NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Apple (AAPL) - Get Report shares surged 3.4% to a record high Thursday amid speculation that a major product announcement -- possibly the long-anticipated tablet computer -- will be coming in January.
Apple stock rose $6.94 to close at $209.04 in a shortened trading day after the
reported that Apple may be preparing for a big announcement after renting space for several days in late January at an arts center in San Francisco.
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While Apple hasn't officially confirmed plans for a tablet, the expectation of an iPad has
of enthusiasts and
fans and investors for more than a year as they eagerly await a new blockbuster device from Apple.
Tablet-sized e-readers are a growing niche among players like
Barnes and Noble
. But Apple fans may find a me-too e-book a bit beneath the vaunted standards of a Steve Jobs-driven project.
Kindle in its sights,
of a 10-inch touchscreen e-book with the first model expected to arrive as early as March,
analyst Yair Reiner said earlier this month, citing information from suppliers. The report confirmed earlier
Apple has also been working on terms with
that would split the revenue of electronic book sales by a 30/70 ratio, with book companies getting the larger cut, writes Reiner. The terms would be a departure from the even split that Amazon shares with publishers.The product's lengthy road to launch
have raised expectations that Apple may finally have a breakthrough product that could build on the success of the iPhone and the Mac
As speculation drives Apple shares higher, Ray Edelman, co-manager of the
Allianz RCM Large-Cap Growth Fund
considers the stock one of the top picks for 2010.
"Technology will lead the market next year, especially companies such as Apple and
. Our top stocks picks are Apple and Microsoft,"
on Wednesday. "These companies have strong product cycles -- iPhones, Macs, Windows 7 -- that should help drive revenues and earnings higher."
This article was written by a staff member of TheStreet.com.