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New Apple tablet speculation: two models, OLED screen

New reports on Apple's rumored upcoming tablet device suggest the product could have two versions — one for educational use, and one with a Web cam — and utilize an OLED screen.

Relaying information from an anonymous tip, Gizmodo's Brian Lam states that the device will have a 10-inch screen and look like a "giant iPhone, with a big black back." The tipster claimed to have handled a mock-up of the device, stating it has a home button like an iPhone, and will be positioned between an iPod/iPhone and a MacBook.

The report did not elaborate on the supposed separate Web cam and education editions of the device, but said it would cost between $700 and $900. The device has allegedly been under development between four and six years, though the first prototype was only created in late 2008.

"To make up for the cost and make the device more than just a big iPod there was, this person claimed, there was talk of making the device act as a secondary screen/touchpad for iMacs and MacBooks," Lam wrote, "much like a few of the USB screens that have come out in recent months from Chinese companies."

The source also said that there is a question of what operating system the device will run (Lam calls that detail a "huge secret"), but that it's possible the device could be made for sale this holiday season.

AppleInsider's own sources have maintained that the device will have a 10-inch screen, corroborating Lam's report. The device is believed to have a custom ARM chip to be developed by the PA Semi division. However, sources have told AppleInsider that the device will not be available until early 2010. Citing "very reliable sources," Jim Dalrymple, of CNet and The Loop, corroborates that date.

Meanwhile, a new report in Silicon Scoop alleges that Apple will launch in a tablet in limited release at $899 by the end of 2009. The "SmartBook" device, as author Trip Chowdhry calls it, is reported to have an 8-inch to 10-inch OLED screen and feature an ARM Cortex-A9 chipset, conflicting with AppleInsider's sources.

Chowdhry reports that Apple wants to launch the device this year, but it will not be available widespread until early 2010. Allegedly Apple's new device is being compared performance-wise to the Archos 9 PC Tablet, a Windows 7-based netbook.

Beyond what AppleInsider has already reported, there is no evidence to support any of these additional, new rumors at this time.

Additionally, videos have surfaced claiming to be footage of a development kit from Apple's tablet device. They are included here for discussion purposes only.