Updated from Monday, Jan. 18 Apple ( AAPL) reportedly is inviting reporters to an event in San Francisco on Jan. 27 amid speculation that it's preparing to unveil a tablet computing device.

The email invitation says, "Come see our latest creation," according to a report published Sunday on The Wall Street Journal's Web site.

An Apple representative declined to comment, according to the report.

Although Apple has never confirmed it is planning a tablet-style device, rumors and reports about such a product have been a hot topic in the technology world for some time.

Earlier this month, the Journal, citing anonymous sources briefed by Apple, reported that the company would announce a multimedia tablet device later in January and that the company planned to begin shipping the product in March.

Given Apple's runaway success with the iPod and iPhone, the company's fans and some journalists have gushed that a tablet device will be a big hit.

But there's also plenty of skepticism about whether there's a sizeable market for a computing device that falls somewhere between a smartphone and a notebook computer, especially as consumers are using more portable smartphones to do more of their computing tasks.

The Journal also reports that HarperCollins Publishers, a unit of News Corp. ( NWS) is in discussions with Apple to make enhanced electronic books available on Apple's new tablet device.

Details weren't yet ironed out whether Apple would sell HarperCollins titles via its existing iTunes store or through a new e-book store. Meanwhile, other publishers also have met with Apple, sources told the Journal.

Apple shares closed Friday at $205.93.
This article was written by a staff member of TheStreet.com.

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