Perhaps caught off guard, an executive of international carrier Orange said in a French TV interview that an Apple tablet will debut soon.
In the video below, Stéphane Richard, who is set to be Orange’s CEO, responds “Yes” when Jean-Pierre Elkabbach asks whether the rumors are true that an Apple tablet will debut soon. Elkabbach then asks Richard whether the tablet will be available for Orange customers, to which the executive replies, “Of course.”
Rumors have been running wild that Apple will introduce its much anticipated 10-inch touchscreen tablet in a special event later this month. The Wall Street Journal, who has accurately leaked some previous Apple news (including Steve Jobs’ liver transplant) claims the event will be held Jan. 27. The WSJ added that the tablet would only be announced this month and begin shipping in March.
Richard’s statement could have been a slip, but it’s also likely that he’s aware the news about the tablet has already leaked — perhaps at Apple’s request. Last week, John Martellaro, a former senior marketing manager at Apple, confessed that Apple sometimes intentionally leaks secrets to WSJ. The purpose? To gauge reaction of the market to certain details such as price, or to panic a competitor, among other sneaky reasons. Very interesting, and a controlled leak to WSJ seems to be what’s happened with the rumored Apple tablet.