Apple to unveil the "iSlate" Tablet on January 26 asked developers to get their iPhone Apps ready

iSlate Apple Tablet Demo Jan 26 2010Apple has scheduled a media event at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco on Tuesday Jan. 26, 2010, for a major product announcement. “Apple is preparing an announcement next month that many anticipate will be the official unveiling of its tablet, but the company has so far declined to confirm the existence of the device,” the Financial Times reported. “Wall Street analysts expect mass production of an Apple tablet to begin as early as February.”

The most likely name is “iSlate”, a trademark currently owned by a possible shell company set up by Apple to quietly obtain U.S. trademark protection for the name.

“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,” Silicon Alley Insider reported Wednesday…

The source said that developers were asked to prepare their apps for a demo next month by making them support a full-screen resolution, rather than the fixed 320×480 pixel size of the iPhone and iPod touch screen. The source said applications that can accommodate the larger screen size will run “just fine” on the new device.

The rumor would suggest that the tablet runs a version of the iPhone OS, as it is alleged to be compatible with existing iPhone and iPod touch apps, albeit at a higher resolution.

Speculation about Apple’s tablet has been rampant for months. While some believed the device would arrive this fall, AppleInsider first reported in July that the 10-inch, 3G-enabled device would debut in early 2010.

Apple co-founder Steve Jobs is said to be “extremely happy” with the company’s unannounced tablet device, which is hinted to be more than just a large iPod touch.

Someone else who recently left Apple confirmed the project was reset and that Apple learned a lot from the first iteration: “If you have an iPhone, you’re carrying around a mini version of an early Apple tablet” […] “one of the barriers to producing the early tablets was the lack of software. The success of the App Store and the eagerness of the publishers show that this won’t be a problem for any new devices.”

He also said that users will be “surprised how you interact with the new tablet.” According to AppleInsider, “Apple’s forthcoming tablet could employ a dynamic surface that gives users tactile feedback when typing in order to identify individual keys, according to a new patent application revealed this week. Using an articulating frame, the surface of such a device would create physical bumps or dots for the user to feel when it is in keyboard mode. Those surface features would retract and disappear when the device is not being used to type.”

The device could enter into mass production as early as February, with a spring release of the tablet. Analyst Gene Munster with Piper Jaffray has predicted a March launch with an average selling price of $600.

Apple did it again: they created such a hype and huge expectations… I can’t wait to see it. :)
What about you?