Internet superstar Kevin Rose, founder of Digg, Pownce, and Revision3 has a... er... spotty record at best when it comes to iPhone speculation. Still, we give him full marks for getting back on that rumor horse once again. This time, Kevin's saying he knows that sometime before the end of September we'll see:

  • Firmware 2.1, debuting on the iPod Touch (which will get a minor facelift).
  • iTunes 8.0 with "new features and functionality" he can't get into.
  • Price drops along the iPod line to keep them competitive with iPhone's $199
  • Rounded wide-screen nano, back in candy-bar form factor
  • Mac OS X 10.5.6 to feature Blu-Ray support.

Rose, who's locked in a battle with Barak Obama and Leo Laporte for the crown of top Twitter'er, asks that we follow him there, or on his own platform, Pownce, for more updates.

Our take? Last year's big pre-holiday Apple event introduced the iPod Touch, which debuted the new 1.1 firmware, including the WiFi Music Store, so that's quite possible. iTunes 8.0 is more opaque, however. If App Store integration wasn't a big enough marketing excuse to make the full point jump to iTunes 8.0, what would it take? (7.0, for example, added CoverFlow and iPod Games).

iPod price drops before the biggest selling season of the year make sense, as Apple dropped the iPhone $200 at last years event. Likewise a new Nano.

Blu-Ray support -- if it's to include BD movie playback -- is a bigger nut to crack, however, because the short sighted industry killers in Hollywood demands HDCP DRM compliance (i.e. hardware enforced, digital rights managed copy protection) over the full path, from player, through cables and graphic cards, into the monitor -- and in the OS. This caused a bit of an internet brouhaha when Microsoft "caved" for Vista. Laptops and the iMac would be far easier to implement, but is there business advantage enough for Steve Jobs to feel like doing it?

(via MacRumors)