Now then, I know that some of our readers don't like speculative Apple posts, but tough. With CES having caused a vacuum in the gadget arena, most tech websites are turning their attention to Apple's upcoming launch of its bang-shazam-new product, the Tablet. Or Slate. Or iPhone thingy with Gigantism. Last month, our own Charlie White said that all evidence pointed to a January announcement, with an onsale date a couple of months later. But there's more.
Yesterday, Stephane Richard, a senior exec at France Telecom/Orange, was thrown a googly at a press conference. "According to the weekly magazine Le Point, your partner Apple will shortly launch a tablet..."
"Oui," replied Richard.
"...with a webcam," continued the questioner.
"Oui," continued Richard.
"...and Orange users will be able to benefit from this too?" finished off the journalist.
"Of course!" was Richard's not-very-gnomic response. Wonder what Apple will say about that?
So far, so loose lipped. But there's more. Another website got a juicy piece of gossip out of an unnamed product designer — namely that Apple has pre-ordered every single ten-inch LCD and OLED screen in Asia. Not only does this mean that the Slate/Tablet is going to happen (tell us something we don't know, smart-arse) but that there are probably going to be two versions. A basic LCD screen with plastic casing, and a high-end version, complete with OLED screen and aluminum casing.
And finally, Fingerworks, the company that Apple bought five years ago, has had all of its content removed from its website. Just like that, like. Fingerworks is the company behind multitouch keyboards and trackpads, and there is speculation that the new tablet/slate thingy will use many of those multi-touch gestures pioneered by Fingerworks.
Although we've got to hang on for a couple of weeks before Apple reveals all, it looks like the whole world will be Apple Slate-shaped at the same time. All information so far points to a simultaneous global launch, unlike the iPhone, which launched in the U.S. in June 2007, and didn't reach the rest of the world for another six months or so.