Analysts expects new iPods, Macs at special event

Posted:
in iPod + iTunes + AppleTV edited January 2014
Over the last two days several Wall Street analysts have weighed in with their expectations for next week's Apple special event, predicting updates to Apple's hard disk drive (HDD) iPods and Macintosh product lines.



In a research note released to clients on Tuesday, American Technology Research analyst Shaw Wu said Apple appears ripe to introduce an iPod with video capabilities and revisions to one or more of its Macintosh products.



"We find the timing [of the special event] interesting and somewhat expected as we left the recent September 7 event thinking Apple's been working on a whole lot more than just an iPod nano and iTunes ROKR cell phone," said Wu.



The analyst believes that after two years of studying the video market and negotiating with content partners, Apple may be ready to go to market with a first-generation video-capable iPod.



"If Apple can charge under $400 and preferably $299, we believe it will sell well. At higher price points, we believe it may be difficult to drive high volume," the analyst said. "We are also picking up indications that Apple could announce an optional external "video-out" module that attaches to an iPod video meaning one can output the video to a TV or external screen."



Wu added that new Mac offerings could include a Power Mac G5 with dual-core PowerPC processors andPCI Express to bridge the gap to Intel processors.



Gene Munster, an analyst for PiperJaffray, also expects Apple to introduce new HDD iPods, but says he'd be surprised to see any new Macs "other than incremental changes to speed and memory."



"We believe that it is most likely that Apple will launch either a video iPod or a smaller form factor high capacity (>10GB) iPod at next Wednesday's "One More Thing..." event," said Munster.



Like Wu, Munster also believes a video iPod would need to be reasonably priced below $400 and be accompanied by a significant library of iTunes accessible video content to not be anything more than a niche product in the near term.



While not yet making any predictions on the Apple special event, UBS analyst Ben Reitzes this week also tossed around rumors of new HDD iPods, speculating that a video iPod could be near.



"Our checks back recent reports that a handheld device capable of video playback could be in the works," Reitzes said. "We would expect possible new devices to be HDD-based and look a bit like a larger white iPod with a bigger color screen."



As first reported by AppleInsider last month, reliable sources have said to expect new HDD iPods and Pro Macs during the month of October.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 50
    Is there any 'new' news in there or just a re-hashing of the current hype? (at first read... sounds like re-hashing)
  • Reply 2 of 50
    I'm not sure why people are only predicting minor speed bumps on the pro machines. The ideal time for a complete form factor overhaul is NOW, not when the switch to Intel is made.



    First, it would get people who are waiting for Intel to possibly make an earlier purchase.



    Second, it will minimize the perceived impact of the Intel switch. Why would Apple want to make a bigger deal out of the switch to Intel than necessary? Just to raise a red flag in front of average consumers who otherwise wouldn't know diddly about the difference between PowerPC and Intel Inside? They get a sweet new form factor now, that they can ride for a couple of years, and the Intel switch will become much more seamless of a transititon in the consumer's mind.



    And third, there's not gonna be a video iPod. No way, no how.
  • Reply 3 of 50
    "We are also picking up indications that Apple could announce an optional external "video-out" module that attaches to an iPod video meaning one can output the video to a TV or external screen."



    Maybe someone has been listening to all those complaints about distortion on the iPod photo's headphone/AV-out connector.



    HD QuickTime has only recently been refined to stability on Windows machines. The only reason I personally would ever be interested in an iPod video is so I could take movies around a friend's house without the risk of scratching up a DVD. Unfortunately, I've been told movies are treated by a different set of laws than music CDs and it doesn't sound as though the technology's quite there for people to start downloading and playing entire 1-2 hour videos from their iPod (or perhaps it's the Hollywood support that isn't yet there). Still, it'd be nice if I could download and play decent quality (HD264) music videos from iTMS. It'd be a start. Maybe some animated shorts, too... Pixar will be using this one...
  • Reply 4 of 50
    rdas7rdas7 Posts: 32member
    Didn't the invitation say "ONE more thing"? So how would new powerbooks, new powermacs and new ipods constitute "one" more thing?



    It's gotta be ONE of the above. Either laptops, desktops OR ipods. However, speed bumping any of the portable or desktop line would hardly constitute a media event - heck Apple even started shipping bumped mini's without changing the labels!



    Dual-Core PowerMacs would be sweet - but they'd only have a 12mo' lifespan until Apple moved to an entirely new processor (Intel)... so what's the point? Maybe to recoup some of the development cost... :/



    Speed bumped PowerBooks could be nice (last update was in February) but again... the new Intel-based PowerBooks are the first models expected to do the switch in mid-2006... :/



    It's the year of HD: I'm thinking iPod. The low capacity is taken care of with the Shuffle (512, 1GB) and Nano (2GB, 4GB)... Apple would make way more money *this* Christmas by refreshing the upper end of the iPod family than it would by bumping the computers.
  • Reply 5 of 50
    I think that a major overhaul of any of the Macintosh lines is not going to prove as fruitful as a delay till the new Intel chips arrive. The reason is that the new chips will afford Apple the ability to reduce form factor and condense existing circuitry: the new chips require less power and less space for cooling. This is why we haven't seen a new Powerbook: the Intel chips are going to allow the next generation form factor, something that the G5 won't allow. Plus, most high-end users are waiting it out, and most entry level customers don't know the differnce.



    There may also be supply constraints that could contribute with a new form factor roll-out. Apple has said before that Intel will be a world class chip supplier: they're damn right. While G5s are not in shortage, they are definitely not in abundance. Apple may have already placed the last large-quantity orders that it needs to ride them over till the Intel macs hit. Why should they try to scrounge around for G5s from IBM when Intel's will be right at their door?



    As for a video iPod, I can see how that is the next logical step and how Apple may have tested the available market with the nano's previous release. However, a price point of 299.99 is realistically not going to happen. Apple is going to have to order the new parts, screens, etc at a premium until demand evens out with supply, and newer parts and newer assembly processes mean reduced profits for Apple. Apple, historically, retains a very high margin on their products. In all likelihood, Apple will place a single new ViPod at 499.99 at the height of the lineup, and will probably put the new 80GB HDD technology in it.



    Just in time for the holidays. Isn't marketing Genius?

    -Brian
  • Reply 6 of 50
    fieldorfieldor Posts: 213member
    I think the video iPod is not likely. I don't see the point of it yet, there aren't many media that support it, to make it profitable. Apple knows it better then we do, they have there own research teams to analyse this.



    My gut says no video iPod. When was the last time a one more thing? was an iPod. I think it might have been once, but all the other times it was mac related.



    My 2 cents ( for the first time)
  • Reply 7 of 50
    Well, the last media event was iPod/iTunes-centric, so the "one more thing..." could (and I think will) be a new iPod with video capabilities.



    A lot of people are quite happy to watch videos on a PSP screen, so I don't see size as a problem. And it's been known for a while now that Apple will start selling music videos through iTMS, so they will have some content available at launch. Plus, as someone in another thread pointed out, there was no iTMS when the first iPod was released, and that didn't seem to be a big deal; people will compress their own movies/TV shows and put them on the iPod, and buy a few music videos from iTMS until Apple launches a proper movie store.
  • Reply 8 of 50
    nagrommenagromme Posts: 2,834member
    "an optional external "video-out" module"



    I don't about HIS iPod, might mine already has TV-out STANDARD Only the cable is optional.



    "a niche product in the near term"



    That's why iPod video--if it happens at all next week--should be handled as merely an EXTRA, like photos and calendars. MUSIC should stay the main focus, with video playback being a cool extra that you can use or not. Market it that way, and you don't have to wait for lots of content. Just let people play their own iMovies, even.
  • Reply 9 of 50
    Intel-based Mac mini.
  • Reply 10 of 50
    Quote:

    Originally posted by nagromme

    That's why iPod video--if it happens at all next week--should be handled as merely an EXTRA, like photos and calendars. MUSIC should stay the main focus, with video playback being a cool extra that you can use or not. Market it that way, and you don't have to wait for lots of content. Just let people play their own iMovies, even.



    Yes, exactly. I'm sure some people think looking at pictures is useless on an iPod screen (especially a nano screen!), but for everyone else it's a nice feature to have, even if you don't use it all that much.



    BTW, did I mention that they added official support for VIDEO PODCASTS to iTunes? That alone would be a great reason to have a video-capable iPod.
  • Reply 11 of 50
    rdas7rdas7 Posts: 32member
    Yeah, the way forward would be (IF at all) a new section of the iTMS selling music videos, plus some new video/podcast content (not just TWiT!!!), maybe an partnership announcement like "Hey we've got all of Madonna's music videos plus all the Pixar shorts available for 99¢ each!"



    That could lead the way for other content producers to jump on once they see the numbers (just like the original iTMS was held back until negotiations with record labels could be made...) even if the iTVS opens with only (for example) Universal movies available, it'll be short order before EVERYONE jumps in because there's simply no other alternative in the marketplace today.



    In the short term, iPod video could work on the back of music videos and some video podcast-related content (eg. CNN 10min news roundup)



    It would spur new content development, people making content especially for the platform. Not because it's the best, but because at the moment it's the only one out there! (The early bird gets one million subscribers, anyone?)



    Longer term, Apple are still positioned as the only company with a complete delivery system for media content (be it audio or video). They've got FairPlay to lock it down, they've got QuickTime to render it, they've got iPod and iTunes to play and manage. Everyone else has promises and a subscription model addiction.



    I'm not saying they WILL, I'm just saying they are just about the only ones who CAN offer that complete solution.
  • Reply 12 of 50
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Bmaier

    I think that a major overhaul of any of the Macintosh lines is not going to prove as fruitful as a delay till the new Intel chips arrive. The reason is that the new chips will afford Apple the ability to reduce form factor and condense existing circuitry: the new chips require less power and less space for cooling. This is why we haven't seen a new Powerbook: the Intel chips are going to allow the next generation form factor, something that the G5 won't allow. Plus, most high-end users are waiting it out, and most entry level customers don't know the differnce.



    Sure, the Intel chips are going to allow a reduced form factor. That doesn't eliminate a form factor change now. When Intel goes in, you get a size reduction a la Wallstreet to Pismo -- thinner, lighter, a couple more bells and whistles.



    Also, most high-end users I know are looking to get the very last PPC models, so they can A) ride out the wave of initial Intel bugginess, B) maximize their investment in current expensive PPC pro apps.



    It's gonna be some butt-kicking new pro machines come next week, me thinks!
  • Reply 13 of 50
    bwhalerbwhaler Posts: 260member
    Comical article.



    Proving the "Pro's" on Wall Street know less than ThinkSecret and AppleInsider.



    Anyway, I just got a nano, and I am all about the same form factor, so I couldn't care less about a new larger iPod. If the video value prop is fantastic, then maybe I will get one. But I doubt it.



    What I REALLY WANT is a nice bump to the PowerBook line. I am using a Rev B. 17" PowerBook which has seen better days.



    Give me HD. Make it faster. Better battery life, if possible. I will buy that the day it is announced.



    But I think the smart money is on "PowerBook HD" Apple needs to transition away from the G4 and G5 names ASAP.
  • Reply 14 of 50
    jeffdmjeffdm Posts: 12,946member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by geekdreams

    BTW, did I mention that they added official support for VIDEO PODCASTS to iTunes? That alone would be a great reason to have a video-capable iPod.



    Official support? The iTunes podcast feature supported pdf, video and audio files from the very beginning, though it might not have been "official". It was only a couple days after iT4.9's launch that one of my subscriptions sent me a pdf and a video to show off the feature.
  • Reply 15 of 50
    The invitation says "one more thing". I am thinking more along the lines of Apple adding one more product to their product line.



    The invitation definitely looked like the sort of curtains you get in a cinema. Given that this is the year of HD I'm definitely thinking video.



    A while back there were rumors of "asteroid" - supposedly a break-out box for musicians - and also rumors for some sort of media center. What if asteroid wasn't a break-out box and was in fact the rumored PVR/media center? Maybe launching the Mac mini was also a toe in the water for a possible PVR? Many people have started using them as such.



    Launch that in conjunction with a video ipod, add a wireless control unit and a dedicated video store as part of iTMS, initially selling music videos and then later feature films and we may well be onto something.



    OK, so there may well be bandwidth issues for many people which may not be resolved for another couple of years, but didn't it take 2 years for the iPod to really take off?



    That's my guess, what's yours?
  • Reply 16 of 50
    Quote:

    Originally posted by rdas7

    ... all the Pixar shorts available for 99¢ each!"



    Oh yes! That would be fantastic!



    PS. An Intel based Mac mini would be awesome, we know it exists in some form, but it would be a huge surprise if it came out now rather than in 3, 6 or 9 months time. What we saw with the nano was (and Steve J even said this) that Apple are being super aggressive - other players want to be the mini, so Apple moves the goal posts. To introduce an Intel Mac mini would be pretty competitive if you ask me, even more so than it is now!
  • Reply 17 of 50
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 31,261member
    MAYBE a video iPod. But revised iPods for sure.



    Powermac's, Powerbooks, probably.



    There is, most likely, 10 or more months to go for an Intel PB, if it's going to wait for the Merom, less if the Yonah is used first. Enough time for Apple to do something. The 7448 is something. Not much, but something. It can compete against the Dothan, barely. But not against the Yonah. So they have to beef it up in other ways as well.



    The Powermac is in better position. While the new dual core Xeons and Opterons will beat it, an Express based unit with a dual chip with dual cores will hold its own until the PC companies come out with one as well. Apple most likely won't be replacing it until the middle of 2007, so they have plenty of time to make an Express makeover pay for itself.



    Truth is, Apple NEEDS to have an Express machine. The last generation of graphics cards might be the last ones to run on an 8x AGP bus. The new gen - the 7800's and 1800's so far all run only on Express. Even if the mid and low end cards are made to work on AGP, we will be stuck with that.



    What's worse is that both ATI and Nvidia will be showing a newer gen around the middle of 2006. They will come out late spring. Beginning of 2007 a new gen will come out again. The PM will be three gens behind if it doesn't go Express. This is without SLI or Crossfire even.



    What will happen to the sales of the line? It is already down to 125,000 a quarter. I've been waiting for Express since at least last January.



    Express is no longer a high end solution. Even Gateway has a new Express line starting at $650. Apple had better get moving!



    iPods are nice, but the cpu lines are still going to be 40% of sales.
  • Reply 18 of 50
    kim kap solkim kap sol Posts: 2,987member
    edit: mea culpa.
  • Reply 19 of 50
    cosmonutcosmonut Posts: 4,872member
    Read my...words: Apple will release the Intel chips in the Power Macs first. If history is any indicator, Apple can be expected to release their new architecture in their highest-end Mac before any others. Did we see a G4 hit the Powerbook first? No. Did we see the G5 in the iMac first? No.



    I think the first Mactels we'll see will be at WWDC next year.
  • Reply 20 of 50
    Quote:

    Originally posted by melgross

    MAYBE a video iPod. But revised iPods for sure.



    Powermac's, Powerbooks, probably.



    There is, most likely, 10 or more months to go for an Intel PB, if it's going to wait for the Merom, less if the Yonah is used first. Enough time for Apple to do something. The 7448 is something. Not much, but something. It can compete against the Dothan, barely. But not against the Yonah. So they have to beef it up in other ways as well.



    The Powermac is in better position. While the new dual core Xeons and Opterons will beat it, an Express based unit with a dual chip with dual cores will hold its own until the PC companies come out with one as well. Apple most likely won't be replacing it until the middle of 2007, so they have plenty of time to make an Express makeover pay for itself.



    Truth is, Apple NEEDS to have an Express machine. The last generation of graphics cards might be the last ones to run on an 8x AGP bus. The new gen - the 7800's and 1800's so far all run only on Express. Even if the mid and low end cards are made to work on AGP, we will be stuck with that.



    What's worse is that both ATI and Nvidia will be showing a newer gen around the middle of 2006. They will come out late spring. Beginning of 2007 a new gen will come out again. The PM will be three gens behind if it doesn't go Express. This is without SLI or Crossfire even.



    What will happen to the sales of the line? It is already down to 125,000 a quarter. I've been waiting for Express since at least last January.



    Express is no longer a high end solution. Even Gateway has a new Express line starting at $650. Apple had better get moving!



    iPods are nice, but the cpu lines are still going to be 40% of sales.








    Agree 100% on your analysis!



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