Apple will call its much rumoured Internet tablet device the "iSlate" according to reports on the Internet.

The name, which has been dug up by Apple rumour site, MacRumours, and then semi-confirmed by tech industry site TechCrunch is based on Apple registering the url as well as registering the trademark iSlate in both the US and Europe.

According to domain name registry details, Apple bought the name in 2004, however details of its ownership weren't made publicly aware until late 2007 for a few brief weeks. The information, via a tip off to the site, has only just come to light.

On the news from MacRumours, Techcunch has further found that "iSlate had been registered as a trademark by an unknown Delaware company by the name of Slate Computing, LLC in November 2006".

MacRumours is also reporting that Apple has also filed a trademark for the phrase "Magic Slate" suggesting that could be an alternative name and one that fits in with the recently launched touch enabled Magic Mouse launched earlier in the year.  

Before Christmas, rumours surfaced that Apple was preparing the launch of a tablet-based device, similar to the iPhone, at the end of January.

According to the FT, Apple has rented out the the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco for several days in late January.

At the time the FT quotes long-time Apple commentator Piper Jaffray and analyst, Gene Munster, saying: "We believe there is a 75% likelihood that Apple will have an event in January and a 50% chance that it will be held to launch the Apple tablet".

The rumour gets more credible with the news from Silicon Valley Insider that Apple has asked certain developers to create versions of their apps that would work on a larger screen.

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