The Apple rock 'n' roll conference: What will, but mainly what won't, be announced

LONDON - The Apple rumour mill traditionally goes into hyperdrive in the days leading up to its events and today's "rock 'n' roll" conference in San Francisco is no different to any other.

A potent combination of the bizarre cult-like loyalty Apple inspires in its consumers and the company's notorious secrecy means the rumours are flying faster than on transfer deadline day -- admittedly, tweets suggesting Kevin Keegan will be replacing Steve jobs in the top job are yet to surface.

No-one, bar Jobs and his acolytes, knows what will be announced at today's conference, which starts at 10am Pacific Time, but in a tribute to the annual gossip fest, Brand Republic presents a round up of the juiciest and most exciting suggestions doing the rounds.

Apple tablet
Much of the speculation has been about a tablet-style pocket-sized touchscreen computer which Apple is said to have been working on for years. The device is being billed as another game-changer -- like the iPod and the iPhone before it.

However, the Apple tablet has been the source of conflicting reports, which could see the long-awaited technology unveiled at a later date. The Financial Times reported earlier this year that Apple has pencilled in a September launch date, but others believe it will be unwrapped for eager eyes in early 2010.

The Beatles
The internet has once again been awash with speculation that Apple is preparing to offer Beatles tracks for download via iTunes.

This year's rumours have been strengthened by the fact a remastered box set of The Beatles' back catalogue is being reissued today and The Beatles: Rock Band video game also goes on sale.

With a did-she/didn't-she story suggesting Sky posted an exclusive interview with Yoko Ono spilling the beans on the band's iTunes debut reportedly having been taken down, all adding to the fun. Fans will be glued to news sites and twitter feeds hoping this year the rumours might actually carry some weight.

Will they? Probably not. The band's record label EMI has strenuously denied the stories, but let's not let that get in the way of some juicy hearsay.

New iPods with Camera
A report from mid-May was the first to suggest that the iPod touch and iPod nano would see the addition of digital cameras.

iTunes Store - "Cocktail"
Apple is rumoured to be developing "digital album" packages of interactive content, code-named "Cocktail", which the music industry hopes will help boost sales of full albums via iTunes.

Pre-Cut Ringtones?
A report last week claimed that Apple has secured the necessary rights to distribute pre-cut ringtones via the iTunes Store as an alternative to the custom-designed ringtones currently available for many tracks in the store.

iTunes 9
A report from early last month suggested that iTunes 9, which is likely to be introduced at tomorrow's event, will offer support for Blu-ray media, as well the ability to organise iPhone and iPod touch applications within iTunes.

Apple TV
A recent delay in shipping times for the low-end Apple TV has led to speculation that an update to the device could be in store. This is thought to be unlikely.

And finally...
Last but by no means least is the rumour that Jobs will be making an appearance. Hopes are high that Jobs will make his first appearance since going on sick leave in January. He has since returned to work in late June after undergoing a liver transplant.

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