Apple Inc. shares hit a record high on Wall Street on Thursday following reports that the California company may unveil a long-awaited portable tablet computer next month.
Apple shares were up 3.44 percent at 209.06 dollars at 1:00 pm (1800 GMT) in New York, topping the previous record of 208.71 dollars, and reached as high as 209.35 dollars at one point during morning trading.
The surge came after the Financial Times, citing "people familiar with the plans," reported in a blog post that Apple has rented an arts center in San Francisco to make a "major product announcement" on January 26.
Speculation about a tablet computer from the company behind the Macintosh computer, iPhone and iPod has swirled for years and the FT noted that there have been a number of reports recently that "suggest the tablet will make its debut in January."
The newspaper pointed out that Apple used the same San Francisco venue in September for an iPod event featuring the first public appearance by Apple chief executive Steve Jobs following a lengthy medical leave of absence.
Apple is notoriously secretive about product launches and has declined to address the speculation concerning an "iPad" or "iTablet," which analysts have said may resemble an oversized iPod Touch or a low-cost netbook computer.
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