Apple sets iPod launch day for September 9

New iPods next week! We can't wait!
New iPods next week! We can't wait!

Apple has sent out invitations to its annual iPod event, for next Wednesday September 9.

The invite - themed 'It's only rock and roll, but we like it' - will probably see a new raft of iPods and possibly a music label deal or two, but is unlikely to feature the much-hyped iTablet.

The hot money is behind a refreshed suite of iPods that feature 3.2MP cameras - presumably to film yourself shimmying to your favourite tunes.

Cocktail hour?

As usual, Apple itself is saying little about its future plans, but there's a chance the event might be a chance for Jobs (or Tim Cook) to explain a little more about the Project Cocktail music format discussions that have leaked from the less tight-lipped music labels.

Sales of iPods continue to decline. In its latest (third quarter) results, Apple announced that it had sold 7 per cent fewer media players than the same time last year, although the overall quantity - 10.2 million units - was still more than all other Apple products put together.

On a side note, The Huffington Post is reporting today that the US Securities and Exchange Commission suspects insider trading in Apple shares on four separate occasions. An investigation is under way to discover the identity of people who made suspiciously astute trades just before announcements of iPod sales, new product lines and details of Steve Jobs's health.

The iPod event is happening in San Francisco, at 6pm UK time next Wednesday, so expect a long line at Apple Stores come Friday morning...