Apple has posted a teaser on its website hinting at a big iTunes surprise today at 3pm GMT, with the words "Tomorrow is just another day. That you'll never forget". [Updated, November 16, 2010.]
Apple watchers are revving themselves into their usual state of Steve Jobs hype ecstasy, and rumours are already flying in: music streaming, iOS 4.2, new iPods, an iPhone 4 you can hold any way you fancy...
Here's our five suggestions for what Apple could be planning to surprise us with:
- An iTunes music-streaming subscription service. Steve Jobs has always been against such services but the success of things like Spotify suggest it's time for Apple to switch tack. The trouble with music subscription services is that once you stop paying you lose all your music, but then I suppose you are forced to "never forget" all the tracks you've been listening to since you signed up. Chances? 5/10: Rather forgetable
- Something about the delayed Apple iOS 4.2. Not much to tie in with the words "Tomorrow is just another day," etc. Chances? 3/10: What was that again?
- The Beatles on iTunes. Now we're talking. The last track on the album 'Revolver' is 'Tomorrow Never Knows' – two of these words appear in the nine-word Apple statement. This is the Holy Grail for Apple boss Steve Jobs, who allegedly named his whole company after The Beatles record company. Allegedly, OK? The surviving members of the 60s pop sensations have so far spurned his efforts to get them to put their music on iTunes, but maybe the time has now come… There's even a Paul McCartney song called 'Another Day', his first single in his solo career but written during the Beatles 'Let It Be' sessions. And the first Wings album included a track called 'Tomorrow', and another with the word "never" in it. The clincher: some say the clock hands in the Apple image (see below) mimic the fab four's poses on the front cover of their 'Help' LP. Chances? 8/10: We might soon forget it but Steve would never.
- Even more Madness on iTunes. 'Tomorrow's Just Another Day' was a big hit for aging London ska band Madness. I've been to many a Steve Jobs keynote but have never heard him come on stage to 'Return of the Los Palmas 7'. Chances? 2/10: I've forgotten that already.
- James Bond movies on iTunes. The Apple statement also sounds like a Pierce Brosnan James Bond movie - 'Tomorrow Never Dies', 'Die Another Day', etc. But wouldn't we be quite likely to forget the day iTunes included James Bond movies for rental? Yes. Chances: 1/10. So unbelievable we'd probably remember it for quite a long time, however.
- Steve Jobs to change clothes. The Apple CEO famously dresses only in blue jeans and black turtleneck - except on rare occasions when he has publicly sported a bow tie, possibly for charity. Why the beatnik uniform? Because it means Steve doesn't have to worry about what to wear every morning, and so can get right into the day's work: dreaming up new consumer gadgets, practising his keynote speeches, slagging off Adobe, giving an employee the third degree, etc. So if he started expanding his wardrobe tomorrow wouldn't just be another day, and he'd never forget that. Chances? 0/10: We're still trying to forget that bow tie.
We'll just have to wait to see if Macca & Ringo, Pierce, or Suggs and co appear with Steve at 7am PST, 10am EST, 3pm GMT and at midnight in Beatles-crazy Tokyo.
Watch this space.