Apple tablet launch: final rumour round-up

Even by Apple's standards, the almost-certain launch of its tablet computer later today has been surrounded by a startling level of hype. If you believe everything you read, it'll change the way we consume books and magazines, watch TV, play games and wash our laundry (OK, we made the last one up).

Of course, only Steve Jobs and his colleagues know the truth, but all Apple's boss has said so far is that the company has "a major new product that we're really excited about". However, that hasn't stopped all manner of rumours from flying about, so we thought we'd wrap up the ones that seem most relevant and credible.

1. The tablet will run a variant of the iPhone OS

Given that it's already developing and supporting Mac OS X and iPhone OS, it seems unlikely that Apple will launch a third operating system. Everyone agrees that the tablet won't run OS X, so it follows that it will be based on iPhone OS or something that closely resembles it. This appears to have been confirmed by the CEO of publishing company McGraw-Hill, who appeared on CNBC yesterday:

2. It'll look a bit like a big iPhone/iPod touch

Something of a no-brainer this one - tablet computers are flat and their top surfaces are covered by the display… just like the iPhone/iPod touch. A number of 'leaked images' have surfaced over the past couple of weeks, but the ones posted by Engadget today seem to be the most authentic. Based on these shots, Engadget believes that the inevitably-multitouch screen will measure between nine and ten inches diagonally and that there may be a front-facing camera for video conferencing.

3. It'll use a Cortex A9 ARM processor

If this turns out to be true, it seems likely that the tablet will be significantly more powerful than the iPhone/iPod touch, which would certainly be good news for any developer who wants to release music-making software for the device. In fact, as far as music-making is concerned, power is the most important issue - if it's got enough grunt, this could be an amazing machine for creative types.

That's what we have so far, but our sister site T3.com has listed 10 things we can expect from the Apple tablet and gathered together the 10 best concept photos.

If you want an as-it-happens guide to the launch, our friends at Mac|Life will be blogging live from Apple's 'Latest Creation' event from 10am PST, and T3.com is offering up-to-the-minute coverage, too. We'll be back with the official specs and analysis later on.

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