Apple Announces Sept. 9 Event

The iPod maker may refresh its line of digital music players, but a tablet PC is not expected.
Apple has sent to the media invitations for a Sept. 9 event that many industry watchers expect to feature a refresh of the the company's iPod line.

Sent Monday, the invitation features a dancing silhouette of a person wearing an iPod, the well-known figure used in iPod ads. The invitation bears the tag line, "It's only rock and roll, but we like it," which is a line inspired by a Rolling Stones tune, but gives no indication what Apple will introduce at the San Francisco event.

The event has been anticipated for some time, given that Apple has typically released upgrades of the iPod in September, in advance of the holiday shopping season.

Launched in 2001, the iPod eventually redefined the market for portable music players, and evolved into a device capable of also playing video. Apple has sold well over 200 million iPods worldwide.

However, iPod sales have slowed considerably as the market for portable media players has matured. In July, Apple reported that sales slid during the quarter ended June 27 by 7% from the same period a year ago to 10.2 million units.

While the success of the iPhone has helped counter slowing iPod sales, Apple is reportedly planning to release a tablet PC, which would send the consumer electronics company into a market in which other companies, such as Microsoft, have failed to build much of a business. Apple, however, is not expected to release a tablet PC at the September 9th event.

Generating as much speculation as new iPods in the upcoming event is whether Apple's star pitchman, chief executive and co-founder Steve Jobs, will make an appearance. Jobs returned from a six-month medical leave in June and is reportedly directing nearly all his attention to the highly anticipated tablet PC.

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