Page last updated at 16:16 GMT, Wednesday, 30 December 2009

Apple tablet computer rumour sends shares up

Steve Jobs
Steve Jobs has unveiled previous news products at January launches

Apple shares have jumped another 1% as speculation grows that it will launch a new touch-screen computer.

Over the past two weeks the iPhone manufacturer's share price has been pushed up steadily by the rumours.

Apple has booked San Francisco's Yerba Buena Centre on 26 January for a "major product announcement" without giving any further details.

The company has previously used January launches to unveil products including the iPhone and the MacBook Air.

The venue is the same used by Apple's chief executive Steve Jobs when he made his return earlier this year following a liver transplant.

Touch-screen rumours

Blogs and analysts have fuelled rumours that Apple will launch a new touch-screen "tablet" computer - resembling a larger version of the iPhone and variously dubbed the iSlate or the iTablet.

The rumours have already helped Apple shares rise by more than 11% since early December.

But the company's share price has dropped in recent days, amid a continued patent dispute with mobile phone maker Nokia.

Nokia claims that most of Apple's products - from the iPod to the iPhone - make use of its patent-protected technologies.

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