Apple’s iBooks Updates; Read-Aloud Function Added
Apple’s iBooks Store could be getting an upgrade this month

Apple is tipped to be holding a media event in New York at the end of this month, with the emphasis thought to be on publishing rather than the rumored iPad 3.

Kara Swisher of technology website AllThingsD believes that, according to "sources close to the situation" Apple is planning an important announcement, which will be about media products and not hardware.

"According to sources close to the situation, Apple is planning an important - but not large-scale - event to be held in New York at the end of this month that will focus on a media-related announcement," Swisher said.

Apple's senior vice president of Internet Software and Services, Eddy Cue, is expected to be involved in the announcement; Cue is in charge of the iTunes Store, AppStore, iBookstore, iAds and Apple's iCloud service.

TechCrunch - which claims to have confirmed the event with an independent source - believes that the event will focus on eBooks and publishing.

"The event will unveil improvements to the iBooks platform, according to the same source, and is not 'major.' I'm still trying to track down other details, such as the exact day and time and will keep you posted," Alexia Tsotsis told TechCrunch readers.

Apple, based in Cupertino, Calif., will be keen to catch up on lost ground in the eBook race, with Amazon's Kindle Fire proving incredibly popular over the Christmas shopping period, thanks in part to its $199 price.

It is rare for the technology giant to hold an event in New York - large announcements are usually held in San Francisco or California - and the last event held in the Big Apple was to announce The Daily, an iPad-only newspaper produced in partnership with Rupert Murdoch's News Corp.

Apple is widely expected to announce the iPad 3 sometime this month and release the as-yet unconfirmed device in either March or April, while a television set - also rumoured - might break cover later in the year. Neither product is expected to be mentioned at the New York event.