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McGraw-Hill CEO spills the beans on Apple tablet [Updated]

January 26, 2010 |  3:08 pm

McGraw-Hill Chief Executive Terry McGraw shouldn't be surprised if he wakes up tomorrow with a horse's head in his bed.

In an interview with CNBC today, McGraw casually blabbed details about Apple's tablet, saying the device "is going to be based on the iPhone operating system."

You can check out his interview above or go here if it doesn't play properly in the player above.

He also referred to a "consortium of e-books" for Apple's latest creation. "We have 95% of all our materials that are in e-book format on that one," McGraw said. "So now with the tablet you're going to open up the higher education market, the professional market. The tablet is going to be just really terrific."

Great, but will Apple Chief Executive Steve Jobs think McGraw's comments are terrific, given that the company is planning its own unveiling tomorrow morning at a star-studded news conference in the Silicon Valley?

The book publisher later asked to clarify McGraw's remarks, saying its CEO meant to qualify his statement. A spokesman referred us to a transcript of McGraw's earlier comments made during the company's fourth quarter earnings announcement. Here's an excerpt:

Consider then the Apple tablet computer, which will be introduced shortly.  There is a lot of secrecy about the introduction, but many expect that the Apple device will use the iPhone operating system. If that's the case, we are confident that our CourseSmart e-books should run well right out of the box on any Apple Tablet. Stay tuned.

To be sure, the Apple tablet may be the worst-kept secret in tech-dom -- There have been a steady stream of leaks and reports over the last year about the mythical device. That still doesn't prevent Apple from insisting on complete non-disclosure from its business partners when it comes to new product announcements.

Still, with so many rumors about the device's supposedly extraordinary capabilities, the only surprise may be in what it can't do.

Updated 6:03 pm: This post was updated to include a response from McGraw-Hill.

-- Mark Milian and Alex Pham

Follow us: @MarkMilian @AlexPham

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