Apple has confirmed plans for a special product unveiling on the morning of 27 January, issuing invitations for the San Francisco event which many in the industry believe will include the launch of a new tablet device.
Reports also emerged that the company had ordered large shipments of touch screen devices, and was in talks with several major book and magazine publishers on a distribution deal.
Early reports have suggested that the device will be something like a large iPhone, using a touch-screen interface and layout similar to the smartphone.
Such a device would be considered in a category with reader tablets such as the Amazon Kindle and Sony Reader, but some are predicting that Apple tablet will cover a different role.
Gartner analyst Allen Weiner suggested that Apple could target the news and magazine market with its new creation.
"Tablets will be about displaying newspapers that look less like static RSS feeds (as we see on the current crop of single-purpose e-readers) and more like interactive, non-linear information hubs," Weiner predicted in a blog posting.
"Magazines don't look like shadowy black and white ghosts of their physical brands and take advantage of the resplendent graphics, images and video."
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