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Curtain drops on Apple Store ahead of WWDC: What lies behind?

Steve Jobs watching from on high. No pressure, lads

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Apple has pulled down its online store in accordance with tradition ahead of the WWDC, an annual love-in allowing fanbois to glimpse the fruity firm's latest products.

Cupertino has been extra-specially tight-lipped about what exactly they will be showing fanbois at this year's conference, but a few clues have leaked out.

Many Apple observers expect see a Pandora-style streaming music service, after Sony, Warner and Universal Music - the three major record labels - signed up to join the service.

Signs hung around the site of the WWDC clearly show the number seven, which is widely interpreted as meaning that a new version of iOS is on the cards - although most observers think new ranges of iPads and iPhones will only be launched towards the end of the year.

Its more than likely that Apple's MacBook range will get a refresh, with beefed-up MacBook Airs (although, going out on a limb, these may not get the pretty Retina displays) and supercharged MacBook Pro ranges. There's even talk of a facelift for the Mac Pro, the upgradeable desktop beloved of everyone who needs a bit of grunt behind their pretty design.

Apple watchers have been impressed and slightly frustrated at the extent to which Cupertino has kept itself incommunicado ahead of this year's event. Normally, a dribble of info leaks out from suppliers in the Far East and/or the distribution chain to the customers.

This year's event starts in an hour as this is written, at 6pm BST, and presentations are expected from chief executive Tim Cook, marketing head Phil Schiller, services supremo Eddy Cue and software boss Craig Federighi.

If we all cross our fingers and hope for the best, we might even get to hear from Jonathan Ive. The Reg's American correspondents will bring you all the news hot from the spokespersons' lips. ®

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