Report: Apple tablet device coming in January

January 4, 2010 12:00:00 AM PST
Rumors about a new Apple tablet have been swirling for months, but it appears the Cupertino-based company is now only weeks away from introducing its latest multi-media device to the public. The tablet has been a priority for Apple founder Steve Jobs since returning to work in June after a liver transplant.

No one really knows what Apple's tablet will look like. Images on the Internet has it looking like a giant iPhone. One thing is for certain -- all of the buzz has Apple fans excited.

"The iPods are really successful, the iPod Touch is really successful, so the people want to take it to the next level and it will be real portable," says Sam Shiotini, an Apple customer.

Sources tell ABC News that a supplier in Hong Kong is within weeks of shipping components for Apple's latest device and according to the Wall Street Journal, the Cupertino company will likely unveil it later this month, possibly at the Yerba Buena center in San Francisco, which apple is said to have booked in the last week of January.

The gadget would hit stores in March and will reportedly come with a 10 to 11 inch screen, allowing users to watch movies, play games, surf the web and like Amazon's Kindle, let users read e-books and newspapers.

"I think that between your iPod, and your laptop and your television set, I'm not sure there's a big enough niche here to have a major product category," says tech analyst Larry Magid.

Magid is not sure how successful an Apple tablet will be. Windows-based versions have been around for years and have not had much of an effect, but the fact that this latest gizmo will be made by Apple changes the game entirely.

"It knows how to get excitement going. It's got a faithful group of followers and they're going to sell thousands of them just to Mac fanatics who'll buy almost anything Apple creates," says Magid.

Waheed Rasheed isn't necessarily a Mac fanatic, but he has a feeling the new tablet could end up becoming like the iPhone.

"We did fine without the iPhone, but once it's there, you can't do without it," says Rasheed.

As to what Apple will name its tablet, there is much speculation about that: iSlate, iScreen and iPad are just some of the names being circulated.