In the latest sign that Apple's long-rumored multimedia tablet gadget is about to take center stage, The Wall Street Journal reported Monday that the device will be unveiled by Steve Jobs on Jan. 27.
The paper said the company is putting the finishing touches on a product with at 10- or 11-inch screen that will sell for $1,000, citing people "briefed by the company."
Other Apple observers have placed the price tag of the rumored iTablet or iSlate at $800.
Based on talks with a Taiwanese component supplier, Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster believes Apple will ship the device by the end of March.
"I don't know when they will announce it," he said. "But we spoke with the Taiwan component supplier, and they said something is coming. But I don't know the exact dates."
The Journal's report followed a report last month by the Financial Times that also said Apple had scheduled a media event in San Francisco in late January.
Analysts have said the tablet will:
- Include a subscription to a nationwide Wi-Fi wireless service and enable users to access the Internet, watch movies and television shows, as well as play games. nLet users read newspapers, magazines and textbooks in groundbreaking new ways.
The Journal reported that Apple believes it will "redefine" how people interact with various types of content.