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Six Top Tech Trends for 2010

Stocks in this article: IBM AAPL HPQ DELL CSCO VMW MCK

The Great Tablet Mystery

After months of rumor and speculation, we should finally see Apple's (AAPL) eagerly-anticipated Tablet device in the coming months. Oppenheimer analyst Yair Reiner recently said that an Apple 10-inch touchscreen e-book could arrive as early as March, citing information from suppliers.

The Tablet, known as the iPad, could compete with Amazon's (AMZN) popular Kindle, said Reiner, noting that Apple will produce one million units a month.

It is not just Apple, though, that could make waves next year. Dell (DELL) is rumored to be planning its entry into the Tablet market and will unveil an Android-based device at next month's CES show.

Hewlett-Packard and Toshiba have already tried and failed with their own Tablets -- so there is great interest In Apple's take on the technology.

"If you just look generically at the Tablet market, it doesn't feel like it's the most important piece of technology that can be introduced in the marketplace," said Deloitte's Openshaw. "There are niche uses for that like healthcare but I wonder whether it's an iterative before voice works as it really should."

Openshaw explained that Tablets would be a real game-changer if they offered some form of advanced voice recognition and transcription. "I believe that the Tablet technology that is being discussed now is a stepping stone," he added.

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