Mac Touch Concept Rendering

From analysts to so-called insiders, the rumors are growing that Apple just might have an event in January to just maybe announce the just possibly new iTablet with just a few select iPhone apps running full screen, resolution independent by showtime.

Meh. Apple has held January events for a long time -- they introduced the iPhone at Macworld 2007 after all, and while Apple has pulled out of that event this year, there's nothing to stop them trying to once-again upstage CES and put on their own invitation-only shindig sometime during the first month of 2010.

TiPb has long believed Apple has an iTablet in the labs since before the iPhone, and they're only waiting on Steve Jobs to decide it has a place in the Apple lineup (other than toilet web-reader, apparently) for it to go to market. If Jobs is happy enough with whatever the current working prototype is, we'll see it soon-ish. If not, we'll be waiting until he is. That's why Apple pulled out of Macworld -- to keep to their own schedule.

As to iPhone app developers being asked to ready "full screen" versions of their apps... okay. Some apps like Safari, Mail, iPod (movies) will of course need to work "full screen" regardless of the size of the device, be it an iPhone, iTablet, or WVGA-style 4th generation iPhone HD. In fact, a larger iPhone is theoretically more of a problem than a tablet, because they'll have to scale while many 3rd party apps could just run as smaller windows on a tablet UI. Do calculators really need to be "full screen"? Do Twitter apps? (Tweetie and Twitterrific for Mac OS X aren't "full screen", and that's considered an advantage). Sure, games will want to use every pixel Apple gives them, as will some other apps. For many, "widgets" will be the way to go. In a mythical iTablet universe, Apple would have a mythical UI brilliant enough to handle "full screen" and widget elegantly. (And would have already been telling developers to do stuff like use web-based UI and CSS buttons for scalability, where appropriate).

So, as we head into this magical time of year -- no, not the holidays, the "next Apple rumorpalooza!" -- let us know what you think.

Apple iTablet: signs point to yes, it is uncertain, at this time no, or ask again later?

[Silicone Alley Insider via MacRumors]