Apple expected to release tablet on 27 January

Apple will host a special event on 27 January where it is widely expected to unveil its tablet computer, as the company looks to extend its hot hand into a brand new product category.

The event next week is shaping up as Apple's most eagerly anticipated product launch since the iPhone three years ago.



The company has never acknowledged the existence of the tablet, but rumours and speculation have been building for months.



Although few details about the tablet are known for certain, the device is said to resemble a large version of the iPhone, with a roughly 10-inch touchscreen.



Analysts say such a device would try to bridge the gap between smartphones and laptops, allowing users to stream video, surf the Web and play games while on the go.



Cost estimates on the tablet - which analysts expect to begin shipping in March or April - run upwards of $1,000 (£610).



Tablet computers have never managed to catch on with consumers, and industry watchers say Apple will have to offer a compelling reason to buy such a device.



If consumers do gravitate to the tablet, it could also propel Apple into the digital book market popularized by Amazon.com's Kindle e-reader, analysts say.



The Wall Street Journal reported on Monday that HarperCollins Publishers, a unit of News Corp, is negotiating with Apple to make electronic books available for the tablet device, citing people familiar with the situation.



HarperCollins is expected to set the prices of the e-books, with Apple taking a percentage of the sales, the Journal reported on its website. Other publishers have also met with Apple, the paper said.



A HarperCollins spokeswoman did not immediately return a call and email seeking comment on the Journal report. An Apple spokesman declined to comment.



The tablet category is certainly seeing plenty of interest from Apple's competitors of late.



The Consumer Electronics Shows in Las Vegas earlier this month was practically bursting with tablets - or "slates" as some were called - many of them prototypes, from companies like Hewlett-Packard, Dell and Lenovo Group Ltd.



Analysts said Apple's rivals were trying to steal some of its thunder ahead of the tablet launch.



Although there is plenty of skepticism about the tablet category as a whole, Wall Street has been fairly upbeat on the prospects for Apple's device, and shares have run up in recent weeks as new information about the device cropped up in various media reports.



Apple's shares closed at $205.93 (£125) on Friday, roughly $10 below its all-time high. Markets in the United States were closed Monday for the Martin Luther King Jr holiday.



Oppenheimer analyst Yair Reiner has estimated the Apple tablet could boost its earnings per share by 25 cents to 38 cents per quarter. His estimate assumed sales of 1 million to 1.5 million units per quarter at an average price of $1,000 (£610).



Suppliers for Apple's new tablet computer have begun shipping touchscreen panels and will start delivering aluminum casings for it in February, sources told Reuters earlier this month, implying a second-quarter product launch.



Next week is shaping up as a big one for Cupertino, California-based Apple. The company is set to release its quarterly results on 25 January.



Apple sent an email invitation to reporters on Monday for the 27 January media event, which will be held at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts Theater in San Francisco.



The invitation did not give any details. It said only, "Come see our latest creation."



Apple spokesman Steve Dowling declined to provide any comment beyond the invitation.



Apple is famous for its splashy media extravanganzas, where Chief Executive Steve Jobs takes to the stage to show off the company's latest consumer device.



The Yerba Buena Center theater is the same one the company used last September to show off new iPods, where Jobs made his first public appearance after his medical leave.

Arts and Entertainment
filmPoldark production team claims innocence of viewers' ab frenzy
Life and Style
Google marks the 81st anniversary of the Loch Ness Monster's most famous photograph
techIt's the 81st anniversary of THAT iconic photograph
News
Katie Hopkins makes a living out of courting controversy
people
News
General Election
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookPart of The Independent’s new eBook series The Great Composers
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Gadgets & Tech

    Recruitment Genius: Office Administrator

    £14000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An Office Administrator is requ...

    Ashdown Group: Senior PHP Developer - Sheffield - £50,000

    £40000 - £50000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Senior PHP Developer position with a...

    Recruitment Genius: 1st / 2nd Line IT Support Engineer

    £23500 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Essex based I.T solution provid...

    Recruitment Genius: Internal Sales Executive

    £18000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: New exciting opportunity has ri...

    Day In a Page

    Revealed: Why Mohammed Emwazi chose the 'safe option' of fighting for Isis, rather than following his friends to al-Shabaab in Somalia

    Why Mohammed Emwazi chose Isis

    His friends were betrayed and killed by al-Shabaab
    'The solution can never be to impassively watch on while desperate people drown'
An open letter to David Cameron: Building fortress Europe has had deadly results

    Open letter to David Cameron

    Building the walls of fortress Europe has had deadly results
    Tory candidates' tweets not as 'spontaneous' as they seem - you don't say!

    You don't say!

    Tory candidates' election tweets not as 'spontaneous' as they appear
    Mubi: Netflix for people who want to stop just watching trash

    So what is Mubi?

    Netflix for people who want to stop just watching trash all the time
    The impossible job: how to follow Kevin Spacey?

    The hardest job in theatre?

    How to follow Kevin Spacey
    Armenian genocide: To continue to deny the truth of this mass human cruelty is close to a criminal lie

    Armenian genocide and the 'good Turks'

    To continue to deny the truth of this mass human cruelty is close to a criminal lie
    Lou Reed: The truth about the singer's upbringing beyond the biographers' and memoirists' myths

    'Lou needed care, but what he got was ECT'

    The truth about the singer's upbringing beyond
    Migrant boat disaster: This human tragedy has been brewing for four years and EU states can't say they were not warned

    This human tragedy has been brewing for years

    EU states can't say they were not warned
    Women's sportswear: From tackling a marathon to a jog in the park, the right kit can help

    Women's sportswear

    From tackling a marathon to a jog in the park, the right kit can help
    Hillary Clinton's outfits will be as important as her policies in her presidential bid

    Clinton's clothes

    Like it or not, her outfits will be as important as her policies
    NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

    Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

    A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
    Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

    Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

    The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
    How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

    How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

    Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
    From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

    The wars that come back to haunt us

    David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
    Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

    Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

    A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders