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Apple planning September event?

No official word yet, but rumors are already swirling about the timing of the company's annual September event.

It's happened every September for the past few years, and it appears it's on track again: Apple is planning a keynote event rumored to take place the second week of September, according to AllThingsD's Peter Kafka.

Apple iPod Touch
Almost time for a tuneup for the iPod Touch? CNET

He says he has heard from "multiple music industry sources" that there will be an Apple event held sometime during the week of September 7. Now, this isn't a huge surprise since Apple has held an event announcing the latest upgrade to the iPod and iTunes around this same time every year. But this year there are some interesting variables in play.

It's essentially guaranteed that Apple will announce upgrades across the iPod line, including the iPod Touch and Nano, and perhaps even kill off some older models.The iPod Touch is rumored to be getting a camera, digital compass, and microphone. Other clues have pointed to the Nano also getting equipped with a camera.

Of more interest perhaps is whether Apple will use this event to debut the oft-discussed and long-rumored Apple tablet. Different sources have pointed to a 10-inch touch-screen device that's essentially a giant iPod Touch being available either this fall or in early 2010. It's rumored to have a music element to it, through a new album format supposedly called "Cocktail," making its introduction at a music-focused event seem plausible. The timing would also make sense if Apple wanted to establish some solid pre-holiday buzz before the annual winter shopping season.

And finally, many are wondering if Apple CEO Steve Jobs will use the September event--if it happens--to make his first public appearance since returning from medical leave earlier this year. Apple executive Phil Schiller has filled in for Jobs at these keynote-style events since January, but since Jobs has been officially back at the company's helm since the end of June, the September event would be the first opportunity for him to return to the spotlight.