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Apple to host Big Event September 9

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SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – Apple Inc said on Monday that it would host a media event next week, when the company is widely expected to unveil an updated line of iPod media players.

Apple declined to say what products would be featured at the September 9 event, which was announced in an invitation emailed to members of the media.

The invitation featured an iPod and the tagline: “It’s only rock and roll, but we like it.”

In recent years, the company has used splashy media events in September to showcase new and refreshed iPod models for the holiday period.

Apple launched the iPod touch model in 2007 and the iPod nano in 2005. This time around, analysts expect the nano and touch to be updated with digital cameras, and they say the touch may also get a video camera.

Apple dominates the media player category, although growth has slowed considerably as the market has matured. The company sold 10.2 million iPods in the June quarter, down 7 percent from a year ago.

The company is also expected to unveil the ninth generation of its iTunes media management software.

Apple product launches are some of the most high-profile events on the technology calendar, and expectations around the gathering next week are running particularly high as it could feature the first public appearance by Chief Executive Steve Jobs since he returned from medical leave.

The company declined to say whether Jobs would appear at the event. Jobs returned in late June after a nearly 6-month leave, during which he underwent a liver transplant.

Many Apple watchers are also eagerly awaiting the company’s launch of its much-rumored, but never confirmed, tablet device. But analysts say the so-called “iPad” won’t be unveiled until later this year or next.

The event next Wednesday will be held in San Francisco at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts Theater.

Copyright 2009 Reuters. Click for restrictions.

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