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Apple Tablet Faux Pas?

9:00 AM -- Orange (NYSE: FTE) fanned the speculative flames over Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL)'s rumored tablet device, when CEO-elect Stéphane Richard appeared to confirm in an interview with Europe1 that the device indeed existed and that France Telecom's mobile operator, Orange, would offer it soon. (See Apple Tablet Eyed for March Release.)

Oops?

Well, it didn't take long for the Salt SA office to play down the comments of the grand-fromage-in-waiting. Moco News reported that Orange insists that Richard's comments were taken out of context and that they were not confirmation of the existence of a device.

Watch the whole interview here to see for yourself. If your French is as rusty as mine, a translation of the key points in the interview can be found here.

France Telecom is one of Apple's iPhone operator partners, so a senior exec like Richard presumably has a good idea of the device maker's product plans. According to the rumor mill, Apple's latest gadget is expected to be unveiled at the end of this month.

— Michelle Donegan, European Editor, Unstrung

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