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Wednesday, December 23, 2009, 11:45 am PT (02:45 pm ET)

Apple developers told to prepare 'full screen' apps for Jan. demo

Further fueling a whirlwind of tablet-related speculation Wednesday, some app developers have reportedly been told by Apple to prepare new versions of their software for a "full screen resolution" demo next month.

"Apple is preparing to show off a new, larger mobile device with a higher resolution display in January — probably a version of the Apple tablet we've been hearing about for months — according to a plugged-in source in the mobile industry," Silicon Alley Insider reported Wednesday.

The source reportedly said that developers were asked to prepare their apps for a demo next month by making them support a full-screen resolution, rather than the fixed 320x480 pixel size of the iPhone and iPod touch screen. The source said applications that can accommodate the larger screen size will run "just fine" on the new device.

The report also alleged that the device will not go on sale in January, but will simply be demoed. It is assumed that Apple wants to give other developers more time to prepare their applications to run on larger screens.

The rumor would suggest that the tablet runs a version of the iPhone OS, as it is alleged to be compatible with existing iPhone and iPod touch apps, albeit at a higher resolution.

The Silicon Alley Insider report was another in a number of tablet-related rumors that cropped up Wednesday. Earlier reports suggested a January unveiling, with mass production expected to start as soon as February. That could put it on track for March release. Another report alleged that Apple was working on a tablet with a 7-inch screen size, contrary to many longstanding claims of a 10-inch screen, though speculation has suggested Apple could release both form factors.

Various publications have connected the tablet and its anticipated formal announcement with two recent moves by Apple: the purchase of music streaming service Lala, which is expected to result in an overhaul of the iTunes service, and the company's alleged negotiations with CBS and Walt Disney to allow a TV subscription plan. The tablet is expected to be portrayed as a multimedia device capable of browsing the Web, watching movies, and reading content.

Various publishers have prepared for the tablet, even though it has not been officially announced. But numerous rumors have indicated that Apple has reached out to various print publications about providing their content on a new form factor.