Apple's planned media event on Sept. 9 in San Francisco will likely involve the debut of a new line of iPods. Earlier rumors suggested that the next iPods would include a centrally mounted camera for still images and video, which would present a challenge to low-cost portable video recorders such as the Flip. In addition, rumors have Apple designing one or more tablet PCs with multitouch capability, running either the iPhone OS or Snow Leopard.
will host a media event on Sept. 9 in San Francisco,
most likely to roll out its new line of iPods. A brightly colored invitation to
media featured a dancing silhouette from Apple's iPod advertising campaigns
along with the tagline, "It's only rock and roll, but we like it."
The event will start at 10 a.m. PDT
at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts Theater.
Should Apple choose to debut a new line of iPods at the event, the devices
could feature a long-rumored camera. In July, TechCrunch
cited Asian sources as saying Apple had placed a massive order for $10 camera
modules. Nearly simultaneously, MacRumors.com
published images of an iPod
Touch case design with a central camera hole.
At the time, a source suggested to TechCrunch that "everything but the
Shuffle may have a camera in it soon." A camera-equipped iPod would directly
digital-video recorders such as the Flip,
and the proximity to the holidays
would give Apple's competitors little time to devise a counter-product.
While Apple reported profits during its most recent quarter of $1.23
billion, a year-over-year rise of 12 percent, the company's quarterly iPod
sales declined around 7 percent, to 10.2 million units sold. Apple executives
claimed during a July 21 earnings call that this decline was due to an expected
cannibalization of the traditional iPod market by the iPod Touch.
Apple Chief Financial Officer Peter Oppenheimer suggested that the iPod
Touch and iPhone were developed precisely because Apple had anticipated a
natural decline in the sales of traditional iPods.
A general refresh of the iPod line with added functionality has the
potential to reduce sales of iPods with the traditional form factor. In
addition to a new line of iPods, Apple
is supposedly working on one or more tablet PCs
that could make their debut
An Aug. 7 research note by Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster suggested that
such a multitouch tablet would occupy the gap in Apple's product line between
the iPod Touch and the MacBook. "We estimate that Apple could sell about 2
[million] tablets" in 2010, wrote Munster,
which would translate into roughly $1.2 billion per year in revenue if sold at
an average of $600 per unit.
In addition to providing a new form factor for a portable computing device,
an Apple tablet with a 7- to 10-inch screen, running either the iPhone OS or
Snow Leopard, would potentially present a paradigm-shifting challenge
to e-readers such as Amazon.com's Kindle.
Despite the rumor mill, Apple has given no official word on when or whether
such a product will make its debut. There has also been no indication whether
Apple CEO Steve Jobs will make an appearance
at the event on Sept. 9, although he was traditionally present for product
rollouts before his liver transplant in April.