Apple tablet rumored for launch early next year, for serious this time: seriously

After what AppleInsider claims has been four years of development "riddled with setbacks," Apple is purportedly finalizing its long-rumored tablet for an early 2010 launch. AppleInsider claims to have been tracking the device get bounced back to the drawing board repeatedly over the past few years, but says that Steve Jobs is finally happy with the product and there's an internal go-ahead to get this thing ready for next year, barring any other setbacks. Purported specs include a 10-inch screen, 3G data and a custom ARM processor courtesy of its P.A. Semi purchase -- after previously considering Intel's Atom, as the story goes. Rumors elsewhere point to Verizon data instead of AT&T, but that might just be wishful thinking. While AppleInsider still claims the device is positioned somewhere between an iPhone and a laptop, its inside sources apparently didn't give the thumbs up to early artist renditions of the handheld, and so AI's new and "improved" render is above -- striking fear in the heart of aesthetes everywhere.

Sure, we've heard so many iterations of Apple tablet rumors over the years, with varying degrees of confidence behind them, that it's really hard to latch onto yet another promise of this supposedly inevitable device. Still, this is what it is: a decent rumor with some reasonable excuses for "delays" and a glorious promise of tablet nirvana right around the corner. What more could an Apple rumorphile want?