Whatever news Apple has up its sleeve--tablet or no--it appears something will be announced on January 26, if an unnamed source of Fox News' turns out to be correct.
The Financial Times reported last week that Apple had rented out the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco for several days in late January, immediately leading to speculation that the event might give the world the first glimpse of a tablet device rumored to be in the offing in Cupertino. And now, Fox News writer Clayton Morris says he has a source at Apple who's confirmed that an event will be held there Tuesday, January 26, and that it will be focused on the company's mobile offerings.
Speculation abounds about what an Apple tablet would entail and when it might arrive: the DigiTimes reports that Apple has placed an order for 10-inch displays and that devices would be ready to ship in March or April; several reports have surfaced that Apple told some of its key developers to prepare versions of their iPhone apps that will work on a device with a larger screen, in time for an event next month; and the MacRumors blog did a little sleuthing that turned up two patented trademarks that could be used for the name of the device and its associated software.
But the event will also answer some questions about how Apple intends to make product announcements in the future. The company has said it will no longer participate in the Macworld Expo held in San Francisco each January, leading some to question whether it would make an appearance at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas or strike out on its own so it would no longer be tied to other organizations' schedules when making product announcements.
Editors' note: while Macworld is traditionally held in San Francisco in January, this year it will take place February 9-13.