It must be nice to work for Apple, knowing that the slightest rumour of Steve Jobs breaking wind will generate a billion news articles. Apple have trained the industry well, and now we’re all waiting for their announcement events knowing that that something desirable will be unleashed upon a waiting world. You may not need it, but you’ll want it… which reminds me of one of the best ever news spoofs to hit the Internet, the MacBook Wheel video on The Onion. I guess we’re meant to laugh at the nerdy devotee who says “I’ll buy almost anything shiny as long as it’s shiny and made by Apple”, but the scary thing is that there’s a bit of him in many of us – and that would include me if I could afford to do so.

With this in mind, today the world is waiting for the expected announcement of an Apple tablet. To my knowledge, no-one from Apple has said it will happen, but various bits of information and speculation have been pieced together to the point where we’re all expecting the iSlate / iSlab / iTablet / iWantOne to be announced. The combined world of technology media could end up looking pretty stupid if Apple’s announcements for today consist of a retractable tape measure being added to the iPhone and an LED torch being added to the iPod nano. But assuming the hype is correct, who’s going to buy a first-generation Apple tablet? History shows that early Apple adopters are often rendered green with envy or red with rage when an improved model is released six months later. Given that Apple products aren’t cheap (well, okay iPods are a pretty reasonable price) the initial market for the Apple tablet could be restricted to the stupidly wealthy or the hopelessly devoted.

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