Apple's New Tablet To Be Baptized iSlate? Let's Dig A Little Deeper

Robin Wauters
TechCrunch.com
Friday, December 25, 2009; 1:20 AM

Nice scoop by MacRumors, which reportedly retrieved historical evidence that Apple has acquired the domain name islate.com back in 2007. Apparently, the Cupertino company registered the domain through brand protection firm Mark Monitor to conceal the fact that the domain name is theirs, as usual, but was briefly listed as the owner at some point in the past nonetheless.

If correct, that means we can add a rumor to a rumor: that the unconfirmed, unannounced but most definitely coming (maybe) Apple tablet device will be named iSlate. That would be in line with earlier connections of the 'slate' term to the elusive tablet computer, based on New York Times Executive Editor Bill Keller calling it something to that effect in a speech.

Let's dig a little deeper.

Other iSlate Domain Names

There's a lot of islate-related domain names with different TLDs that Apple most definitely does not own (islate.org, islate.net, islate.be, islate.nl, islate.es, and so on) but I did find a couple of interesting things trolling whois servers.

A search for islate.co.uk lists Mark Monitor as the owner, just like islate.com. This could be meaningless, but we know for sure Apple works with Mark Monitor for other domain names and the United Kingdom is a key market for the company. Registration date: 17 November 2006.

Unfortunately, the whois server for German TLDs (whois.denic.de) is currently down, so I can't look up who secured islate.de at this point. Update: owned by Innovative Dynamics GmbH since December 2007.

But look up who the owner of islate.fr (country TLD for France, a third key country for Apple in Europe) is: a Paris-based IP property attorney firm called Wilson & Berthelot. Guess who the technical contact for the domain name registration is? Mark Monitor. And doesn't Apple work with law firm Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati in the States?

Coincidence, or not?

Other related domain names that were secured through Mark Monitor: islate.info and islate.biz, both of which were registered on the same date as islate.co.uk: 17 November 2006.

Update: islate.jp (Japan) was registered by Mark Monitor on 29 November 2006, while islate.cn (China) was registered through the company on 18 November 2009.

The plot thickens.


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