Hints of new products in the air as Apple’s iPod season looms

“There has been little activity out of Cupertino on the iPod front recently. But hints of new products are in the air,” Arik Hesseldahl writes for BusinessWeek. “The waning of August has kids getting ready to go back to school—and Apple Computer watchers wondering when Steve Jobs is going to pull the next iteration of the iPod music and video player out of his turtleneck.”

“The company certainly had iPod-related news this week, though not the kind many consumers were looking for. On Aug. 23, Apple and Singapore-based Creative Technology settled a wide-ranging patent dispute, putting an end to five different lawsuits between them. Apple agreed to pay Creative $100 million for a license to use patented technology relating to how song menus are displayed on an MP3 player. Meanwhile, Creative, which has been lagging badly in the MP3 market, will introduce iPod-compatible accessories,” Hesseldahl reports.

“While some analysts may be glad to see Apple move beyond the legal rift with Creative, the wait for the next iPod continues. The most recent addition to the family came in June, and that was just a revision of the old U2-Special Edition iPod. But there are intriguing hints that Apple’s plans will ripen in the fall,” Hesseldahl reports..

Among other things, Hesseldahl covers the probability of an Apple ‘iPhone’ by Macworld Expo in January and an iTunes movie download service launch before the end of 2006.

Hesseldahl reports, “It isn’t as if Apple has been idle. The company focused throughout most of 2006 on its Macintosh computer line, completing the transition to using microprocessors from Intel (INTC) and phasing out chips from IBM (IBM). That transition was completed with the introduction of the Mac Pro on Aug. 7, which leaves the marketing ground clear for a preholiday ramp of iPods sometime in the fall.”

“And then there’s history. Last year, the iPod nano debuted on Sept. 7 and the video-capable iPod bowed on Oct. 12, a schedule that made both products strong players in the fourth calendar quarter—Apple sold a combined 14 million units in the quarter ended December 31, 2005. In fact the release schedule was so fast that CEO Steve Jobs was lampooned on Saturday Night Live, announcing one iPod after another over the course of two minutes, each replacing the ‘obsolete’ one before it,” Hesseldahl reports.

Hesseldahl reports, “Analysts generally agree: There’s no way Apple is going to sit out the fall quarter. ‘Don’t confuse silence with having nothing to say,’ says analyst Michael Gartenberg at Jupiter Research. ‘That has never been the case with Apple.'”

Full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Alison” for the heads up.]


  1. I heard a guy on NPR last night talking about Podcasting which he thought was a terrible name, because it references the iPod (and ignores the reality that you can listen to them via any computer or portable player.) When asked what would be a better name, he said “Instead of calling it Podcasting, they could have a little button their website which reads ‘Download my Audio Presentation.’

    That would be a big button!

  2. …he also wants to call a Dell Laptop “a dual-use machine that acts as a personal computer and a campfire.”

    ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”grin” style=”border:0;” />

  3. FINALLY an analyst mentioned the obvious fact – that Apple wants to release a CONSUMER product, which is a perfect Chirstmas gift, in the 4th quarter so that supplies are well established and the marketing buzz is in full swing for the holiday shopping season. I’ve been saying this for a couple of months now, as have many other posters here, that Apple would release a CONSUMER device later in the year, not at events like WWDC.

    Gee, do the analysts think that Apple may actually know what they’re doing with the iPod? Since Apple only controls 75% or so of the mp3 player market, I’m sure it’s just throwing darts at the wall, hoping to pick the Next Big Thing and stumble on a good release date. <dripping sarcasm>

    How is it again that these analysts get paid for telling investors the obviouis?

    Hey, investors, I got a hot stock tip for you – don’t buy Enron stock. Now send me a check.


  4. Seen the new Apple Microwave oven, iKitchen? Built in Airport Express, video iPod, Safari web browser, stereo speakers ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”grin” style=”border:0;” />

    Apple has a lot of tricks up their sleeve

  5. It IS a bad name, really.

    AudioCasting would’ve been a better name.

    Or Webcast, NetCast, feedCast… blogcast.

    Podcast worked so well because it was so close to Broadcast… and was first primarily used within the ipod community.

  6. I agree with everyone that Apple is almost certain to release a new consumer product, or product revision, soon.

    But I also think they damn well better. They’ve kept us waiting long enough. If they don’t, we are going to look so silly.

  7. Here’s a question…

    Assuming that Apple comes out with the iPhone that everyone is talking about, who is going to be the wireless carrier?

    Cingular? Verizon? T-Mobile? All of them? None of them?

  8. Al,

    That’s the kink in the iPhone that I see.

    You let a potentially great Apple product on the market but you lose control of customer service and quality satisfaction issues because your customer has to deal with the Cell Carrier and not Apple.

    Sophisticated Buyers will know the difference but Joe Average consumer will be running around complaining that his new Apple iPhone sux, when its really just his cell carrier service.

    I realise all phones work this way now, but the difference is, Apple is not just anohter Cellphone manufacurer.

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