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The Associated Press
SEATTLE — Speculation intensified Monday that (Nasdaq: AAPL) will soon unveil a tablet-style gadget for consuming music, movies, books and other media.
The Wall Street Journal reported that Apple is planning to take the wraps off such a device this month and begin shipping it in March.
That jibes with several online reports that the company has scheduled an event for Jan. 26 or 27 at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco, one of Apple’s customary spaces for product launches.
The gadget, which online pundits have at different times christened the iTablet and the iSlate, is to have a 10-inch to 11-inch touch screen, a bit smaller than those on Apple’s MacBook laptops but larger than the iPhone’s, said the Journal, citing unnamed people briefed on the matter.
Apple spokesman Steve Dowling said the company does not comment on rumors and speculation.
Apple, which is based in Cupertino, Calif., has so far stayed out of the "netbook" category of small laptops with relatively weak processors and sub-$500 price tags. The company has said it doesn’t know how to make a good computer for less than $500, but has indicated it has been considering alternative ideas for that space.
Analysts have predicted Apple’s new gadget could cost anywhere from $500 to $1,000, with or without a cellular data plan included.