Gizmodo's source claims that the first Tablet prototype was built in late 2008, and predicts that the device will be on the market in time for this year's holiday season. Verizon ( VZ ) is already said to be the launch pad for Apple's latest gadget, reducing customers' sticker shock. A source familiar with the companies, who asked not to be named, recently told TheStreet.com that the initial version of the tablet will be subsidized by Verizon, but Apple and Verizon "won't be as tightly integrated" as Apple's iPhone exclusivity deal with AT&T ( T). Apple, which is notoriously tight-lipped about its product plans, has not yet responded to a request for comment from TheStreet.com on its Tablet strategy. The Tablet space has already proved problematic for the likes of Hewlett-Packard ( HPQ) and Toshiba, although the rewards could outweigh the risks for Apple. With third-quarter iPod sales sliding and second-quarter Mac sales falling for the first time in five years, it makes sense for the consumer technology giant to re-invigorate its product line. Even the ever-popular iPhone is now three years old, although the Cupertino, Calif.-based firm is planning to extend the technology to the Chinese smartphone market. -- Written by James Rogers in New York.