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Apple: birthday surprises on April Fools?

updated 10:45 am EST, Thu February 9, 2006

Apple birthday suprises?

Apple may be planning a birthday bash in the form of exciting new products, according to a new analyst report. Charles Wolf of Needham & Co. says that Apple could use April 1--Apple's 30th birthday--as an opportunity to introduce an Intel-based iBook as well as the "real" video iPod. Wolf says that a failure by Apple to have an Intel iBook ready for purchase by the May beginning of the K-12 school-buying season would significantly jeopardize Apple's education sales, in which the iBook represents an "increasing fraction." Wolf noted that "at the end of his Macworld keynote address in January, Steve Jobs, Apple's CEO, noted that the company will celebrate its 30th birthday on April 1, 2006. While it's possible that Jobs was simply pointing out the longevity of Apple, we interpret it as a signal that Apple will hold a major birthday party in the form of new product event around that date, most likely in early April."

Wolf cited saying that his source indicate the new version will feature a screen that occupies the entire front of the iPod, and utilize a touch-activated scroll screen that may incorporate Apple's recent touch-screen gesture patent). If the "real" video iPod retains the same form factor as the current-generation iPod, the new screen will be three times as large, delivering an entirely new experience for video watching.

"In our opinion, the rapid increase in the iTMS's video offerings is a strong signal that an iPod with a much larger screen is on the way," says Wolf. Apple has added to the amount of video content available at iTunes with the addition of Showtime series, MTV, COMEDY CENTRAL, Nickelodeon, ESPN, and more, fueling the video iPod speculation. Wolf also predicted the addition of more content as the relationship with Disney becomes stronger.

"In view of Apple's increasingly cozy relationship with Disney, we would not be surprised to see ESPN's Sport Center show up at the store in the near future," Wold said his research reprt. "In our opinion, the rapid increase in the iTMS's video offerings is a strong signal that an iPod with a much larger screen is on the way."

In addition, he noted reports of Apple shutting down production of the current generation of the video-iPod.

"The other event that could signal the imminent arrival of the video iPod are reports coming out of Asia that Apple has materially reduced its orders of the iPod with video viewing capabilities that it introduced last October. One hypothesis is that sales of this model have fallen below Apple's previous expectations for he quarter. An equally plausible hypothesis is that Apple is draining inventories of the iPod from the distribution channel in advance of its introduction of the new model."

Wolf also speculated on the possible release of a new Mac mini for use as a "digital content management and delivery device for the living room," indicating that a new version is in the works.

Wolf maintains a 'hold' rating on Apple stock.




by MacNN Staff

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Comments

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Yeah, right

    Every year it seems that someone is prognoticating that apple's going to be releasing something on their birthday, and they never do. The same thing abounded when the mac's 20th rolled around. Nothing then either (not barely a whisper of recognition, either).

  1. ShyGuy91284

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Please, no.....

    I don't think the iPod prediction could be more off. I don't want a touchscreen interface. Unless your using a stylus to keep the screen clean, fingerprints are the last thing you'd want on a screen. Maybe there will be a new iPod. But if there is, I don't think it'll have a touchscreen interface of any kind.

  1. beverson

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    re: yeah, right

    What about the 20th Anniversary Macintosh? Granted, that was the 20th anniversary of Apple (10 years ago), but that was a special product. I don't recall if it was released on April 1, but still.

    In fact, I would think that more of a precedent has been set -- even a small one -- for celebration of Apple's birthday rather than that of the Macintosh. Sadly I have no inside knowledge, just speculation.

    (And, did you mean prognosticating?)

  1. atFault

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    re: yeah, right

    The 20th Anniversary Macintosh (TAM) was designed to recognize Apple's 20th Anniversary, but it ended up being released around a year later than it's actual birthday. It will be interesting to see what they pull off and when. Apple is a very different company now, but no less significant. The TAM was truly an amazing machine for it's day, I only hope that Apple can pull off something that rivals the TAM, in terms of it's current day sophistication, for it's 30th.

  1. toddtmw

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Spell Check

    Is this site run by 12-year-olds? This article is riddled with typos and misspellings. It’s not just this article, either. I've noticed a much higher occurrence of typos on this site lately, including the word “celebarate” on the main page for several days before I finally sent them feedback telling them about it. What is the deal?

  1. boombashi

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    re: Yeah, right

    When is the last time Steve Jobs said that "they plan on doing something for the 30th anniversary, but they aren't sure what". Meaning they have probably been planning for the last year or so to do something huge. Funny thing, Apple always seems to be looking at the future while everyone else that doubts them is looking at the present or the past.

  1. kerryb

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Don't hold your breath..

    Only hardcore fans of Apple and/or its great products will even be thinking about number 30 this year. Most iPod owners think Apple is a new hip company and could care less about the past 30 years. Don't expect any anniversary products from Apple, period.

  1. Monstermind

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    "Real"?

    What makes this alleged "real video iPod" real as opposed to the current model? Is it to have different capabilities than the current one, or is it just a bigger (and easier to break, IMHO) screen?

  1. mymacluvsme

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    20th anniversary mac

    was introduced on March 20 1997 and discontinued on March 14 1998, info via everymac.com.

  1. LouZer

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Re: yeah right

    When is the last time Steve Jobs said that "they plan on doing something for the 30th anniversary, but they aren't sure what". Meaning they have probably been planning for the last year or so to do something huge.

    Where did you get this quote? All it says above is that he mentioned it was their birthday. Big f'ing deal. That's like saying "Hey, next month is Black History Month", and everyone then assuming they'll be releasing a MLK version of the iPod or something.

    Funny thing, Apple always seems to be looking at the future while everyone else that doubts them is looking at the present or the past.

    The TAM wasn't a Steve Jobs thing. And it certainly wasn't anything to be really proud of. It was a $7500 computer, people. That's right. 7500 freakin' dollars. That sounds like apple. Make an overpriced product, call it a special edition, and see how many suckers....er....I mean loyal customers..... buy it. Answer. Not many.

    Oh, yes, funny. Love how Apple looked so far into the futire they missed the whole CD-RW revolution. And how they're looking forward always seems to s**** over their current users who have to pay more for a computer, then more for all the additional c*** they need to buy because Apple's latest offering of this or that makes their current peripherals 'obsolete'.

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