As reported last week, Apple CEO Steve Jobs will deliver the opening keynote address at Apple Expo Paris 2003 on September 16.

He will deliver the keynote speech launching the twentieth Apple Expo Paris at the Palais des Congres at 10am (9am GMT). The exhibition runs September 16-20 at the Porte de Versailles.

Speculation on Macworld UK’s Forum has been rife since Macworld asked readers what they expect to see announced in Paris. 2,120 readers cast their Mac hats in the ring, and over a third (37 per cent) of these think new PowerBooks are coming this autumn.

Top favourite: PowerBook upgrades

Apple’s 15-inch PowerBook has a Titanium enclosure, while 12- and 17-inch models host Aluminium chassis. The little and large models in the range also have Bluetooth and AirPort Extreme built-in.

37 per cent of respondents in the poll expect to see Apple at least bring some consistency into the PowerBook range. "They should refresh the 15-inch PowerBook. I'd expect it to still be G4-based but with a new enclosure, Bluetooth and Airport Extreme", said one reader.

Another reader believes an upgrade to the 15-inch PowerBook is "very likely and long overdue," expecting it to be "bought into line with the 12-inch and 17-inch versions."

iBook G4 ‘unlikely’ upgrade, readers say

Many readers are debating over whether the iBook should be upgraded with a G4 processor and whether PowerBooks are likely to be upgraded to G5 processors soon.

A number of reasons are given for not upgrading the iBook to G4. One reader cites a reduced battery life, others point out Apple’s need to distinguish between its consumer iBooks and professional PowerBooks. Introducing G4 processors to the iBook range would make that difference less obvious.

Readers suggest that Apple needs to upgrade the PowerBook to G5 before the "aging G3 processor" in the iBook can be replaced, but many consider it unlikely to happen soon, because of problems with heat dissipation.

One reader predicts that: "The next version of the G4 (the 7457) will be included in the new PowerBooks announced in Paris"

Other hardware upgrades and introductions expected by Macworld readers include a G5 Xserve product and a Bluetooth mouse and keyboard.

Few respondents think Apple will introduce a 19-inch Mac (3 per cent) or a 60GB iPod (3 per cent) seriously.

Europe wants the music, it wants those iTunes sounds

The Macworld poll showed that 20 per cent of readers are hoping that the iTunes Music Store will reach Europe. One reader predicted that following the recent launch of Microsoft’s online music service with Peter Gabriel's OD2, Apple has no excuse not to provide the iTunes Music Store in Europe.

Another is skeptical about Apple's claims that pan-European licensing issues are delaying this: "It is a stalling tactic," a reader accused.

One reader believes Jobs will save the best news to be the last news shared in his keynote speech: "I wouldn't be surprised if iTunes Music Store for Europe was his ‘one more thing’ speech".

A more pessimistic reader felt it more likely Jobs will announce that iTunes Music Store is "coming soon" to Europe, "I cannot see anything coming until next year", he said.

Readers question the wisdom of Apple announcing iTunes Music Store for Windows in Paris, one reader remarked: "I don't see what Apple would accomplish (other than howls from the audience) by announcing iTunes Music Store for Windows, since it would be US-only".

Speaking on the Forum, some readers are putting their money on a European iPhoto print service following recent recent news that Kodak is preparing to launch its online photo-development service Ofoto in the UK and Europe.

One reader suggest Apple may at last introduce the European Sherlock Channels Jobs promised last time he was in Paris. It is over a year since Apple UK sources confirmed the company is working on local content for UK users of Sherlock.

Cat in the box

Panther could be crouching round the corner, as 15 per cent of respondents expect the immediate availability of Mac OS X 10.3 (Panther) to be announced in Paris. Others believe a release date will be confirmed, though one reader was uncertain: "There are still internal builds happening so the release of Panther is not much of a possibility", they said.

This week's poll (visible in the left-hand margin) asks: "After Cheetah, Puma, Jaguar and Panther, which big cat should Mac OS X 10.4 be named after?" Have your say online.