With the iPhone announced, the Mac news and rumour machine is taking new steps to get ahead of the curve.

This week's leading rumour relates to The Beatles, with a report claiming the act will release music through iTunes, perhaps as soon as 14 February — Valentine's Day.

A popular Beatles fan website, Abbeyrd, reports an "unnamed source" who said that a deal between the two Apple's has been struck, and it seems likely that the latest album, Love, will be made available through iTunes.

It's not clear if back catalogue material will be released. One trait both Apple Corp and Apple Inc share is a penchant for maintaining a tight hold of copyright and control.

The rumour began last year, when Beatles drummer Ringo Starr hinted that tracks from the band — the last major act to refuse to release music online — would be made available "at some point".

Then during a November web conference, EMI's former vice chairman David Munns again told the audience that music from the Fab Four would be made available online "soon".

Anticipation grew more intense when Apple boss Steve Jobs played a Beatles track during January's iPhone announcement. He chose 'Lovely Rita', and his demonstration also featured the album covers of Abbey Road and Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band projected on a huge screen onstage behind Jobs.

There is a rich history between the two firms, sadly, mainly in the courtroom. Most recently the two firms engaged in a high profile case over use of the Apple logo within the iTunes Store in London's High Court, but the Californian company prevailed.

Fortune magazine last year speculated a limited edition Beatles iPod may also emerge as part of this deal.

Meanwhile, mainstream media outlets, who also seek control of the news agenda, are focusing on why the iPhone will fail, using arguments familiar to many who were around when the iPod debuted.

The Times, for example, is asking if the iPhone spells the end for Apple's success, in an opinion column that calls a backlash against the company "inevitable".