"The company has rented a stage at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco for several days in late January," reports The Financial Times' Tech Blog. "Apple is expected to use the venue to make a major product announcement on Tuesday, January 26th.
Speculation that Apple is preparing to introduce a new tablet style computer has been building all year, and other reports now suggest the tablet will make its debut in January.
Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster on Wednesday speculated that an event was imminent. "We believe there is a 75 per cent likelihood that Apple will have an event in January and a 50 per cent chance that it will be held to launch the Apple Tablet," he wrote in a new research note. "If Apple announced the Tablet in January, it would likely ship later in the March quarter."
"Apple is preparing to show off a new, larger mobile device with a higher resolution display in January -- probably a version of the Apple tablet we've been hearing about for months -- according to a plugged-in source in the mobile industry," according to The Business Insider (http://www.businessinsider.com/apple-to-demo-tablet-in-january-asks-developers-to-get-apps-ready-2009-12). "Apple has been telling some app makers to prepare apps for a demo next month, according to this source."
Still, "It doesn't take much to get the Apple rumor mill spinning at full tilt, especially when it comes to hints and suggestions over the company's long anticipated, never-officially-confirmed tablet device," writes eWeek (http://www.eweek.com/c/a/Midmarket/Apple-Tablet-Finally-Arriving-in-January-515405/). "While speculation has grown (and peaked, and subsided, and grown again) over the past couple of years, Apple has managed to successfully suppress any official details of the supposed tablet."
Adds PC World (http://www.pcworld.com/article/185472/), "For some perspective on how ridiculous the rumor mill has become, think of all the Apple tablet coverage you've read over the past half year, then try to tell someone at your next holiday dinner party what the device will be ... You really can't; reports about the device's capabilities and design have been all over the map."