Apple event invitations through the years (pictures)

Today's invitation from Apple is just the latest in a long series of mysterious event announcements from the company. CNET rounds up some from recent years, along with the products that were introduced.

Josh Lowensohn
Josh Lowensohn joined CNET in 2006 and now covers Apple. Before that, Josh wrote about everything from new Web start-ups, to remote-controlled robots that watch your house. Prior to joining CNET, Josh covered breaking video game news, as well as reviewing game software. His current console favorite is the Xbox 360.
Josh Lowensohn
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Apple invites throughout the years

It's that time of year again. An Apple event is upon us.

This has happened before. Many times, in fact. We've collected some of the many invites from the company to its press events over the years. Click through to see what they were, and what was announced.

Editor's note: This slideshow first appeared last March following Apple's invite to its third-generation iPad unveiling. It was last updated on October 15, 2013.

2 of 19 Apple

2008's 'Let's Rock' event

Seen here is Apple's "Let's Rock" event in September 2008. The event brought the introduction of HD TV shows and iTunes 8, with its Genius recommendation feature. Hardware-wise, the company introduced its fourth-generation iPod Nano, second-generation iPod Touch, and new in-ear headphones.

3 of 19 Apple

2009's 'It's only rock and roll, but we like it' event

Apple's uber-pink "It's only rock and roll, but we like it" invite led to an event where the company introduced its fifth-generation iPod Nano, which added a video camera. Apple also once again updated the iPod Touch and rolled out a new version of iTunes (version 9).

4 of 19 Apple

Apple's 2007 'The beat goes on' event

Apple's "The beat goes on event" kicked off the first week of September 2008. Apple used it to launch the first-generation iPod Touch, as well as its third-generation iPod Nano, with video capabilities. Apple also relegated the previous iPod to "Classic" status, while introducing 99 cent ringtones and an app version of the iTunes Music Store.

5 of 19 Apple

Apple's unnamed 2010 music event

Instead of a familiar tag line, Apple put its logo into a guitar on the invitation to its 2010 fall music event. That event was host to a refresh of its iPod lineup and iTunes software, as well as the second-generation Apple TV set-top box.

6 of 19 Apple

Apple's 'The spotlight turns to notebooks' event

Leaving little imagination as to what the focus of this 2008 event would be, Apple spent the time at its Cupertino, Calif., campus to debut its unibody MacBook line, for its MacBook Pros and high-end MacBook (a version it later ditched). The company also unwrapped its 24-inch LED Cinema Display.

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Apple's 2006 'It's showtime' event

Apple's 2006 "It's showtime" event was host to the introduction of an improved version of its video-capable iPod, and second-generation iPod Shuffle and iPod Nano devices. Apple also launched iTunes 7, which featured a new "Cover Flow" view to look through albums and a movie section in the iTunes Store.

The event was also noteworthy in that Apple provided a preview of "iTV," a device it would be shipping in early 2007. That device would later be renamed Apple TV.

8 of 19 Apple

Apple's 'iPhone software roadmap' invitation in 2008

There was little doubting what this invitation and subsequent event were all about. The event, which took place the first week of March, played host to the unveiling of the iPhone software development kit. Apple CEO Steve Jobs had promised such a thing in an open letter to the Apple community on Apple's Web site in mid-October of 2007.

The event also brought the introduction of the App Store, Apple's software marketplace, which passed 50 billion app downloads in May 2013.

9 of 19 Apple

Apple's 'iPhone 3.0 software' invitation

It just doesn't get much more straightforward than this invitation from Apple in early 2009, covering the introduction of iPhone OS 3.0 (later renamed iOS). Among the big features introduced at a March event were multimedia messaging, a landscape keyboard, copy and paste, and systemwide search. iOS 3.0 also introduced push notifications and stereo Bluetooth.

10 of 19 Apple

Apple's 'sneak peek' of iPhone OS 4 in 2010

In yet another not-so-subtle invitation, Apple's early 2010 event brought the unveiling of iPhone OS 4.0, which made its way to the just-launched first-generation iPad a few months later.

The software's crowning feature was multitasking, a much-requested feature from users, as well as a new way to organize applications on the home screen with folders. The event also served as the introduction to iAd, Apple's mobile-advertising platform for iOS.

11 of 19 Apple

Apple's 2010 'Back to the Mac' event

Apple's October 2010 "Back to the Mac" event brought the sneak peek of Lion, the version of Mac OS X the company would go on to release in the summer of 2011. Apple also took the wraps off a second generation of MacBook Airs.

12 of 19 Apple

Apple's mysterious 'education announcement'

Apple stole some attention during 2012's Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas by inviting the press to an event it would be holding the following week in New York. That event ended up being the launch pad for iBooks 2, as well as Apple's iBooks Author software for the Mac. Apple also used the event to launch an iPad textbooks initiative with textbook publishers.

13 of 19 Apple

Apple's 'Let's talk iPhone' event

This was the invitation that led to Apple's event for the iPhone 4S last October. The event, held at Apple's headquarters in Cupertino, Calif., also brought price cuts for the iPod Touch and iPod Nano.

14 of 19 Apple

Apple's 'come see our latest creation' event

What was arguably Apple's vaguest invitation ended up being the launch pad for the first-generation iPad, as well as the debut of Apple's iWork for iPad and iBooks apps.

15 of 19 Apple

Apple's 'have to touch' invite

In February 2012, Apple sent out one of its few invites with an actual product in it. The tag line: "We have something you really have to see. And touch." The invite depicts someone tapping the calendar application on an iPad. The event, which took place on March 7, 2012, brought Apple's third-generation iPad.

16 of 19 Apple

It's almost time

Apple sent out invites in September 2012 with the tagline "It's almost time." Not so cryptically, the invite sported a shadowed "5" underneath the date, suggesting an iPhone 5, which is just what we got. Apple also used the event to preview new models of the iPod, which would go on sale the following month.

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We've got a little more to show you

Apple's special event in October 2012 brought the iPad mini alongside a redesigned iMac, 13-inch MacBook Pro with a Retina Display, and a surprise fourth-generation iPad.

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Sept. 10 event

Last month, Apple sent out invites to an event on September 10, 2013, with the tagline "This should brighten everyone's day." The press conference brought the iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C -- two new iPhone models.

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Oct. 22 event

Today Apple sent out invites for an event on October 22, where the company is expected to debut new versions of the iPad and iPad Mini, along with Macs. The event is taking place at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts Theater in San Francisco next Tuesday at 10 a.m. PT. CNET will be there live to bring you the news. Stay tuned for details on that.

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