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Thursday, May 15, 2008, 09:00 am PT (12:00 pm ET)

Intel: Apple tablet comment simply untrue

Intel Corp. today is scurrying to clean up a mess made by Germany's ZDNet on Wednesday when it reported that an Intel exec had confirmed the ongoing development of a iPhone-like tablet at Apple, a report which the chipmaker now claims is patently false.

Specifically, ZDNet reported that Intel Germany chief Hannes Schwaderer at a small gathering in Munich "confirmed" the existence of a larger iPhone at Apple that would employ one of Intel's ultra-mobile Atom processors.

The report gained widespread traction given earlier predictions by AppleInsider and other media outlets that such a device does in fact exist, and has long been under development at Apple's Cupertino-based headquarters. The problem, however, was that Schwaderer appears to have never made the comments suggested by the ZDNet report.

"No Intel exec has said anything about any future Apple product, Atom processor or otherwise," an Intel spokesperson told AppleInsider. "I think that’s important to note as everyone speculates on future products from Apple."

Since ZDNet's original report hit the net, a couple of other publications on hand for Schwaderer's presentation have offered their interpretation of the events, which also appear to suggest that ZDNet's report was misleading.

An editor for Golem.de claims that he does not recall any mention of an iPhone tablet during the executives speech, while PCGamesHardware.de attests that a reference to an iPhone device was made, but only as an example of a product that could benefit from Atom.

Unfortunately, only 40 or so reporters were on hand for Schwaderer's presentation, AppleInsider has been told, and thus further first-hand accounts are likely to be limited.

Nevertheless, and regardless of misinterpretations this week, AppleInsider maintains that Apple is working on a iPhone-like mini tablet reminiscent of the Newton MessagePad that should surface in due time.