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What's Better Than One Apple Tablet? Two Apple Tablets

Apple is readying not one, but two tablet computers that may be unveiled as early as Apple's Sept. 9 event.

Rumors that the Apple tablet may have a companion and that Sept. 9 may be the big unveiling of the pair of touch-screen tablets comes just a day after sources close to Apple said there would be no Apple tablet come Sept. 9 at an event Apple is reportedly planning in San Francisco.

But Envisioneering Group market researcher Richard Doherty told Business Week that Apple has two tablets that will come out either this year or early next year and that the two tablet prototypes are a 6-inch version that resembles an oversized iPod Touch and a version with a larger display, likely the 10-inch model that has been the focus of most Apple tablet speculation.

The 6-inch Apple tablet, Doherty told Business Week, will be mainly used for watching videos, playing games and reading e-books. The second model will be bigger, have a larger screen and be able to run Mac applications like audio/video editing and graphic animation. The researcher speculated that the smaller Apple tablet would cost about $679 and will probably run on an iPhone-based operating system.

Doherty's insight comes after popular Gadget blog Gizmodo also wrote that the Apple tablet will come in two different versions. Gizmodo's source, however, said one will feature a Webcam and one will be for educational use. However, Gizmodo's source said the tablets will cost around $700, on par with Doherty's prediction.

Apple has not directly addressed the speculation that it is building a tablet computer offering. Apple also has not confirmed any plans it has for the Sept. 9 event, which will likely mark Apple's final product launch of 2009.

So far, along with tablet rumors, Apple is also expected to unveil a third-generation iPod Touch and a new iPod Nano on Sept. 9, along with a new version of iTunes that adds in social networking capabilities. It is also expected that Steve Jobs will make his return to the Apple stage on Sept. 9, his first appearance since returning from leave due to illness.

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