Apple’s announcement of its tablet computer this Wednesday will without doubt be the most eagerly anticipated tech news of 2010. We were all so “over” the speculation at Gizmag.com that we’d agreed we would not run any “puff” stories guessing the outcome, functionality or whatever, because no-one really knows. Until now, that is. Odds on what the name of the device will be have been on offer at Irish bookmaker Paddy Power this week and when the Economist ran a story effectively promoting the odds to the wider community, the flow of money on the name iPad quickly became a torrent, seeing it shorten from 7/4 to 1/3 in a few hours. Accordingly, …

Interpreting the move in odds in the short time since the Economist published Paddy Power’s odds, the overwhelming likelihood that when Steve Jobs steps to the microphone on Wednesday, is that he’ll be announcing an iPad, to complement the iPhone and iPod, not an iSlate or iTablet.

The Economist ran this story using Paddy Power’s odds from January 25, on the name of the device and the latest odds, which will no doubt change beyond our table above, can be found here.

Odds are framed by a bookmaker based on their knowledge of a particular marketplace. Once the odds have been made public, the flow of money from the public determines movements in the odds. That's why the bookmakers are always the first to know when a "fix" is in.

in the case of the Apple touchscreen device's name, obviously there are hundreds, if not thousands of people across the world who know what the name is right now, because they have been involved in manufacturing it, or creating advertising, marketing, merchandising or other promotional collateral, and ... unlike the trading of shares, where acting upon insider information can land you in a jail cell, putting a few dollars on a sure thing on a betting site seems small change indeed.

So our money is firmly on the name iPad.