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Apple Tablet/iSlate/Whatever fever runs high -- and we don't know if it exists yet!

I just heard the smartest thing I've ever heard on CNBC: Anchor Sue Herera was pressing guest analyst Andy Hargreaves about Apple, asking him how much he thinks the company's "Tablet," expected to be revealed tomorrow, will add to 2010 earnings.

"We don't know," said Hargreaves, of Pacific Crest Securities, "because we haven't seen it yet." You can see the video at the bottom of this posting.

Herera was incredulous. But there's been so much talk about it, she pressed, surely you've priced it into Apple's bottom line. Hargreaves answered: "If you can tell me what's in it and what it's going to cost, then I will put it in my numbers."


I am unaccustomed to seeing such restraint and reason in television financial analysts. Good for him.

Apple is widely expected to unveil a new product tomorrow, but we don't know what it is or even what it's called. It could be called the Tablet, or the iSlate; heck, it could be called the Binky. But that hasn't stopped numerous outlets from releasing their predictions of what this thing will look like and do, such as this and this and this.

Sports Illustrated even went so far as to mock up what it thought it could do with its magazine on the yet-to-be-released product, which you can see here. Publishers -- and probably the publisher of this blog/newspaper, as well -- are hoping that this thing can single-handedly Save Us All, creating a mobile device that more closely duplicates the experience of reading a paper or magazine in its physical form, with the added benefits of video and sound.

Plenty of opining about this possibility have been flying about the Internet, including this and this and this, which even lists Top 10 things to love about Apple's tablet.

No one knows for sure what this thing's going to look like or what it will do. But rumors about it have reached a fever pitch. So much so that video of New York Times editor Bill Keller speaking in October about the "impending ... iSlate" has popped up on YouTube.

Based on these rumors, shares of Apple have been soaring since trading opened Monday.

And, okay. I'm contributing to the hype. Fair enough. But at least I haven't promised it my firstborn yet.

Follow me on Twitter at @theticker

By Frank Ahrens  |  January 26, 2010; 1:31 PM ET
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: Apple, Bill Keller, New York Times, Steve Jobs, iSlate, tablet  
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