Apple Investigating a Range of Tablet Screens From 4 to 12 Inches?

AppleInsider reports on a research note from analysts at Kaufman Bros. claiming that Apple has investigated a range of tablet screen sizes from 4 to 12 inches over the past several years. Many of the orders have reportedly been large enough to account for small production runs of corresponding devices rather than merely a handful of prototypes each.

In a research note issued Tuesday, Kaufman Bros. revealed that Apple has bought screen sizes of 4, 7, 9, 10 and 12 inches over the last two years. Some of the purchases were allegedly of such a large amount that the firm suspects they were for more than a simple sample, but a more significant small production run.

Based on that information, the analysis predicts that Apple will launch at least one -- but possibly multiple -- new devices in the near future.

The report suggests based on that evidence that Apple could be considering launching multiple tablet or netbook form factors in the relatively near future, with 2010 being the most likely timeframe for an introduction.

Recent reports have been pointing to an approximately 10-inch screen for Apple's much-rumored tablet, with conflicting information on launch dates suggesting that the new device will make an appearance possibly as soon as September of this year but perhaps not until 2010.