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Apple invite brings UK hacks out in iPhone fever

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UK hacks have begun receiving invites to an Apple event scheduled to be held at the Mac maker's Regent Street, London store on 18 September. Headed "Mum is no longer the word", the email has already got journos forecasting the UK debut of the iPhone.

Not that we've had one, of course. Apple's policy of not engaging with websites that speculate about its future products takes in The Register and, unsurprisingly, its sister-site Register Hardware.

Not that Apple's PR flacks are too bothered about other UK technology websites writing up the rumours - quite a few that do have invites, we notice. Clearly, they have failed to ping on Cupertino's radar, since the ban has not come down from on high to the local agency.

Apple's invite
Apple's invite: is it the iPhone launch?

So is it the iPhone. Our moles deep within the O2 network just a few days ago claimed the iPhone would be announced by the end of this month, to coincide with the end of parent company Telefonica's current financial quarter.

It's no guarantee, of course, but the network is believed to be busily upgrading its network to support Edge, the faster-than-GPRS-but-not-3G data technology, which could point to the arrival of the current version of the iPhone and not a forecast - and much desired - UMTS version.

O2 is also expected to announce an unlimited data tariff within the next few weeks, which again could tie in nicely with an iPhone deal.

Of course, just because Apple announces the iPhone next week, doesn't mean it will be available then, but it can't be far off. Indeed, the similarly styled iPod Touch is due to arrive here at the end of the month, so next week's event would provide a good opportunity to promote both.

We have our blue jeans and black turtlenecks prepared, and we'll have a go at gatecrashing. The password is 'AppleTV sales figures'. Read all about it here, whether we succeed or not.

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