Apple CEO Steve Jobs yesterday confirmed that the company will launch a "major new product that we're really excited about" this week, as the iPhone maker announced its first quarter financial results. However, technology enthusiasts will have to wait until tomorrow's high-profile launch event to find out whether the highly anticipated Mac tablet is about to make an appearance.
Jobs' statement was released alongside news of strong iPhone and Mac shipments in the three-month period ending on December 26.
The company reported a net profit of $3.38 billion, compared to $2.26 billion in the first quarter of 2009, helped in part by 100 percent growth in iPhone sales to 8.7m units. Mac shipments surged by 33 percent to 3.36m during the quarter. However, iPod shipments were down by 8 percent to 21 million units.
Whether Apple can add a new product category to its list of high-profile successes remains to be seen, but most analysts predict that the company will announce a tablet or 'slate' PC in Wednesday's product launch.
Unsubstantiated rumours claim the device could be primarily an eBook reader, a gaming device, a videoconferencing tool, a laptop replacement, a mobile internet device or a combination of these and other things, but the technology world will have to wait until tomorrow's official unveiling to find out the true story.