Apple Tablet – the rumours so far

31 December 2007 – Way back in 2007, we predicted that the "MacBook Nano" – a Mac-version of the increasingly popular ultra-mobi

31 December 2007 – Way back in 2007, we predicted that the "MacBook Nano" – a Mac-version of the increasingly popular ultra-mobile portable computers– would be big in 2008. Little did we know we would still be talking about it in 2010, and actually be on the brink of seeing the finished product in tablet form. This was also when we mocked up the picture you see accompanying most of our tablet stories, predicting it would pack "Intel processors running a full version of Mac OS X Leopard, and hopefully 32GB or 64GB of flash memory for rugged storage".

13 July 2009 – We finally hear rumours about an Apple netbook in production, due to be announced in October. However, some sources at the time were suggesting said netbook would actually be a tablet-style device. This left us wonder if it meant a netbook-tablet hybrid with a swivel screen, or the tablet form we now expect it to be.

22 July 2009 - Rumours start that Apple had signed up to a carrier for a tablet with built-in 3G, and that Verizon would be the lucky network. This left us wondering if we'd see Vodafone, which owns a chunk of Verizon, would be the carrier over here.

27 July 2009 - We hear some of the first specs – 10-inch screen, iPhone OS and Wifi rather than 3G – and that Apple is aiming for a pre-Christmas release to take on the Amazon Kindle ereader. This is interesting, as we saw a fair bit of tablet-ereader crossover at CES this year.

3 August 2009 - An analyst claims to have gone hands on with the tablet, set for a launch in September and release date of November. He also suggested it would be a great device for gaming and movie-watching in HD, and a compact home media centre.

5 August 2009 - A product listing in the new iPhone 3.1 OS lists a device called the "iProd" – we all hope it's referring to something other than the tablet./

25 August 2009 – News crops up that Steve Jobs binned two previous incarnations of the tablet due to poor battery life and insufficient memory. Even more exciting, Jobs addresses the article suggesting that "much" of the information is wrong. But not all, Steve?

28 August 2009 – Most of the rumours until now had focused around a 10-inch screen, yet Gizmodo got news from a "100% reliable source" that there were also 13- and 15-inch prototypes spotted in factories in China.

3 September 2009 – Sports Illustrated shows off how its content would work on a tablet-esque device in a YouTube video. Does it know something we don't?

15 September 2009 – Whispers from Taiwan suggest the tablet will launch in February 2010, which could still be true, or at least very close to the 26/27 January date being touted around at the moment. We also hear that 10-inch screens are being snapped up in the Far East by Apple, and that it will cost between $799 and $999.

29 September 2009 – News hits that Apple has rehired Michael Tchao, the developer behind Apple's tablet-esque touchscreen PDA, the Newton. Could he be coming on board to help with the tablet?

30 September 2009 – Rumours that the tablet will launch on 19 January, and will be shaped like a blown up iPhone with a 10-inch screen, after a 7-inch screen was tested and deemed too small. It's suggested it will be available from May or June.

26 October 2009 - New York Times' editor causes a stir when he mentions the "impending Apple slate" in an off-the-record chat with his staff about getting the paper's news into various digital channels. However, a sneaky staff member filmed it and put it online.

19 November 2009 – All the rumours we'd been hearing about a pre-Christmas launch seemed unlikely by this point, and then we're told that it had hit delays due to OLED screen shortages.

1 December 2009 – We discover that TabletMac, a trademark once owned by Mac-modders Axiotron, has been transferred over to Apple at some point in the last year. We guess it's to clear the way from any confusion with similarly-named Apple products in the future.

11 January 2010 - Orange France's VP holds an interview with a French TV station, and during it, appears to confirm not only that the tablet exists, but that it is set to launch at the end of the month and that Orange customers will be able to take advantage of its features. Does this mean we could see the tablet being sold through mobile operators on a contract?

12 January 2010 – It didn't take long, and Orange already address the chatter about its VP's apparent tongue slip, saying he was merely addressing the rumours and that his comments had been taken out of context in the translation to English. But other tablet rumours aren't low on the ground today. We also hear that Apple has caused a delay in supply of 10-inch LCD and OLED screens from Asia by snapping them all up for the tablet, and that the aluminium casing for the device is set for delivery next month in line for a Q2 release.

14 January 2010 – A trusted source tells Boy Genius Report that the tablet looks like "an iPhone on steroids", something that ties in with rumours about its design from 30 September, and that it'll be powered by a speedy ARM CPU. There's also whispers it'll run on the iPhone kernal, which has caused a delay in an updated iPhone OS, as it's filled with tablet-related codes that would out details before its launch.

15 January 2010 – The final rumour in our round up is awarded to Apple's lawyers themselves, who targeted Gawker Media's Valleywag blog and their Tablet Scavenger Hunt. The blog was offering money for photos, videos or hands on time with the tablet, which Apple's lawyers took a dislike to. They warned the site against "soliciting photos, video, or a sample of an unannounced and highly confidential Apple product", and in doing so, pretty much confirmed the existence of the tablet. Well done guys - now all we have to do is wait and be patient for the announcement... something it appears from the past two years, we're really not great at.

Make sure you read our live blog from the Apple launch from 5pm on 27 January.