Mac Touch Concept Rendering

Apple might be preparing a 10.7" multi-touch iTablet with 720p resolution, running the iPhone OS, for announcement in January and release in May/June 2010. That's just one of the rumors dropped by iLounge this morning, from a source they say was accurate about the most recent iPod nano, iPhone, and Chinese iPhone stories.

Like the iPhone and the iPod touch, iLounge's source claims both a 3G and non-3G version will be available, so users can weigh always-on connectivity vs. another monthly telco bill.

Apple is no stranger to big product announcements in January, but since exiting Macworld, they're also now free to set their own schedule. Possible delays? Odds of it receiving the official "b'okay" from Steve Jobs in its current form are said to be 80% (after it already being nixed at 7" for being "too small"). That's good, but far from certain.

Also far from certain, but certainly interesting is Microsoft's equal and opposite tablet concept -- the Courier, which focuses not on media but on journaling. Gizmodo has another video up. It reminds us of those awesome, future-filled Bill Gates keynotes from CES. Most of what Gates demoed hasn't made it to market, however. Hopefully the Courrier will fare better.

People are used to phones, they're used to MP3 players, laptops, desktops, even set top boxes. A decade later, there's no indication of tablets breaking through into the mainstream, so Apple, Microsoft, and everyone else has their work cut out for them.

We'll see if the iTablet can tell a compelling enough story, and offer a feature set that sells.