No Apple Tablet Until Early 2010?

I've been buzzing about the arrival of the Apple Tablet, the 10-inch diagonal iPod Touch-like device rumored to be something between a small netbook computer and an e-Reader. But some of those buzzes have been killed by the revelation that no Apple Tablet was announced as part of the company's September event. Instead, insiders say we should expect previews of more iPods (yawn) and iTunes updates. But I want my Apple Tablet and I want it now! How long must the world wait to be reborn under the glossy twinkle of the Tablet screen?

The newest rumor says 2010. Oh well. It's mostly impossible and pointless to speculate about why the 2009 prediction turned out to be wrong. But I'll try anyway. It remains unclear to me, and I think to many tech writers and bloggers, what exactly the Apple Tablet is designed to accomplish or with whom it is intended to compete. It's possible, I suppose, that Apple might be taking longer to roll out the product because they've been toying with different iterations and combinations of programs and capacities to tailor the device for either a mobile entertainment maven or a more serious businessman on the go.

I do my best to run down the coolest rumors and best thoughts on the Tablet in my article here, but to give you an executive summary: It's hard to say whether we should expect an E-Reader entertainment system (that is, a colorful Kindle competitor that reads e-books and doubles as an movie/music entertainment system) or a more serious netbook-type device designed for hip businessmen to compete with smaller laptops under $800. Now it looks like we won't know much more for the rest of this year. Too bad.