Apple chairman Steve Jobs is expected to put rumours to rest and use today's MacWorld keynote address to formally announce the company's cellular phone and TV set-top box.
The Apple community is abuzz with speculation as to what the maverick Jobs will reveal later today when he takes to the stage in San Francisco.
The rumour mills have been fuelled by a new graphic on the Apple website – a picture of a metallic Apple logo, rising in the dark, with light streaming behind it and the words: The first 30 years were just the beginning. Welcome to 2007."
Of course, it could simply be a New Years' greeting, but Apple watchers are reading the most liberal of interpretations into the image.
Word has long been on the street that Apple will use today's podium to launch both a multimedia streaming set-top box (codenamed the iTV) and a cellular phone (popularly known as the iPhone – but that's a Cisco trademark, so unlikely).
The experts believe that a cellular phone is more likely to be combined with existing iPod technology to create a single, multi-purpose device.
The justification for such as move would be compelling. Although Apple has shipped about 70-million iPods since the product's launch, there are more than 1-billion cellular phones out there, making for a compelling market opportunity.
Rumour further has it that Cingular, the largest wireless network carrier in the US, has already signed up as a carrier for the new cellular phone/iPod product.
The so-called iTV will most likely be a set-top box, about half the size of a Mac Mini, that will connect to the TV and stereo to provide remote control of content using Front Row software.
The device will effectively turn the TV into a content management hub, managing movies, TV and music – both from iTunes and possibly also MPEG-4 and H.264-encoded formats.
Jobs has previously remarked that the price of such as device would be $299.00.