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Rumour: iCloud will use new Time Capsule hardware

In just a few short hours Steve Jobs will step onto the stage at Apple Worldwide Developer Conference to reveal details of the latest versions of OSX Lion, iOS5 and the launch of iCloud.

Until now, it has been assumed by most pundits that iCloud would use Apple's giant new data centre in North Carolina, but a report on the often-reliable Cult of Mac web site turns that prediction on its head.

Secret sources 'close to the company' have suggested that iCloud will be based on an updated version of the company's Time Machine back-up solution, which will become an independent media hub which is accessible via a network connection even if the host computer is dormant.

The report says that the hardware, which may be equipped with an embedded Apple A5 CPU as seen in the iPad 2, will offer access to all of the files on your Mac - not just your iTunes library - via a remote Mac or iOS device.

Apparently, the technology to control the personal cloud device is already included in beta versions of the forthcoming OSX Lion operating system.

WWDC kicks off at 6pm UK time and we'll be live blogging all of the news from the event.