What is Apple cooking up now?

by Peter Nowak, CBCNews.ca

Another day, another round of Apple speculation. This time, it's somewhat intriguing. The company has announced a "special event" for Sept. 5, starting at 10 a.m. PT at San Francisco's Moscone Center, which is home to the annual Macworld expo. Apple hasn't said what it'll be about, but a graphic promoting the event using the iTunes album cover display scheme has some thinking the announcement will have something to do with the music/video store and/or iPods.

What makes the news particularly interesting is that Apple is holding a media briefing in Markham, just north of Toronto, that same day. Apple is generally a tight-lipped company, and arguably even more so in Canada, so its voluntary courtship of the media that day is rare to say the least. The Markham briefing, at 10 a.m. ET and thus three hours before San Francisco, is ostensibly to show off the new iMacs and iLife, but who knows - it could be a platform for anything, much like the U.S. event.

It would be pretty anti-climactic and thus out of character if Apple used the day to simply announce a new line-up of iPods, unless there's something radically new to say. For Canada, the potential announcements are numerous -- the availability of TV and movies for iTunes, or something in regards to the iPhone. But given the bigger pending announcement in the United States later in the day, you'd figure it would be something of global relevance. Needless to say, we'll have more on Sept. 5. Let the speculation begin.