Apple invites press to ‘latest creation’

January 18, 2010, 5:54 PM UTC

E-mails were sent Monday for an unveiling in 10 days. Is this their long-awaited tablet?

Image: Apple Inc.

It’s official now: Apple’s (AAPL) newest product will be unveiled Wednesday, Jan. 27, in San Francisco.

The e-mail invitation, sent at noon on Monday, reads in full:

Please join us for an invitation-only event at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts Theater in San Francisco on January 27 at 10:00 a.m. Registration begins at 9:00 a.m. Please arrive early. RSVP to

The event will mark either the worst-kept secret in Silicon Valley — the unveiling of the tablet computer about which rumors have been swirling since 2002 — or a set-up for the biggest let-down in the company’s 32-year history.

For a brief history of the product’s development, see The Week’s comprehensive rumor timeline. For an intriguing summary of Apple’s tablet-related patents, see Patently Apple’s The Tablet Prophecies.

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[Follow Philip Elmer-DeWitt on Twitter @philiped]