Apple confirmed it is holding a special event on September 1 for reporters, bloggers, and analysts for what is likely a media-centric debut of products and services. The invite is not forthcoming about the details of the event, simply giving the date and time accompanying a photo of a guitar with an apple shaped sound hole.
So what could the announcement be? Let's look at some of the options:
New iPod touch?
Apple has traditionally made new iPod product announcements in September. Rumors have been kicking around for a while about the possibility of an iPod Touch with a forward and rear facing camera. A forward-facing cam would allow the iPods to use FaceTime over WiFi, a definite selling feature for the players. New cameras could also offer support for Apple's iMovie software, allowing video editing directly on the fly. Apple's new high-contrast retina display, is also a possibility for new iPods.
Along with a new iPod at least a few iTunes announcements are likely at the 1 September event. Last month rumours circulated that the newest version of iTunes would offer support for wireless iTunes streaming and syncing, and Apple quietly added the ability to stream music from MobileMe folders in its latest update. The MobileMe audio streaming feature could have been a test run of a larger iTunes plan.
$.99 TV Rentals?
Rumours have been swirling for the past few weeks about the possibility of $.99 TV show rentals from iTunes. Currently iTunes only allows shows to be purchased for $1.99 a pop, the rumoured $.99 rental would instead be good for just a few days. The cheaper price tag may however encourage more people to purchase the commercial free shows than so currently, providing them an alternative to Hulu and other streaming sites that won't break the bank.
Updated Apple TV?
While the picture of a guitar is a bit of a stretch for an event to unveil a new version of Apple TV, that doesn't mean that Apple TV won't be a part of the announcement, although it more than likely will not be a focus for the event. A new version of Apple TV called iTV is rumored to have 16GB of flash storage, the ability to run applications, and the ability to stream iTunes to iPads, iPhones, and iPod Touches over Wi-Fi. The iTV was at one point also expected to offer a TV subscription service, although those plans are thought to have been changed.
The announcement of a new smaller (or event larger) iPad is not entirely out of the question. The announcement of a new version of the device in September would make it available before the holiday season, helping to potentially boost sales come gift giving time.