updated 03:05 pm EST, Thu January 5, 2006
Analyst MWSF predictions
Investment research firm PiperJaffray today issued some new predictions regarding Apple's highly-anticipated announcements at Macworld Expo next week. Apple CEO Steve Jobs will deliver a keynote address in San Francisco to Mac fans and the press on Tuesday, January 10th, from 12:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. ET. The firm believes Apple will introduce an updated iPod shuffle, an Intel-based Mac mini and iBook, iTunes video content, and a new consumer electronics device. The firm also expects nearly all Macs will be updated with Intel by the end of calendar year 2006 or early 2007.
Updated iPod shuffle
PiperJaffray says it is likely Apple will announce a new iPod shuffle at Macworld. "We believe a new shuffle will have similar capacity to existing shuffles, but a slightly different form factor and potentially a small screen," the firm said. Apple.com indicates that 1GB iPod shuffles are sold out and supply will not be replenished until mid-January. "We believe this is a sign that a new shuffle is coming at Macworld; otherwise Apple would likely have refi lled the channel," said analyst Gene Munster.
Intel Based Mac mini and iBook
Apple has indicated that Intel based Macs will become available in Mid-2006. "We believe there is a good chance that we will see some form of consumer focused Intel based Mac at Macworld, likely an iBook and/or Mac mini," Munster said. PJ also expects nearly all Macs will be updated with Intel by the end of calendar year 2006 or early 2007.
iTunes Video Content
"We would be surprised if Apple does not announce new video content offerings at Macworld," Munster said. "We expect new TV shows and, potentially, feature films will be added to the existing offerings available at iTunes."
New Consumer Electronics Devices
Lastly, the firm said there is a possibility that Apple will introduce some form of new consumer electronics device, continuing on the trend towards being "more of an entertainment/media technology company," not just a computer company. "We see a move into more consumer electronics products as interesting, but not critical for Apple's continued growth," Munster said.