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Apple's iSlate Will Be Game-Changing

Next Wednesday's new product announcement is Apple's (AAPL - Get Report) worst kept secret.

At this point, we all know that Apple will announce its new tablet computer. We know the Moscone Center has been rented. We know it's to be called iSlate. We know the media have been invited. Apple knows how to leak information in just such a way to create a feeding frenzy among tech reporters and gizmo enthusiasts.

While many tech blogs are focusing on the possible specs for the new device, the majority of mainstream analysts and investors following Apple -- while enthusiastic about the new product - are taking a more measured approach.

Exclusive: Apple Tablet Headed to Verizon >

What's driven as much if not more excitement in the price of Apple's stock over the past month has been potential holiday upside surprises that will be announced in Monday's earnings, rather than Wednesday's iSlate announcement. This is an oversight.

Let's step back and look at Apple and how much it's grown in the last three years. Top-line revenue is up 52% to $36.5 billion. Operating income is up 77% to $7.7 billion. Over that time period, the iPod has hit market saturation. iMac sales continue to grow, even amidst the economic slowdown. iPhone has also taken market share in the handset market at a blistering pace from zero units three years ago.

Many of us have become immune to yet another new product announcement from Apple. They always have something new, it seems, to announce.
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