Could Apple tablet be US-only at launch?

Apple is holding a launch event on 27 January in San Francisco, but it appears there will be no coinciding UK press event.Speculation has it that the event will be used to present the Apple tablet and, according to a source quoted by Fox News, iPhone 4.

Apple is holding a launch event on 27 January in San Francisco, but it appears there will be no coinciding UK press event.

Speculation has it that the event will be used to present the Apple tablet and, according to a source quoted by Fox News, iPhone 4.0 and new iLife 2010 software.

When it launches new iPhone software and hardware, Apple tends to hold a UK press event to coincide with the US launch. Sometimes this consists only of a videolink to the US party, but there is usually still an event for UK hacks to report from.

Not this time. If Apple really is going to launch its slate, this may suggest that the device will not be, er, slated for a UK launch at first. Given that Apple is reportedly in talks with publishing houses over ebook rights, this would make sense — such deals tend to be worked out on a region-specific basis, and Apple may want to see how its new business model works in one market before addressing the rest of the globe.

As Asus chief Jonney Shih told us last week, any multimedia tablet device has to be all about the content. If Apple is really not holding a UK launch event — and this may change closer to the date — then content could be dictating Cupertino's battle plan.