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The Apple Tablet Rumor Mill Grinds Unabated

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We've been hearing about an Apple Tablet for such a long time now, it feels like it should exist, yet it doesn't. With each Apple event, the rumors are so vivid, we actually believe them. Then the announcement comes, the shiny new ipods and Mac Books and other equipment are marched out, and we are left open-mouthed, shocked sitting in the empty auditorium thinking they must have forgotten something.

And here we are, another quarter removed from the September event, and once again the Apple Tablet rumors are heating up, downright sizzling, and we fall for them hook, line and sinker. Perhaps sooner or later the rumors have to prove true.

Somewhere Out There

I don't want to suggest that we will never see an Apple Tablet (or whatever they choose to call it) because it makes so much sense, but we are bending over backwards to find proof of this thing. We have seen reporters and bloggers looking everywhere for clues, digging through patent applications and parts orders, reading tea leaves and going to psychics, all in an effort to unearth some shred of evidence that this Tablet that we so desire is on its way.

Most renderings have shown it to look like an over-sized iPhone. This IDC prediction reported in the NYT Times Bits Blog gets down-right detailed:

The long-rumored Apple touchscreen tablet computer, or iPad, will arrive in 2010, IDC predicts. It will be more of an oversized iPod Touch, with an 8-inch or 10-inch screen, than a downsized Macintosh.

We even have cost predictions beginning to emerge. Chris Rawson at The Unofficial Apple Weblog (TUAW), reports on a rumor that the Tablet would be much cheaper than most people thought. Rawson wisely points out that cost estimates have been all over the map, and virtually meaningless given we don't even know if there is one.

We Can Sell This Thing (If it Existed)

Just this week, Rene Ritchie of the iPhone Blog, with tongue somewhat planted in cheek, suggested a good advertising campaign for the hypothetical product. We have been hearing these rumors for so long now that we are even trying to come up with ad campaigns for a product that doesn't yet exist. There is so much pent up demand for this thing, I'm betting it wouldn't need conventional ads. It's been hyped in every corner of the technology industry for months.

But with no actual product in front of us, we fill the void. We guess and predict and hope, and Apple moves at its own pace. Who knows if there is an Apple Tablet project nearing completion inside the walls of Apple's headquarters in Cupertino, CA. Would it make sense? Of course, but we've been down this road before and we have come up empty.

So for now, we will continue to play the rumor game, and if there is no real evidence, so what? We will make it up. We will look at artist's renderings and expert predictions, and we will try to fill the information void. Yet only Steve Jobs and his engineers know the real story and they aren't saying. And as another holiday shopping season passes without a Tablet, we will predict that 2010 will be the year of the Tablet, but if not, I'm sure the rumor mill will continue to grind. We've got nothing else to do.

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