The date, at least, is official. Apple is inviting various bloggers and press people to an event at 10 am PST on January 27th, 2010. Will they reveal the iTablet? (Feel free to sub in other iNames — iSlate seems to be popular these days.) They aren't saying yet. All the invite said (this is second hand, yours truly wasn't invited) was "Come see our latest creation" which could mean anything. Fox News' Clayton Morris says it'll be the tablet device, iPhone OS 4 and a new version of iLife (presumably that could all fall under one umbrella if the tablet runs iPhone OS). Engadget speculates, based on the design of the invite, that the event could be "slanted towards art, music, and movie-making" (though in fairness they themselves call this "wild speculation").
A few other interesting tidbits cropped up yesterday. Ars Technica ran a rather convincing story arguing against a 10" OLED iTablet. They spoke to Barry Young, Managing Director of the OLED Association, who told them basically that no one could produce 10" AMOLED screens in the quantities that Apple would require, at least not at this time.
Meanwhile the Wall Street Journal is saying that HarperCollins is doing a deal with Apple to sell e-books for the iTablet. It sounds like we're not talking about normal text-based e-books, but rather some kind of enhanced e-books. The WSJ quotes Harper Collins' chief executive as saying "that e-books enhanced with video, author interviews and social-networking applications could command higher retail prices for publishers than current e-books." Such an e-book wouldn't be possible with today's e-ink technology, of course.
All indicators are definitely pointing towards some kind of touch-enabled tablet device that'll work as an e-reader, personal media player, web browser and app-running geek toy. The biggest question I have at this point has to do with the price. $1000? $800? Might it come subsidized with a 2-year data plan? I suppose we'll know next week!