Apple is gearing up for what promises to be an historic Macworld Expo in San Francisco.

In an Expo countdown on the home page of its US site, Apple has declared in a banner headline that its announcements will be “Beyond the rumor sites. Way beyond.”

This is a bold claim, because most rumour sites are touting flat-panel iMacs, with others claiming that Apple will launch anything from a handheld computer called the iWalk, to a dodecahedron G5.

Apple revealed last year that it plans to launch an "innovative, revolutionary and different" new consumer product.

Speculation over Apple's product announcements further intensified after the company announced that CEO Steve Jobs' keynote address will take place a day earlier than planned, on Monday, January 7.

Apple has revealed that the keynote will be webcast in QuickTime from San Francisco's Moscone Centre.