Apple and rumors: a match made in heaven. On one hand you have a company which is obsessed with secrecy, and on the other hand you have hordes of die-hard fans who would go to any length to uncover what’s brewing inside the Apple labs.
Over the past week, we have done our bit to indulge the rumor mills about Apple Tablet. And here comes another juicy speculation that has been buzzing through the intertubes. Apple Tablet may be named iSlate.
The basis for these rumors? Well if you are looking for something concrete, there isn’t anything. But, MacRumours has managed to unearth that in 2007 Apple had purchased the domain iSlate.com. The domain is currently owned by Markmonitor.com – a brand protection firm. Not only that, TechCrunch also discovered that islate.co.uk is also owned by Markmonitor.com, while islate.fr is owned by a firm called Wilson & Berthelot, which happens to list Markmonitor as the technical contact for the domain name registration. Markmonitor was also responsible for registering islate.info and islate.biz. And, both of these domains were registered on the same date as islate.co.uk – 17th November 2006. It is quite possible, that Markmonitor was hired by Apple to register the domains on their behalf.
Within of a week of the domains being registered, a company called Slate Computing filed a US word mark for ‘ISLATE’. What is Slate Computing all about? These are the goods and services provided by Slate Computing according to the filing information:
Computers; computer software, namely, database management software, electronic mail and messaging software, Internet browser software, paging software, database synchronization software, software for accessing, browsing and searching online databases, software for creating spreadsheets, tables, graphs and charts, software for organizing and analyzing data, software for word processing, software for creation and display of presentations including text and graphics, software used for image editing, image processing, image acquisition, image file management, image viewing, image sharing, and the creation of documents incorporating images, software for use in developing websites, software to help users create, edit, organize, search, transfer, publish and subscribe to weblogs, blogs, podcasts, web broadcasts and news and information feeds on global and/or local computer and telecommunications networks, software for use in authoring, downloading, transmitting, receiving, editing, extracting, encoding, decoding, playing, storing and organizing audio, video and still images, software for authoring digital content, software for personal information management, software for DVD authoring, software for the electronic storage and retrieval of electronic calendar files, software with clock and alarm clock functionality, telephony management software, character recognition software, application development tool software for personal and handheld computers, software for the redirection of messages, Internet e-mail, and/or other data to one or more electronic handheld devices from a data store on or associated with a personal computer or a server, and software for the synchronization of data between a remote station or device and a fixed or remote station or device; computer operating system software; computer utility software; computer peripherals. notebook computers; laptop computers; tablet computers; computer servers; handheld computers; mobile computers; hard drives; audio speakers; speakers for computers; radios; cameras; video cameras; telephones; mobile telephones; personal digital assistants; electronic personal organizers; electronic notepads; blank magnetic data carriers; computer gaming machines; microprocessors; memory boards; computer monitors; keyboards; computer input devices, namely, touch screens, styluses, mice, trackballs and shuttle dials; computer cables; modems; printers; computer accessories, namely, computer battery chargers, battery packs, docking stations, adaptors, computer wired and wireless remote controls, audio headphones and earphones, and replacement parts for all the aforesaid goods.
Bear with me for a moment, because at this point things get really interesting. A quick online search provides absolutely no information about ‘Slate Computing’. For a company that doesn’t have any online presence (and no one has heard about), Slate Computing definitely manufactures a hell of a lot of products. What are the odds that Slate Computing is a shell company? Is it just co-incidence that their product line seems match with Apple’s?
TechCrunch also uncovered that, ‘Slate Computing’ had filed a trademark for the term in the European Union too. The trademark was filed on the same day (21st Nov, 2006) and the legal representative for the firm was the UK-based firm Edwards Angell Palmer & Dodge. These are the same guys Apple had worked with while trademarking the term ‘MacBook’ in the EU.
The evidence behind the iSlate speculations is by no means concrete. But at least there is some evidence to back up these speculations, which is a lot more than what we can say about most Apple related rumors.