The industry is fairly certain that Apple will launch a tablet later this month. However, details are scant and the blogosphere is in take-anything-you-can-get mode, so hearing a high up executive from Orange France confirmed the tablet's existence, launch and its availability on his network definitely counts for something.
Stéphane Richard morning confirmed the device during an interview with French journalist Jean-Pierre Elkabbach. French blog nowhereelse.fr reports that Elkabbach mentioned the Apple tablet to Richard and Richard told him that yes, the tablet would be available for Orange customers to enjoy.
Via the BBC:
Elkabbach: Selon l'hebdomadaire Le Point, dans quelques jours, votre partenaire Apple va lancer une tablette dotee d'une webcam?
Elkabbach: Est-ce que les usagers d'Orange en beneficieront aussi?
Richard: Bien sur!
Which translates as:
Elkabbach: According to the weekly newspaper Le Point, in a few days your partners at Apple will launch a tablet equipped with a webcam?
Elkabbach: Will Orange customers get to use it?
Richard: Of course!
The news lends weight to previous rumors that say Apple could offer its tablet through Verizon Wireless here in the United States.
Those of you who speak french can watch the full interview with Stéphane Richard here. Skip forward to about 6:00 minutes in for the quotes above.