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Apple's 'latest creation' debuts January 27

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Apple has invited selected members of the press and industry analysts to an event next Wednesday when the company will almost certainly unveil its massively hyped and long-awaited tablet.

As reported by The New York Times and elsewhere, the invitation for the January 27 "special event" reads: "Come see our latest creation."

An Apple tablet - iSlate, iPad, iProd, or whatever - has been widely and wildly rumored since at least 2002, with the latest round of speculation heating up early last year. But now it appears as if the rumors are coming to a head.

Of course, Apple being Apple, the "special event" might not be the debut of the tablet. But if Steve Jobs instead rolls out something as underwhelming as, say, the late and unlamented iPod Hi-Fi - which starred in possibly the most underwhelming Jobsian dog-and-pony show of all time - the outcry from the fanboi community would be deafening.

So count on the wraps being taken off the Apple tablet on Wednesday, January 27, at the Yerba Buena Center in San Francisco.

Although the tablet's announcement date now appears to be set, exactly when the device will be available to the public is still unknown - so there will be plenty of time for more rumors and speculation. ®

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