RealTime IT News

Apple Tablet Debut in January?

The arrival of a new tablet hasn't been this anticipated since that Moses guy came down from the mountain top with two of them. Rumors have swirled for months that Apple is readying a new kind of tablet computer geared toward interacting with multimedia content and surfing the Web.

While Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) has remained characteristically mum on the topic, some reports claiming insider knowledge of Apple's supply chain have said to expect the tablet's release around March of 2010. And last week a video surfaced of a purported Apple tablet prototype.

Now a post at the Financial Times blog today have stoked the fires some more, claiming Apple has rented a stage at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco for Tuesday, January 26. Apple has used this location in the past and is expected to make a "major product announcement" on that date, said the blog, citing people it said were familiar with Apple's plans.

The FT quoted well-known Apple watcher and Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster, as saying he though an event was imminent. "We believe there is a 75 percent likelihood that Apple will have an event in January and a 50 percent chance that it will be held to launch the Apple Tablet," he wrote in a research note, quoted by FT. "If Apple announced the Tablet in January, it would likely ship later in the March quarter."

Since Apple doesn't currently sell a tablet, it could afford to pre-announce the device to help generate developer and consumer interest without directly impacting sales of its current product line, though theoretically such an announcement could affect some potential iPhone and MacBook buyers.

If current rumors are to be believed, Apple will use a 10.1-inch multitouch display using the same LTPS LCD technology used in the iPhone. The "iTablet" is also thought to support running windowed applications simultaneously, as opposed to the single-task, full-screen operation of the iPhone and iPod Touch.

Apple used the Yerba Buena Center venue last September when it rolled out new iPods.