If you didn’t know by now that Apple has an event lined up for tomorrow evening (6pm UK time), where have you been these past few weeks? The rumour mill has been rife, the component leaks plentiful and for the first time in a couple of years my interest is very much piqued.

During my time in the Apple market, I’ve seen some spectacular launches; iPod, iPhone, iPad being the obvious ones. And they’ve all had an air of something special leading up to the announcement. Sure, all Apple events are touted as being special, but every couple of years you feel they have something major, and groundbreaking to put out to the world. We felt it with the iPod (not the first disk based audio player, but the word iPod became ubiquitous, like Hoover and vaccum cleaners, to the devices function), the iPhone (not the first “smartphone”, but it sure as heck was the first that grabbed the public’s attention and grew the trend towards smart and away from feature phones), and the iPad (not the first tablet – are you seeing a pattern here?). And there’s definitely that feel in the air this time.

Everyone knew there was a phone coming, and a tablet when they were finally launched, but despite all the talk nobody had really made accurate predictions of what Apple would offer. In the same way, we’ve been hearing of the Apple TV (not convinced the time is right for that now) and iWatch for the past couple of years, so maybe this the time for Apple to release something new onto the world.

We know that Apple executives have talked about new products in new categories, and having their best product pipe line in 25 years. These things might mean nothing, but pair that with the fact that they have chosen to have this event at a venue they haven’t used for 15 years (and was also the site of their launch of their Macintosh computers 30 years ago), a site significantly larger than those used for other launches since even without the additional structure Apple are having built alongside the Flint Centre, I’m inclined to believe that Apple themselves are seeing this event as huge.

I honestly have no idea what’s being talked about on Tuesday, but it’s pretty safe to say that the next iPhone will be one thing that is mentioned, along with updates to iOS and OS X. My gut feeling though is that the iPhone will be the appetiser and not the main course. Will it be the rumoured iWatch? Maybe an Apple TV? Or could it be something else that Apple have been able to keep under wraps completely?

Whatever it is, history would suggest that if there’s something new, in a completely different category to the products already on the market from Apple, it probably won’t be released for a while, maybe in 3-6 months. With the first generation products, that’s normally Apple’s way. When we get to 2nd and 3rd generations, they normally ship quickly after announcement (let’s face it, if you know for sure there’s a better version of the product coming along in 3 months, are you going to buy the current model or wait a bit longer?).

What I hope is that Apple continue their trend of releasing products that, although maybe not the first to launch in their category, are the first to bring both style and substance, providing answers to questions many other manufacturers hadn’t even thought of asking yet. I’d like it to be a focussed event on one new category, similar to the other big launches in the past, and not a scattergun ‘5 minutes on 10 new things’ like they’ve done in recent years (although this has never been the Apple way with new category launches). If they can do that, then I’m sure the next few years will be as rosy as the last decade. If not, then the future will definitely bring changes. I’m expecting the former.

I’ll be watching with great interest and will be back later in the week to let you my thoughts on the event.