Report: Apple May Ship New Tablet Device in March

Apple may ship its much awaited multimedia tablet device in March, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal on Monday.

Apple will announce the tablet later this month but the shipping date could change as plans have not been finalized, the report said, citing people familiar with the matter.

The new device will come with a touchscreen sized about 10 inches to 11 inches and the company is working on two different finishes for the tablet, the report said.

Rumors about an Apple tablet have been floating for more than a year, and the Financial Times in December reported that Apple had reserved a location in San Francisco on January 26 for the possible launch of a tablet.

Financial analysts have said that the launch of a tablet-like device from Apple was imminent. The device is expected to be a larger version of the iPhone on which users can listen to music, play games, watch video or read electronic books. Kai-Fu Lee, a former Apple employee and previously the president of Google in China, recently blogged that the tablet would come with 3D graphics and a price tag below US$1,000.

Apple reportedly has already made deals with service providers to deliver content to the device. Apple's purchase of streaming music provider Lala.com in December has also been linked to the tablet PC.

Enthusiast Web sites have speculated that the device may be called the iSlate, after MacRumors discovered that the islate.com domain name was owned by Apple.

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