Apple rents SF stage space for January. Tablet announcement?

Reports that Apple has rented stage space in San Francisco for late January fuels rumors that a big news announcement is coming and that it might be related to the long-anticipated Tablet PC.
Written by Sam Diaz, Inactive

Let the speculation begin.

The Financial Times'  Tech blog is citing anonymous sources who report that Apple has rented stage space at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco, its preferred location for holding splashy news announcements, for late January.

Of course, Apple hasn't confirmed anything and the company usually sends out invitations to members of the tech press about a week before the event - so I also have nothing to confirm at this point.

Techies, of course, are focused on the Consumer Electronics Show, which kicks off in Vegas when we all come back from the holiday break. Apple has never had a presence at CES - and why would it? There's a lot of noise at CES and Apple usually has no problem bringing folks in for their own news events. The company also won't be part of the MacWorld conference in February. Last year's event was its last.

So what will Apple reveal in January?

Well, there's been some chatter about Apple heading into TV subscriptions, but it feels a bit premature for them to show any of their cards on that venture, seeing how there's been no hint of deals with TV networks yet.

Of course, there's also been plenty of buzz about a Tablet PC in the works. This morning, Silicon Alley Insider also cited anonymous sources to report that Apple will demo - not launch - an oversized mobile device with a high resolution display in January. The idea is to give developers a peek so that can start working on their apps for it.

No one knows anything for sure - including whether that stage space is meant for an actual announcement - so I won't even begin to guess. The rumors will continue to flurry around and we'll continue to monitor them and fill you in as we learn more.

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