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The Apple Tablet: Will It Be Called iSlate, iGuide, Or Something Else?

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Good old Harry McCracken has build up another one of his exhaustive topical examinations, this time turning his bespectacled gaze towards the iPhone. Like the iSlate or the iTablet or the iNinjaStar, analysts, journos, and bloggers frothed at the mouth for years before the product was announced. Take Kevin Rose’s exciting prediction, straight from “sources:”

* January launch on “all” providers, both CDMA and GSM
* Extremely small form factor
* Two battery design (with single charger) — one for playing music, the other for phone functions
* Flash memory: 4GB for $249, 8GB for $449
* “Slide-out keyboard”
* Possibly touchscreen

Generally, what you’re seeing here are a million monkeys at a million typewriters. They eventually get some things right but they mostly get things wrong.

Harry rolls into page three of his analysis with an with a few pertinent points to ponder when thinking about iPhone rumors. To wit:

They rehashed a gumbo of “facts” from multiple sources. The stuff that might actually have been leaked by insiders in the know got indiscriminately blended with iffy guesswork and bizarre fantasy, until it was tough to tell the difference. For instance, several stories about the iPhone rightly talked about it having a touchscreen, but nobody figured out that this was (A) true, and (B) one of the phone’s defining features.

This rehashed gumbo of facts is what’s currently clouding our thinking on the iTablet and creating a mess of conjecture and prediction that, in the end, will be wrong. But darn it if we don’t keep right on fantasizing.

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