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Apple tablet details disclosed by French executive, maybe

January 12, 2010 |  2:18 pm

The soon-to-be chief executive of France Telecom, which has nearly 200 million customers in 30 countries, added to the rumor frenzy over the possible Apple tablet when he did a television interview in France.

Stephane Richard, according to a translation provided by, not only confirmed the existence of the already mythic device (even before it's announced), but also said it would have a webcam and would be available through his company's Orange brand.

Richard enthusiastically said that Orange subscribers will "particularly enjoy" the Apple tablet "because the webcam will allow live video streaming. It's a new take on mobile video conferencing."

Finally, proof that the tablet exits!

Except that French Telecom then sent out a statement that Richard's comments had been misinterpreted, or misunderstood, or something.

“These responses in no way reflect Orange’s confirmation of the existence of the rumoured device," read the statement posted on PaidcontentUK. "The spokesperson was merely confirming that he is aware of the speculation surrounding a launch and that Orange would be delighted to have such a product were it ever to be available.”

However, the Paidcontent:UK site points out that there was a similar incident in 2007, when an Orange executive let the cat out of the bag on the iPhone before Apple announced it.

And to add to the confusion, analyst John Gruber, quoted on Macrumors, said today he is hearing there is no webcam or any other kind of camera on the tablet.

The frenzy will not likely end until Apple finally unveils the tablet. If it does.

Apple hasn't even confirmed it has an announcement coming up. (Rumors say it will happen later this month). 

-- David Colker