinking feeling that the final days, hours and minutes before next Wednesday's keynote will keep the leaks and hot air flowing, but at this point, you're probably better off stepping away and just waiting for the live coverage to begin. Unless you enjoy having your expectations crushed, that is.
*Verizon is currently in the process of acquiring AOL, Engadget's parent company. However, Engadget maintains full editorial control, and Verizon will have to pry it from our cold, dead hands.