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iSlate – never born, died 2011

The difference between a history book and a current account – whether that current account is a newspaper article, a blog post, or whatever – is that the historian has the advantage of time, and the ability to process what has been learned. The current writer is dealing with the moment, and things that might be proven inaccurate.

I recently referred to a blog post that I wrote on January 26, 2010. The post, entitled “Has the i- prefix jumped the shark?” I spent most of the post talking about the i-Dog, the iDrug, and the iGasm. But I started by discussing a product that was about to be released – a revolutionary product from Apple that would change the way that we live, just like every other Apple product has been revolutionary and has changed the way that we live.

The product that Apple was about to release? According to my post, it was…the iSlate.

If you’re looking at this post with a quizzical look, don’t worry. Apple never did release an iSlate; they ended up calling their new product the iPad. (See this post for a listing of the many rumors floating around before the January 27 announcement.)

But at that time, a lot of people thought that the new product would be called the iSlate. A month before I wrote my shark-jumping post, MacRumors posted this:

With rumors of the Apple tablet reaching new highs, MacRumors has found evidence that Apple acquired the domain name iSlate.com presumably in preparation for the new device.

The iSlate.com domain was originally registered in October 2004 by a company called Eurobox Ltd. It later changed hands to Data Docket, Inc. in 2006. In 2007, however, the domain was transferred to registrar MarkMonitor.com. MarkMonitor handles domain name registrations and trademark protections for many companies, including Apple. As is typical, however, the name of the actual registrant was initially hidden to obscure the identify of the actual owner.

Well, except for a few weeks in which Apple’s ownership of the domain was temporarily exposed. And once something becomes public on the Internet, it’s public forever. See the MacRumors post.

At the end of the day, Apple decided upon a different name for its new product. And as of March 2012, records show that the domain is registered to…MarkMonitor.

Domain Name: ISLATE.COM
Registrar: MARKMONITOR INC.
Whois Server: whois.markmonitor.com
Referral URL: http://www.markmonitor.com
Name Server: NS1.MARKMONITOR.COM
Name Server: NS2.MARKMONITOR.COM
Name Server: NS3.MARKMONITOR.COM
Name Server: NS4.MARKMONITOR.COM
Name Server: NS5.MARKMONITOR.COM
Name Server: NS6.MARKMONITOR.COM
Name Server: NS7.MARKMONITOR.COM
Status: clientDeleteProhibited
Status: clientTransferProhibited
Status: clientUpdateProhibited
Updated Date: 28-sep-2011
Creation Date: 30-oct-2004
Expiration Date: 30-oct-2013

And now no one talks about iSlate any more. Including Apple – as Mike Cane notes, Apple abandoned the iSlate trademark on October 3, 2011.

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