What Will Apple’s Big Tablet Cost?

If doesn't introduce a soon, we'll all be sorely disappointed. With all the ongoing speculation about the alleged -on-steroids, I feel like the device is already here.

Today's scuttlebutt from has the Big Tablet arriving early next year, a prediction that matches one two months ago by .

So what do we know about the tablet? Reports say it's an , a handheld slate that's large enough for HD movies, video gaming, and Web browsing without all the window-resizing and screen-tapping calisthenics that smartphone users endure. Apple Insider says the tablet will feature 3G broadband, which seems logical. And since we're speculating here, I'd like to request Wi-fi, Bluetooth, and GPS as well.

Specs aside, what should Apple charge for the Big Tablet? Some reports say $800 is likely, but that seems high for a consumer electronics device. My prediction: $499. Here's why:

According to a 2007 study by the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA), the average American household spends about $1200 annually on electronics products. Would the typical household blow two-thirds of its tech budget on one handheld device? Probably not.