Earlier in the week it was the New York Times supposedly spilling the beans, now it's the Sydney Morning Herald.

According to the paper in Australia, Apple is uncharacteristically talking to a number of media companies in preparation for the launch of an Apple tablet or Slate.

While rumours have been kicking around for some time with plenty of mock-ups created by devoted fans, the paper claims that:

"Apple has sent specifications of the device to Australian media companies in an effort to sound out whether they would be interested in delivering their content to the tablet. None would speak about the device on the record".

The news comes just a day after the executive editor of the New York Times has referred to the mythical Apple tablet in a speech as the "impending Apple slate", reigniting the smouldering rumours of the device.

Bill Keller's off-the-record speech, not supposed to be recorded and leaked to the Internet, is a business-based monologue about the future of the NYT, including a look at new digital delivery platforms.

"I'm hoping we can get the newsroom more actively involved in the challenge of delivering our best journalism in the form of Times Reader, iPhone apps, WAP, or the impending Apple slate...", Keller states, as reported by eager-eared Gawker.

The quote from Keller apparently follows reports from earlier this year that a "stealth team" from the paper met with Apple executives - as well as other content publishers - on a top-secret matter.

We will keep you posted.