Poking more at the info Apple secretly registered iSlate.com a couple years ago, TechCrunch found Apple's possibly setup a shell company called Slate Computing, which has a trademark on "iSlate." The signatory? Apple's Senior Trademark Specialist, MacRumors discovered.
Regina Porter most recently signed for the "iSlate" trademark for Slate Computing this past August—showing Apple's continued with "slate" beyond its initial registration for iSlate.com and the "iSlate" trademark in 2006. In Europe, a law firm Apple typically uses to register trademarks has also filed for major domains containing "iSlate," while another they use has filed for a trademark on ISlate in the European Union, registered to a corporation in Trinidad & Tobago, a country Apple's used to register European trademarks before, including for the iPhone.
Curiously, another trademark registered by Slate Computing in the US is "Magic Slate," which follows the same naming convention as Magic Mouse, obviously. MacRumors wonders if it might be something like a multitouch trackpad for computers, like with a screen (which we've wanted for a long time).
Whatever's going on, Apple's obviously gone through a lot of work to discreetly register a whole lot of "slate" stuff, which seems like a ton of effort for nothing, or simply a ruse to throw people off. It's funny, actually, that everybody "knew" what the iPhone was going to be called years before Steve Jobs took the stage to announce it, but no one really knows the tablet's name. I've always figured that, whatever it is, it'll have just two syllables. iSlate fits the bill. And for now, it's the only one with any evidence. [MacRumors, TechCrunch]