Apple Tablet: Tech's Worst-Kept Secret?

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By now you're sick and tired of hearing about what Apple may or may not be developing in the form of a tablet computer and whether Apple will unveil it come Sept. 9 at an event in San Francisco.

Is it a giant iPod Touch? Is it a touch-screen netbook? Is it both? Is it neither?

At this point, it doesn't really matter what Apple puts out, as long as it can be dubbed a tablet, Apple wins. Want to know why? Because Apple has us right where it wants us, as usual.

For months, rumors and speculation over Apple's tablet computer plans have rocked the industry and word that Apple is planning a product launch for Sept. 9 has Macheads' antenna raised.

First there was the tale of a pending 10-inch touch-screen tablet that would focus mostly on music, video and entertainment, kind of an overstuffed iPod Touch. Then there was a rumor of the same-size tablet computer, but with a Mac OS. And, now, not only is Apple expected to reveal one tablet, which may or may not be the 10-inch device, but one analyst even said Apple is prepping two tablets, one of which is a 6-inch mighty mini.

What's Apple really got up its sleeve? That's anyone's guess. It also depends on who you believe.

But for Apple's sake, it better be something because now the market will demand it. And if Apple doesn't deliver soon, it's missing out on a massive opportunity to sell truckloads of tablets just so consumers can see what the hype is all about.

So, in the case of an Apple tablet, which came first, the chicken or the egg? Did the rumors start before Apple had serious tablet plans and Apple was able to pick up the ball and run with it? Or did Apple strategically dribble out details to get the public salivating for a tablet from Cupertino, Calif.?

Either way, as Apple gears up for a not-so-secret Sept. 9 event, there are sure to be plenty of people eagerly awaiting the first true glimpse at Apple's tablet computer offering, or offerings. And just as many will be extremely disappointed if they have to wait until next year for a tablet sneak peek at the industry's worst-kept secret.

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