Apple's Next-Gen iPods Experiencing Technical Difficulties, Reports Claim
Apple may be having technical difficulties with its upcoming generation of iPods,
according to a number of online sources. The issue in question centers on the
cameras allegedly being integrated into the media-player devices.
Sources trusted by both AppleInsider and Hardmac apparently
told the sites that problems had developed with the camera modules, but further
details were not forthcoming. A new iPod line is expected as the focus of
Apple's Sept. 9 event in San Francisco, but a technological issue with the
devices has the potential to delay their ultimate release to the street.
Invitations to media for that event at San Francisco's Yerba
Buena Center for the Arts Theater feature a dancing silhouette against a
colorful background, above the tagline, "It's only rock and roll, but we like
it." Despite that line being a variation on a Rolling Stones lyric, some online
pundits have suggested that Apple could be planning to announce a long-rumored
deal to place the Beatles catalog on iTunes.
Rumors about cameras integrated into the iPod have been long-running. In July, TechCrunch reported, via Asian sources, that Apple had ordered a massive quantity of $10 camera modules; another blog, MacRumors.com, published spy photos allegedly of an iPod Touch case with a camera hole.
A full rundown of Apple iPod rumors can be found at TechCrunch.
A camera-equipped iPod would be a game-changer in the
digital-video recorder category, possibly endangering product lines such as the
Flip Video device, whose
parent company Pure Digital Technologies was acquired by Cisco Systems on March
19 for $590 million in stock and $15 million in retention-based equity
Despite reported overall profits of $1.23 billion during its
most recent quarter, Apple saw its quarterly iPod sales decline over the same
period by 7 percent, to 10.2 million units sold. During a July 21 earnings call,
Apple Chief Financial Officer Peter Oppenheimer suggested that this decrease was
due to a natural cannibalization of the traditional iPod market by the iPod
Touch and iPhone line.
Besides the much-rumored new iPods, Apple will supposedly
release one or more tablet PCs at some point in 2010. Piper Jaffray analyst Gene
Munster has been steadily drumbeating the release of such a device, noting in an
Aug. 7 research note that a tablet would occupy the space in Apple's product
line between the iPod Touch and the MacBook.
Equipped with a 7- to 10-inch screen, an Apple tablet would
possess functionality for a wide range of tasks; it could potentially serve as
an e-reader, or as a second screen for a user's MacBook. Munster estimated that
a multi-touch tablet would sell 2 million units in 2010, feeding Apple another
$1.2 billion per revenue if the devices sold at an average of $600 per
However, the rumor mill has generally pooh-poohed the notion that Apple will use the Sept. 9 event to debut a tablet. A larger question at the moment is whether CEO Steve Jobs, still recovering from a liver transplant in April for an unspecified condition, will make an appearance.