New iPhone operating system could be announced alongside tablet next week
More details have also been released regarding the launch of a cloud-based service for iTunes account holders, which would see Apple introduce a browser-based user interface for personal music libraries.
According to rumours posted on some of Silicon Valley's major news blogs, such as Gizmodo, next week's Apple press announcement may feature more than its new tablet device.
The fourth version of the iPhone OS is apparently on the cards, which may include a number of features users have requested for some time.
As reported by Gizmodo, the release of the OS may not occur until June or July, when Apple is also expected to launch the fourth incarnation of the iPhone.
However, Apple usually announces its OS releases months beforehand in order to give developers information on what they can achieve with the operating system's software kit. This ensures applications taking advantage of the OS will be available for use when the software launches.
According to the blog, the 4.0 OS update will only work with the iPhone 3G and 3GS models, leaving the original iPhone out of the loop. However, the original model was only released in the US, leaving all Australian iPhone users eligible for the update.
Multitouch gestures are also rumoured to be included, allowing apps to make more complicated gesture-based actions. This could be connected to the tablet device, which is rumoured to be powered by the iPhone OS and will include multitouch commands.
A major update could be coming for the phone's user interface, with reports suggesting an improvement in navigation and even a possibly change to the home screen. The OS will also reportedly include some new features for syncing calendars and contacts, but no other information has been given.
Meanwhile on TechCrunch, it has been reported the OS will include long-awaited support for running apps in the background and multitasking.
While the rumours for the iPhone and Apple tablet are spreading across the internet, more reports have emerged suggesting Apple could soon introduce a cloud-based service for iTunes users.
Michael Robertson, the founder of dotcom music sharing site MP3.com and chief executive of MP3Tunes, wrote on TechCrunch that Apple's recent acquisition of music-streaming site LaLa could see a massive update for the iTunes software.
The site originally offered music streaming services for 10c per song, but Robertson says Apple will ditch that technology in favour of a cloud-based solution.
"An upcoming major revision of iTunes will copy each user's catalogue to the net, making it available from any browser or net connected iPod/touch/tablet. The Lala upload technology will be bundled into a future iTunes upgrade which will automatically be installed for the 100+ million iTunes users with a simple "An upgrade is available..." notification dialog box."
"After installation iTunes will push in the background their entire media library to their personal mobile iTunes area. Once loaded, users will be able to navigate and play their music, videos and playlists from their personal URL using a browser based iTunes experience."
This will allow iPod and iPhone users to access music libraries from the web, without relying on the limited storage capacity in their devices. However, there is no official confirmation Apple will introduce this service.
Meanwhile, new figures from Ars Technica have confirmed Apple's dominance in the mobile applications sector.
Based on Gartner research, the figures show Apple's App Store was the biggest seller in the applications market by far, obtaining 99.4% of the market. While a number of competitors such as the Windows Mobile Marketplace and Android Market are beginning to gain prominence, the figures indicate they still have some ground to cover.