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.

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: PHP Developer - Mid / Senior

    £25000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This fast growing digital agenc...

    Ashdown Group: SQL DBA - Croydon - up to £65,000

    £58000 - £65000 per annum: Ashdown Group: SQL DBA - Bromley, South East London...

    Ashdown Group: Service Delivery Manager - Retail / FMCG / WMS Operations

    £55000 - £65000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Service Delivery Manager ...

    Recruitment Genius: Software Developer

    £25000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Software Developer is require...

    Day In a Page

    No postcode? No vote

    Floating voters

    How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
    Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

    By Reason of Insanity

    Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
    Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

    Power dressing is back

    But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
    Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

    Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

    Caves were re-opened to the public
    'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

    Vince Cable interview

    'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
    Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

    Promises, promises

    But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
    The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

    The death of a Gaza fisherman

    He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
    Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

    Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

    Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
    Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

    The only direction Zayn could go

    We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
    Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

    Spells like teen spirit

    A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
    Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

    If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

    British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
    Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

    Licence to offend in the land of the free

    Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
    From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

    From farm to fork in Cornwall

    One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
    Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

    Robert Parker interview

    The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
    Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

    Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

    We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor