To quote Russell Brand, "I'm 'cited" right now. Why? Put simply, Macworld Expo. Next week, Apple CEO Steve Jobs will deliver his annual home town speech to a rapt audience.

Mac consumers, professionals, business partners, analysts and an ever-expectant media will be full of expectation. This year's keynote's scheduled to last two hours - and Jobs is going to use that time to discuss a few of the products and strategies Apple will pursue in the coming year.

He'll pull no punches - this could be "the big one".

This year's event will see Apple competing for press coverage with another great annual trade show, CES, which takes place in the same week. Apple will be going up against Microsoft and its partners more than ever before, particularly since the latter firm is expected to ship its all-new Vista OS to consumers before the end of the month.

With this in mind it's just too good a chance to miss for Apple not to use the Jobs speech to compare Vista with its own forthcoming OS, Mac OS X 10.5, 'Leopard'. And Apple is very likey to take the wraps off of a few of Leopard's hitherto well-hidden "super-secret" features. It has to generate excitement not just among the rabid Mac faithful making the trip to San Francisco, but also to a wider congregation of Windows users who may well be looking for a good excuse to switch to a new platform.

To help achieve this, the company's going to need to generate press coverage. It's not going to manage this without adding a little dash of Steve Jobs-era Apple "secret sauce".

So the predictable iLife 07 and iWork 07 product announcements won't flick the media mustard. And reports from within Apple's UK sales channels claiming Mac minis and some notebooks are growing scarce may also be insufficient to generate the attention the company strategically requires.

Analysts now predict Apple will show a more developed version of the iTV (name subject to change) media streaming device Jobs talked about during the company's 12 September event, which also saw the arrival of new iPods, iPod nanos and the really rather special and soooo small iPod shuffle. The limitation of iTV is that as a media streaming device for Macs, while it may attract attention by virtue of its iTunes connection and its potential as a mass market disruptive technology that could change media consumption, but there may be similar devices for the dominant Windows platform making their debut at CES.

A new, slim notebook, potentially integrating flash memory may attract attention. There's a huge number of 12-inch PowerBook owners hoping for a small form factor notebook with an Intel processor before they upgrade.

But it's the rumours Apple may well deliver on that are most likely to attract the media blaze, which will itself help to ignite the company's marketing push for the first part of 2007.

Chief among these rumours sits the iPhone. Whether that device debuts or not is - to an extent - irrelevant. The prevalence of the rumours have done their work to generate attention for the firm. Should the product emerge, there's no doubt Apple will have a fait accompli on its hands.

I've only touched on some of the possibilities here. Apple has a huge arsenal of products: software products; hardware products; music products and service products; any one of which could be rejigged, revised and redeveloped to create a sense of excitement.

And, on Tuesday 9 January between 6-8pm (UK time), Apple's boss does have one more proverbial tool at his disposal. Most avid watchers know when it's going to hit, when Jobs smiles slightly near the end of his keynote to deliver his almost legendary phrase: "Just one more thing..."

Are you curious?