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You can usually count on Apple to be at least one gadget ahead of everyone else. So now that iPhones are rendering the average iPod obsolete, it’s a pretty safe bet they’ve got a third item up their sleeve ready to change the game yet again.

It’s all still guesses, but the smart money is on a tablet computer dropping just in time for Christmas, codenamed Cocktail and resembling either an enormous iPod touch or a hyper-intelligent dinner tray. (The above pic is an unofficial rendering, naturally.) It’s a gadget type that’s been seen at press events for years now, most notably from Microsoft, but they’ve never quite made it into stores. More importantly, it’s the ideal tool for the artsy endeavors Apple specializes in—graphic design, software editing, digital collage, and so on—provided they can convince their users to get rid of that keyboard.

—R.B.

CONTRIBUTORS

  • Russell Brandom