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Wednesday, December 23, 2009, 01:55 pm PT (04:55 pm ET)

Apple schedules special event for Jan. 26, 2010 - report

Apple has reportedly scheduled a media event at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco on Tuesday Jan. 26, 2010, for a major product announcement.

Citing inside sources, the Financial Times said Wednesday evening that Apple has rented the stage for "several days" at the end of January. Officials with Apple and the center declined to comment.

While the topic of the event is unknown, Wednesday's firestorm of tablet-related news could provide a strong hint:

  • The Financial Times had reported earlier that Apple's long-rumored touchscreen device was due for a Jan 2010 unveiling, and would enter into mass production soon after. The publication said the device would have something to do with Apple's rumored negotiations with TV networks for a subscription plan for video content on iTunes.

  • Analyst Gene Munster with Piper Jaffray said he believed there was a 75 percent chance that Apple will hold a special event in January. However, he said, it is not guaranteed that such an event would be about the long-rumored tablet device.

  • Another report alleged that a tablet with a 7-inch screen was due to be announced in January. That's different from months of reports that the device would have a 10-inch screen, though some have speculated Apple could release both form factors.

  • Silicon Alley Insider was told by a source that Apple asked developers to prepare full screen versions of their apps for a January demo. Apple reportedly wanted software to scale beyond the 320x480 pixel size of the current iPhone and iPod touch screen, but said that applications that can accommodate the larger screen size will run "just fine" on the new device.

Speculation about Apple's tablet has been rampant for months. While some believed the device would arrive this fall, AppleInsider first reported in July that the 10-inch, 3G-enabled device would debut in early 2010. The new hardware is said to have been created under the watchful eye of company co-founder Steve Jobs.