Apple may be readying iLife update

Information posted to its Web site makes reference to iLife '06 and a planned product called iWeb.

Information that was apparently posted to Apple Computer's Web site suggests the company is planning an update to its iLife suite of consumer software and is also planning a product called iWeb.

A support page for Apple's Garageband music program made reference to both iLife '06 and iWeb, but offered scant details. The current version of iLife, released last year, is iLife '05. Apple does not have a product called iWeb, but it does have its .Mac Internet subscription service as well as its Safari Web browser.

The information was no longer on Apple's site as of midmorning Thursday, but Apple rumor site has posted a screenshot. Several readers of that site also claimed to have screenshots.

An Apple representative declined to comment.

Apple typically announces a number of new products during CEO Steve Jobs' keynote speech at Macworld Expo, though the company closely guards information ahead of the announcement. In two recent cases, the company has sued to unmask those who leaked information about forthcoming products.

This year's address is scheduled for Tuesday morning at San Francisco's Moscone Center. Much of the speculation has centered on whether Jobs will introduce the first Intel-based Macs at the show.

Whether or not Apple updates iLife, the company needs to debut the first of the Intel-based Macs at the show, said Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster. When he announced the Intel switch last year, Jobs pledged to have Intel Macs in the market by June, but has not said whether they might come earlier than that.

"Despite the fact they said it would be the middle of next year, they need to have an Intel-based Mac on Tuesday," Munster said. He said he expects at least one model to be announced, though it may not ship immediately.

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