The McGraw-Hill Cos. Inc.’s CEO spoke on CNBC on Tuesday and appeared to confirm speculation that Apple Inc. will indeed unveil a tablet computer running on iPhone software during a highly anticipated media event on Wednesday.
Harold McGraw, the company’s chief executive, was discussing his company’s earnings on the cable television business news channel. When asked about the tablet, McGraw said Apple will “make their announcement tomorrow on this one” and that “the tablet is going to be based on the iPhone operating system.”
His comments, though brief, sounded authoritative and several Apple-themed blogs reported the incident as if McGraw had accidentally beaten Apple CEO Steve Jobs to the punch.
McGraw-Hill spokesman Steven Weiss would not confirm that the CEO was describing Apple’s actual product.
“There has been lots of speculation and we are as eager as anyone to see how the new device can be used to advance education and business information platforms,” Weiss said.
McGraw’s comments on CNBC appeared to be an abbreviated version of remarks made during a conference call with Wall Street analysts earlier in the day. According to a transcript supplied by Weiss, McGraw sounded confident that the tablet would soon become a reality. But as for technical details, he said only that “many expect that the Apple device will use the iPhone operating system.”
McGraw-Hill is a major developer and publisher of educational materials and textbooks, and some of its college texts are already available for reading on Apple’s iPhone. If Apple’s tablet is based on the iPhone system, the investments McGraw-Hill and other publishers have already made in e-books would still be relevant on the new device.