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New iLife, iPhone OS 4.0, and tablet next week?

Almost everybody who a) cares about Apple and b) is breathing knows already that Apple has an event scheduled for next Wednesday, January 27th. Many people assume that the big surprise could be the announcement of the soon-to-be-non-mythical slate / tablet, but we all know that Apple seldom makes one announcement. There's often "one more thing."

Clayton Morris at Fox News reported yesterday on information he received just before his invitation arrived for the event at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. A "source at Apple" told him that the event was going to focus on three things: a new release of iLife, iPhone OS 4.0, and the tablet. He goes on to say that while iPhone OS 4.0 will be demoed, no new iPhone device is going to be announced.

The new version of iLife -- let's call it iLife '10 for the heck of it -- sounds reasonable. Early versions of iLife were announced and shipped on an annual basis for quite a few years, with iLife '08 spoiling the rhythm of releases. iLife '09 hit the stores last January, so it's not at all unlikely that iLife '10 and all of its components could be in our hands before Macworld Expo 2010.

iPhone OS 4.0? Equally likely. The event could feature a quick demo of new features to get everyone drooling, with the new OS version and possibly a new iPhone shipping simultaneously in the summer.

The tablet? There's the best possible "one more thing." I can see Steve Jobs now, smoothly demoing iLife '10's feature set for a while and talking about the new e-commerce widgets in iWeb '10, and then segueing into news about iPhone OS 4.0. Just about the time that all of the industry pundits are about to commit seppuku from fear that they're being misled, Stevie J. will reach under a MacBook Air and pluck out the device. And the crowd goes wild!!!

Just keep repeating to yourself -- "January 27th will be here before I know it."

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