Apple Tablet Announcement as Early as January?

Financial Times echos much of what was reported on the Wall Street Journal about Apple hoping to launch a subscription television service in 2010. CBS and Disney are currently believed to be closest to agreeing to a distribution deal with Apple. The content is expected to be part of the "entertainment and news" services that Apple may offer on their tablet computer.

FT also makes some unsourced claims that the Apple Tablet may be launching imminently. According to the publication "Apple is preparing an announcement next month that many anticipate will be the official unveiling of its tablet." The magazine may be referencing an iLounge report from September who claimed the Apple Tablet would be announced "on or before January 19, 2010" for release in May or June. Wall Street analysts believe mass production of the tablet could begin as early as February.

Since they are not planning on participating in Macworld or CES, an Apple announcement would likely come in the form of a standalone media event -- if these plans are indeed true. According to the original iLounge article, Apple was planning on leveraging the hype between announcement and launch much like the original iPhone release.