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Tuesday, October 27, 2009, 05:35 am PT (08:35 am ET)

Apple pitches tablet as e-reader to Australian media - report

Apple has allegedly gone global in its efforts to attract publications to provide content for its long-rumored tablet device, as a new report suggests the hardware maker has been in discussions with the Australian media.

According to The Sydney Morning Herald, Apple has provided specifications of its still-unconfirmed touchscreen device to Australian media companies. The Cupertino, Calif., company has been gauging interest around the country to see who is interested in providing their content on the forthcoming hardware.

"It is understood that Apple has been in direct talks with Australian media companies to launch a new app for the tablet that would allow them to distribute their content in digital form and charge for it," the report said.

It noted that executives did not give a warm reception to the Kindle in the past, because Amazon wanted to keep 70 percent of revenue. The report cited Apple's current iPhone App Store business model, where the hardware maker keeps only 30 percent, as a model that is "expected" to be offered to media companies.

The device was described as a larger iPhone, "small enough to carry in a handbag but too big to fit in a pocket." The tablet will reportedly allow users to surf the Web, watch movies, and read books and newspapers.

The Herald also noted that Apple is "working with the major music studios to develop a new album format." First rumored as a project called "Cocktail" over the summer, iTunes LP already debuted in September.

Apple's tablet is expected to be a 10-inch, 3G connected device that will debut in the first quarter of 2010. Numerous reports in recent months have suggested that Apple has been reaching out to content publishers regarding the device.