Apple hype machine: unannounced iTablet is the 4th most searched for laptop in UK

[UK] Nobody generates hype better than Apple and we Brits lap it up just like everybody else.

Hitwise Intelligence, the web measurement firm, reports that the iTablet, iSlate, Apple Tablet (or whatever) was the 4th most searched for ‘laptop’ in the UK last week. A product which doesn’t even exist yet, although it’s not expected to remain a rumor for much longer. Just in case you haven’t heard, today is the day that Steve Jobs will finally let the cat out of the bag.

Hitwise says that a portfolio of searches including terms such as ‘apple tablet’, ‘apple islate’, ‘itablet’, and ‘ipad’ accounted for 1.9% of all laptop related searches last week, up from 1.1% for the week before. Apple’s unannounced and unreleased tablet computer was only beaten by search for a Sony Vaio, a Samsung netbook and Apple’s own Macbook.

The company does point out, however, that the Apple Tablet was far from the most popular Apple product search as a whole. That crown goes to iTunes, followed by the iPhone, Mac, and a bunch of iPod related searches. The Apple Tablet sits 11th.

Which, as Hitwise notes, will undoubtedly change later today when Steve Jobs takes to the stage.