Apple has scheduled a special press event for May 1, with CEO Steve Jobs planning to make "some exciting announcements" claims Cnet.

Apple will not discuss the event, but Apple watchers say the company may use it to launch new products or verify its plans for a chain of own-branded retail stores.

Apple seldom holds such events – the last it staged was for the launch of the iMac in 1998. Industry analysts point to the dwindling supply of iBooks currently available to distributors, claiming this suggests Apple may add to or update its iBook line.

During last week's shareholders meeting, Jobs said: "I think you'll see some major products announced this year – and not at keynotes."