Apple: No tablet announcement anytime soon

The Apple (AAPL) faithful have expected the announcement of a tablet computer and they have been expecting it soon. The product will likely have a 10.1" screen, Intel (INTC) processor, touchscreen, and wireless capability. It is likely that the tablet will be priced at about $600 and run on Apple's operating system. The price point would put it between the $300 or so that is charged for red-hot netbooks and more expensive laptops.

The Apple faithful will have to wait. Apple Insideris reporting that the company's September 9 media event will only involve the introduction of new versions of the iPod. This will disappoint Apple customers and investors who were expecting Apple to launch its next "big" product at the event.

The news shows how risky "Apple watching" can be. Investors who try to time share purchases ahead of major product releases often lose money. Apple likes to play cat and mouse with the press. The tension that builds helps Apple get more coverage and buzz around its product launches. Trying to guess the plans of Jobs & Co. is usually fruitless.

Apple probably will launch a tablet, possibly early next year. That means a fallow period for people addicted to Apple announcements.

Douglas A. McIntyre is an editor at 24/7 Wall St.

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