What To Expect From Apple’s “Latest Creation” Event [Update]

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We’re a little over a week away from Apple’s “Latest Creation” event in San Francisco and several “sources” are “leaking” information left and right. And then there are the subtle hints at what the announcement could entail, but before we get to those little observations, let’s have a quick rundown of what’s been hinted at so far. Oh, and we’ll be reporting live from the Yerba Buena Center next Wednesday starting at 10AM PST.

Fox News is reporting that Apple will focus on “three projects: The tablet device, iPhone 4 and a new round of iLife 2010 software.” Don’t get your panties in a bunch just yet. We won’t see any new iPhone hardware. Just OS 4.0. Wait. Didn’t Fox say the event was scheduled for the 26th?

What’s this about iPhone OS 4.0? Oh, BGR, I knew I could count on you and your merry band of “connects” to provide some info. Oh, and BG says the name of the device will be iTablet. *snooze*

• There will be multi-touch gestures OS-wide. (Would make sense for that as the rumored OS for the iTablet is close if not the same as the iPhone)
• “A few new ways” to run applications in the background — multitasking.
• Many graphical and UI changes to make navigating through the OS easier and more efficient. We haven’t had this broken down, but we can only hope for improved notifications, a refreshed homescreen, etc.
• The update will supposedly be available for only the iPhone 3G and 3GS, but will “put them ahead in the smartphone market because it will make them more like full-fledged computers” more than any other phone to date. Everyone is “really excited.”
• The last piece of information is the most vague, but apparently there will be some brand new syncing ability for the contacts and calendar applications.

The WSJ is reporting that HarperCollins is in talks with Apple “to make electronic books available for the introduction of a new tablet device.” No word on pricing or method of delivery.

Aside from purported iPhone OS 4.0 details, news about eBooks are nothing new and it’s a bit of no-brainer that Apple would focus on one piece of OS X software. But here’s what I found to be most interesting based on prior speculation.

Several journalistic/blogger types who specifically cover the mobile space were not invited to the event, which tells me that whatever the device might be will not be attached to a carrier.

Stephen Totilo from Kotaku was invited and even he’s perplexed as to why. Will gaming play a huge role in whatever the upcoming device will be? Duh.

And what about that “Cocktail” folks were talking about last year? According to Kafka, we likely won’t see any news from the major music labels.

“One label official told me Apple has expressed an interest in selling higher-quality audio files via iTunes, and I’m sure the labels would be happy to do so, if they could charge a premium for them. But that discussion didn’t seem to be tethered to the tablet.”

The hardware remains a mystery. Will it have an AMOLED screen? What about battery life? ARM processor? Screen size? And more importantly, what is this thing going to cost?

Have I missed anything? Have any thoughts? What could it be?!

Update: Has Apple’s iTablet/iSlate/iPad already run into problems? According to Shawn Wu from Kaufman Bros., the tablet is facing “minor issues” that could delay availability from March (assuming the WSJ’s source is/was correct) to June.

“This tablet product has been described to us as a hybrid between an iPhone/ipod touch and a mac but in terms of software and components, it appears closer to the former, meaning it is most likely ARM based,” he wrote. “From our understanding, it is not intended to replace a Mac but be somewhat of a ‘super’ iPod touch where video, gaming, Web browsing, e-books and the ability to run multiple apps would be enhanced with the much larger screen.”

As far as pricing goes, Wu expects it to sell for around $999. He also believes that the tablet will only carry Wi-Fi and not an embedded 3G chip. I do believe I mentioned that earlier. Oh, and Wu is calling the tablet the “iSlate.”