updated 09:55 am EDT, Tue September 1, 2009
Piper, Kaufman on Jobs
Two major analysts are split on whether Steve Jobs will take the stage at next week's Apple publicity event. Gene Munster of Piper Jaffray suggests that he will, in a move that could serve as the "first public confirmation of Jobs' health since his return to the company." Munster notes that Jobs' last presentation for an Apple event was on October 14th of last year, when he helped to introduce the first unibody MacBooks.
The analyst argues that Jobs' presence at the event might consequently provide a "slight" boost to shares. Kaufman Bros'. Shaw Wu holds a similar opinion, but proposes that the event's host will most likely be Phil Schiller, Apple's senior VP for worldwide product marketing. Schiller stood in for Jobs while the latter was on a six-month medical leave, which finally ended in June.
Both Wu and Munster agree that new iPods and a new version of iTunes should make their debut on September 9th. Munster reiterates reports that several iPod models will get cameras, while Wu proposes both larger storage capacities and lower prices for the players, meant to provide competition for Microsoft's Zune HD.
Wu echoes sentiments that Apple will not introduce a tablet computer until 2010, but adds that "checks" show the company is buying screens sized between 4 and 12 inches. Such purchases could support the notion of multiple tablet models.
Regarding the iTunes Store, Munster comments that Apple may expand TV and movie options, providing more content and/or expanding viewing rights on multiple devices.