Today brought a much-expected invitation for Apple's news event next week. It's just the latest in a long series of invitations from Apple that have provided a clue or two about what's to come.
Now is as good a time as any to take a quick look back at invitations to special Apple events. Some were not so subtle, while others added outright mystery about what was to be announced.
CNET has put together a quick rundown of some of the most interesting invites to come in the past few years, as well as what was announced at each.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 is currently on the cusp of surpassing 25 billion downloads.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Apple's 'have to touch' invite
And that brings us up to today, with the company's latest invitation. It's tag line: "We have something you really have to see. And touch." The invite depicts someone tapping the calendar application on what appears to be an iPad. The event, which takes place March 7, is expected to bring Apple's third-generation iPad.