Since Steve Jobs' return as CEO in 1997, good timing has been one of Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) hallmarks.

Witness the iPhone. Jobs showed off a prototype in January of 2007 at Macworld, and then forced buyers to wait months to get their hands on one. By July, frothy consumers were lining up for hours to be among the first to pay more than $500 for Apple's newest iCandy.

Would the so-called iSlate do as well? Readers think so; they voted Apple the best stock of 2010, beating out Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE:BRK-B), UPS (NYSE:UPS), and Silver Wheaton (NYSE:SLW), among others.

I'm with the iHorde on this one, and not because I think offerings from Amazon.com (NASDAQ:AMZN) and Barnes & Noble (NYSE:BKS) are weak. Instead, I like the economic data I'm seeing.

According to Gallup, consumer spending rose to a daily average of $68 last week, up 15% from the week prior and 10% from the same week during 2009.

"The increase in consumer spending last week is good news for the economic outlook, as is continued economic optimism during the first full work week after the holidays," wrote Chief Economist Dennis Jacobe in a research note.

Apple has scheduled an event in San Francisco for Jan. 27, The Wall Street Journal reported earlier this month. That means Jobs could be taking the stage just as consumers are smiling, and buying, again.  It wouldn't be the first time, and it probably won't be the last.

Are you planning on buying an Apple tablet when it's released? Are you considering any kind of tablet PC? Why or why not? Make your voice heard using the comments box below.

Apple, Amazon, and Berkshire Hathaway are Motley Fool Stock Advisor selections. Berkshire is also a Motley Fool Inside Value pick. UPS is a Motley Fool Income Investor recommendation. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days.

Fool contributor Tim Beyers had stock and options positions in Apple and a stock position in Berkshire Hathaway at the time of publication. Check out Tim's portfolio holdings and Foolish writings, or connect with him on Twitter as @milehighfool. The Motley Fool owns shares of Berkshire and is also on Twitter as @TheMotleyFool. The Fool's disclosure policy has a lunch date. Gotta run!