Apple will launch a 10-inch touchscreen web tablet in the first half of 2010 according to Appleinsider.

The news, which is one more rumour on a story that has dogged the iPhone maker for sometime, is according to the website, finally likely to be the real deal.

"After four years of meticulous development riddled with setbacks, Apple is now racing toward an early 2010 launch of a device that may see the electronics maker redefine the portable computing market for the second time in twice as many years", the site is reporting.

The jumbo iPod touch, which the site has created an artist impression for, will according to its sources, feature a 10-inch touchscreen display come with 3G and Wi-Fi connectivity, and is the latest "brainchild of chief executive Steve Jobs".

Although not wanting to be drawn on the subject, Apple, in a recent earnings conference call, noted that a move into the netbook arena and selling devices for under $400 dollars wasn't likely to be for them. This suggests a tablet could be a way around giving consumers something different for checking email and the Internet on the go.

The 2010 dating could tie in with a CES announcement, with Apple choosing to try and steal the thunder of the consumer electronics show as it did with the iPhone in 2007.

The company has confirmed that it will not be attending the annual Macworld event in January, the normal launch pad for its big hitting products.

What do you think? Is it likely to happen, and if so would you buy one? Let us know in the comments below.

Meanwhile, in an interview with LaptopMag, Mike Abary, senior vice president of Sony's Information Technology Products Division has said that once Microsoft adds touch support to Windows 7 it will be launching a touchscreen tablet PC.

"You will see touch capabilities introduced on Vaio products that take advantage of Windows 7", the exec confirmed.