Apple Tablet PCAs Apple prepares to launch its next big thing in the Apple Tablet, it’s reportedly keen to strike a deal with U.S. television networks which would see the price of TV episodes cut in half. Could the Apple Tablet be about to revolutionize online video?

Apple Tablet Imminent

Apple is expected to launch its new Tablet PC – likely to be called the iSlate or the iPad – at a special media event tomorrow (Jan. 27). The Tablet is being touted as a revolution in home computing and in the way we will consume media in the future.

But pricing is going to be the key to this vision becoming reality. And that doesn’t just mean the pricing of the Apple Tablet, but also the pricing of the content Apple is expecting to be read, viewed, listened to, and played on the device.

TV on iTunes

The FT is reporting that Apple is seeking a deal with the big TV networks in the States. Most episodes of TV series are currently priced at $1.99 on iTunes, but Apple is thought to want to slash the price to just 99 cents.

This is because TV currently only plays a minor role in the success of iTunes, with music being the big seller. Apple struck a deal with the music industry in 2003 which saw individual songs go on sale for 99 cents apiece. And business has since skyrocketed.

Talk of a monthly subscription service is also continuing but doesn’t seem to getting very far. Hulu might actually beat Apple to it.

Apple Tablet?

The Tablet PC is expected to be a cross between the iPhone and a laptop, with one large touchscreen, a new version of the iPhone OS, and the capability to browse the Web and be an all-in-one multimedia device on the go.

Apple clearly wants to make it the only device anyone needs to read newspapers and books on, listen to music on, and watch TV and films on. All while on the move and connected to the Internet via Wi-Fi.

Network Interference

The networks are thought to be resistant to these pricing changes, worried that they will see less revenue and that they would adversely affect numbers and demand on traditional broadcast television.

However, as Apple has explained, price cuts would likely ramp up demand on iTunes, and help combat piracy. The fact is that piracy would almost disappear overnight were consumers being asked to pay a fair price for content.

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