In yet another drop of information from the firehose of tablet rumors, French blog Mac 4 Ever claimed earlier this week [English translation] that a beta version of the iPhone SDK -- used by developers to create applications for the iPhone, iPod touch, and now possibly Apple's new tablet device -- could be unveiled during the upcoming event to be held on January 27th.
What I find interesting about this tidbit is the timing: most of the rumors we have heard concerning which operating system the tablet might run have generally pointed towards a newer build of the iPhone OS. So, if the tablet will be running a new build of the iPhone OS, and that build is only expected to be in beta stages by the end of this month, then it stands to reason that the tablet may not actually hit the market until later this year. I'm thinking somewhere around March, maybe?
Then again, it is possible that the device might ship with a preliminary version of the OS which doesn't make immediate use of the App Store, buying some time for developers to get their feet wet using the beta SDK and giving Apple the chance to ramp up a good selection of apps to be ready for sale when the App Store becomes available.
Either way, the idea that Apple may release a beta version of the SDK more than a month ahead of schedule serves as an indication that Apple has indeed learned from past mistakes, and hopefully developers will be able to get their hands on the SDK sooner, rather than later.