Apple and EMI set for major announcement at 1pm

iTunes and The Beatles' label ready statement

Speculation is mounting that The Beatles‘ back catalogue will finally become available to download.

A press conference has been called at the EMI label headquarters in London tomorrow (April 2), where boss Steve Jobs will make a major announcement about iTunes.

The Beatles and Apple recently settled a long-running legal dispute over use of the Apple brand name, clearing the way for a deal to be struck over the digital release of their music. Since EMI control the band’s catalogue, and insiders are predicting that a deal between the two will be announced tomorrow.

The Beatles music has never been available to legally download before.

Recent changes in chart rules allowing downloads to count towards the singles chart have prompted speculation that when it is available, the band’s music could dominate the UK Top 40.

Depending on the details of tomorrow’s news, this could now happen as early as next Sunday (April 8). There is also speculation that the announcement could include information about the European launch of Apple‘s latest MP3 playing gadget, the iPhone, which is set to make its US debut this summer.

It is also rumoured Jobs‘ announcement could concern a new policy towards Digital Rights Management for downloads.

Come back to NME.COM tomorrow for full details of Jobs‘ speech.