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All eyes on Apple Inc. for the 'next big thing' on Sept. 9

SAN FRANCISCO--Apple gadget lovers hungered for the “next big thing” on Thursday after the iconic company fired off invites to a mystery unveiling on Sept. 9.

Fueling rampant speculation regarding what the company has in store was the fact that the event will be held in the same performing arts center in Silicon Valley where late Apple co-founder Steve Jobs introduced the Macintosh computer in 1984.

Flint Center for the Performing Arts on a college campus near Apple's headquarters in the California city of Cupertino has greater seating capacity than venues the company has traditionally used for media events.

Images of the center posted online showed that a construction project seemingly related to the Apple event was taking shape behind white walls as tall as the building.

A security team guarded the scene.

“Clearly, putting the event in a larger venue and erecting some mysterious building sends cues it is something dramatic and important,” Forrester analyst Frank Gillett said of Apple's preparations.

“There is symbolism in that it is the place where the original Mac was introduced.”

Reading Tea Leaves

Apple has remained tight-lipped about what is in store at the event, opting instead to let anticipation, speculation and excitement focus attention on the iPhone, iPad, iPod and Macintosh maker.

“We are all trying to read the tea leaves,” Gillett said.

“But, September is an excellent time to introduce the iPhone, as well as any new wearable gadget.”

The famously secretive company offered scant clues in emailed invites that showed the Sept. 9 date in large numbers over the words: “Wish we could say more.”

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