While it has been a hot and often scotched rumour amongst Apple fans for years that the company had plans to bring out a tablet-style device, it now appears the company is finally doing just that.
It is understood that CEO Steve Jobs has been personally overseeing the project and the first devices are expected to launch between January and March 2010.
It has also been reported that PA Semi, a semiconductor company that Apple acquired last year for US$278m has two teams dedicated to Apple product development, one team focused on iPhones and iPod touches and the other is focused on tablet computers.
Rumours suggest that the Apple tablet would be in effect an oversized iPod touch and could cost between the price of an iPhone (US$300) and the price of a basic MacBook (US$900).
According to influential Apple news site AppleInsider.com, the tablet computer will come with a 10-inch screen and will be 3G-enabled.
It is understood that under Jobs’ scrutiny and penchant for perfection, the project has been started and stopped a number of times for retooling and repositioning.
By John Kennedy